Flashback Friday – One Year as a University Grad

Archie fun fact of the day: he crosses his paws like a lady.

He looks so pathetic in this picture. He’s just playing it up for the camera ;)

Those protein cookies I had last night were fabbity fab.


Mixed up 2 tbsp chocolate whey powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, packet stevia, vanilla extract and a touch of water. I stuck them in the freezer for about 10 minutes and was left with chocolate-y gooey cookies. Ohmy.

Went to the campus gym again today! The cardio machines suck and the weight area is old school. Big metal dumbbells that clink and rickety old cables. I don’t know why, but I love that. Makes weight lifting feel more hardcore ;)

Today really was an upper body day because my legs hate me lately. Started off with 20 minutes sprint intervals on the elliptical (which by the way, made a high pitched scraping noise with each turn).

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Muscle
Straight sets:        
Assisted pull-up  74 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Alternating sets:        
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lbs 8-12 3 Back, Hamstrings
Arnold press  15 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Shoulders
Straight set:        
Lunge 15 lbs (ea) 50 1 Quads, Glutes
Alternating sets:        
Dumbbell fly  15 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Chest, Front deltoid
Incline dumbbell shoulder press  20 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Shoulder
Straight set:        
Lunge 15 lbs (ea) 50 1 Quads, Glutes
Alternating sets:        
Incline curl  10 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Biceps
Tricep extension  20 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps

Then hopped on the rowing machine for 5 minutes, finishing off with an ab circuit:


Working out with students in the weight area is SO funny. At my usual gym, the weight area is filled with people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Most people don’t look twice at you if you do something funny. Dudes at the university gym though are so scared of girls in the weight area. All I got were looks of apprehension. I also watched two guys do nothing but bicep curls for 45 minutes, and have very inappropriate conversations for a public setting!!

Work was kinda slow today – I only have one week left! Crazy. I’m going to be sad to go :(


Lunch was leftovers from my tofu faux alfredo. May-jah yums!

After next week, I’m going to dedicate my time to getting rid of everything, and taking some things to my mom’s place. Hoping to spend the majority of May living at my mom’s before I take off to the big city. We should be adequately sick of each other by the time I leave :P

I hadn’t had bread all day, so I remedied it at suppertime.


Mixed up a can of mustard sardines with onions and pickles, and put it on a toasted bun with hummus and a tomato.

With a thinly sliced red delicious on the side. Sardines are your friend! I’ve worked really hard on getting rid of that animal/food separation in my head. And that means mashing up little fish and devouring them for dinner ;)


Flashback Friday – One Year As a University Grad

Almost exactly one year ago today, on April 24, 2009, I handed in my last assignment, marking the end of my undergraduate experience.

My school story is a little different. I graduated high school in 2004 (after attending three high schools, but that is for another post). I moved to my current city to live with my then boyfriend. He was in the army, and I had no plans for my life. I was working at Starbucks at the time, and got transferred to the location here.

I quickly fell into the manager position, and at the age of 18 found myself in a job much too mature for myself. I quickly became unhappy, and after briefly contemplating life as a flight attendant (no joke), I instead applied to university.

I chose the Liberal Arts university because it felt like a good fit. Small, cozy, with lots of English and Political Science classes (my favourites). I enrolled in three classes that January after finishing high school, and immediately fell in love.

Come September, it was clear that I needed to start up full-time and do a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree. One of those first courses I took was “Law in the Media.” I’d taken journalism in high school, but this class really ignited my interest. I had an enthusiastic professor who saw something in me, and I set my sights on journalism and writing.

By this time, my high school boyfriend and I had parted ways. I had a solid group of friends I met through Starbucks, and I settled into life here. I narrowed my focus on being the best goddamn journalist I could be, and didn’t take a step back until I’d graduated, 4.5 years later.


One week after graduating university, I started working full-time in a permanent position as a radio reporter. I barely had time to catch my breath, I just kept speeding forward on that path I decided on so many years ago.

I’d had inklings, or rather, a gut feeling, that this wasn’t the life for me. But I continued on because that’s what “sane” people do. Well, I’m not sane. And settling into a life that was not for me drove me even more insane. I wanted to stick it out in that first job for a year, but after six months I realized that for the sake of my mental health, I needed to call it quits.

Most of you know the story from here. I reverted back to my old job at Starbucks, was seen working there and got offered my current job, decided to turn my real passion of fitness, writing and helping others into a job, and leave the city that was never really my home.


If you had told me one year ago, after handing in that last assignment, where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed it. My post-grad journey as been more of a detour. But it was a learning process I wouldn’t trade in for the world. I’ve always been the type of person who is just a smidge unsatisfied. But words can’t describe how excited I am about what the future holds. My life is pretty messy, but I have peace of mind now knowing that I’m finally doing something that feels right. 

So all you soon-to-be graduates out there: now is your time to pursue your dreams and make mistakes. DO IT. And don’t regret a thing along the way :)


Question of the Day: Did you have any detours to bring you where you are today? To be honest, I don’t think my detours are over. I’m definitely taking the scenic route ;)

Posted on April 23, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. I think the scenic route is the one that teaches you the most about yourself. I’m definitely still a work in progress. I wonder where I’ll end up and what will come next.

  2. starsinthecity

    It’s hard to figure out where you need to be and how to make it happen but it’s worth it in the end!

    My detour was having to turn down a job in the industry I really want to be in. The logistics just didn’t work out with where I was in my life but I know I’ll get there!

  3. Archie is looking at you with love! So cute.

    This is probably age talking here, but you really never do know where you are going to be in 10 years, let alone 1. Life happens, people change, necessity causes a lot of changes (good and bad).

    I am no where near where I thought I was going to be when I was in high school, or even college for that matter. I also know that things will change for me again :D

  4. Major detours got me here! I still haven’t finished University, because I took a year (plus) off for culinary school… which I planned on doing AFTER University!

    But I’ve never been happier, so I don’t mind :)


  5. Life is full of twists and turns, keeps it exciting! I’ve had a few detours, most recently losing my job and then finding a new one that has brought me more happiness than any job I have ever had. I do not like cliches, but maybe things really do happen for a reason?

  6. Love the Archie photo and reading your look back as a year of a university grad. I have no idea what province I will be in in a years time when I graduate, and its excited. Too funny about the bicep curl guys – I know just the type, LOL!

  7. love the FB pics! detours…my life is one big scenic route…i have no idea what 1 yr from now holds…i am always up to something new and diff!

    assisted pullup. Ok i must be confused. When I go to the gym i put between 8 to 10 lbs of assistance on the machine, and then I do my 45 pull ups or so. I cannot do them without help, but with that much help I can do a decent amt. I am thinking we must be talking about different exercises or something though. I now actually READ people’s workouts whereas before, it was a glossover :)

  8. life is FULL of detours!!
    love the looks of you dinner! sardines?!?! i bet its good protein!

  9. AHHH! ARCHIE! i want to put him in my pocket. dang susan, you are getting STRONG. 20# db presses? my hero.

    i love that your flashback happened to be exactly to the year today. i love things like that.

    i have followed you basically for the whole past year and i owe it all to googling super charge me cookies (i think). i just loved this timeline and i am so glad to have you in my life! you are just my favorite! too bad im not allowed into your country :(

    have a great weekend :)

    p.s. i have had MANY a detour!

  10. You’re such a strong and admirable spirit, Sarah, precisely for the reason that you are NOT afraid to make mistakes, and then backtrack and find your own way again. You take life as it is, all its crazy backfires and all. And you make the most of it, and really seem to enjoy it, too.

    You’re incredible!

  11. Totally going to make your version of those cookies- they are making the rounds but yours looks really fab with the SPRINKLES!

    Love that photo of you at graduation- really pretty!

    Detours detours. Well, yeah. I plodded along all the way til I was a dentist then decided I’d rather do hygiene-less stress, same money, no responsibility, etc- (yes I spent ALLLL those years in college/grad school that were now unnecessary but I don’t regret a bit of it).

    Then life intervened (and continues) with sick rellies and I haven’t worked in a couple of years because of it. So yeah, that’s a detour.

    Have a great weekend!

  12. Ah, you’ve been through SO much this past year! But all of it is sooo exciting. I’ve love following you as you take leaps and follow your passions. You’re going to be an amazing personal trainer and I know someday I’ll be reading exercise and health advice from you in a major mainstream magazine =)

    Detours are God’s (or the universe’s whichever you endorse) way of directing us to better and more fulfilling goals. Even when the detours are difficult or painful, they make us stronger and help us to stay on the right path. Even though they may suck when they’re happening lol

    Nicole G

  13. Life happens during the detours of life, I try to enjoy it all. It seems you are as well. All the best to you.

  14. I’ve definitely been hit with a major detour this past school year, after realizing that the ultimate career my program is designed to lead to is REALLY not my thing at all. It was kind of shattering because me and everyone who knows me thought this career would have suited me. The thing is, Im more passionate about other things, I think I was just scared to go for it and instead decided to settle with what was comfortable or just seemed right. Well, Im sticking with the program but my career aspirations have certainly changed, which I think is a good thing. Thanks for helping me realize that I need to LIVE my BEST life and sometimes that means taking risks and doing things that make you happy!

  15. So proud of you Susan, and your crazy year. Aren’t all years crazy though?? I have noooo idea where my life is going other than the fact I am enrolled in cooking school. Pretty sure the moment I sent in my tuition check was the day I signed up for the scenic route as well.

    Great post and pictures!

  16. Archie is a cutie!

    So weird reading this after my post this afternoon. I have just had a lot of things thrown at me and i’m handling them as best as I can.

    I loved reading your story and the decisions you’ve overcome to get where you are today. I really needed to read that…thanks!

  17. I like how you describe it as taking the scenic route. :) I think we all can learn to appreciate the times that don’t go as expected more often. It’s usually in those times that we grow.

    Those protein cookies actually DO look gooey and delicious. Many protein treats don’t look that great to me because they look dry.

  18. Found your blog through Averie’s. Clicked on your post because I’m graduating in 2 weeks and it’s scary! Battling between trying to find just any job in a bad economy or following your gut and chasing the things you’re interested in is difficult. It’s like security or passion. Seems like a century old debate. Thanks for the advice to just get out there!

  19. Wow! Thanks for sharing that story with us! I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months so I had no idea this life was so new to you. I thought you were older… haha… I don’t know why! You just always seem so certain. I LOVE that you have followed a path that may seem scary to some, but was right for you. That is an inspiration to people of all ages. The older we get, the scarier it is to make life changes. But it’s always worth it to do what’s right…

    I’m so happy for you!

  20. I LOVE THIS POST. I have taken such an uncoventional route, and like you, my detour is far from over… I left high school when I was 12, and although I have picked up random qualifications and bluffed my way into various jobs (had some great and awful experiences…live and learn/none of it I would change) and am still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do. I have an idea which I am SO excited about for studying, but I am not 100% convinced that the job propects are great…guess you can maybe relate to that as a personal trainer now? Ie, freelance work could be unreliable at times. Hmm. Lots to think about. It’s all about the journey though and having fun. First and foremost, all of this has made me appreciate things like happiness, friends and health so much more than I would have otherwise.

  21. amen. it is SO FUNNY where life takes you. i never would have predicted i would be where i am today, and i still have that feeling that where i am isn’t quite where i want to be.

    after graduating, i had to get out of a bad relationship, so i went to teach in thailand for almost a year. it was a great experience, and one i wouldn’t trade for anything in the entire world. when i got back, i was unemployed for eight months living at home (where ironically i was also working at starbucks at the time) before i got a temp position working as an admin assistant at an accounting firm in minnesota. then, an old internship called and had a position open, where i moved to wisconsin. i am still here, having worked here for 9 months now. its fine, but i know this is not where i am meant to be. however, just with life/paying bills/economy, i don’t know if i have another option right now. i know this isn’t permanent, but its still frustrating. why i tend to write gigantic long comments revealing my inner thoughts on your blog is beyond me…haha.

    in other words, i’m still trying to figure it out.

    love ya lady – let’s chat soon :)

  22. I’ve had nothing but detours! lol! Wanted to be a psychologist, but had my daughter when I was 17 and couldn’t go away to school so I had to pick a local school (none had a psych major). Then I wanted to be a nurse but didn’t want to take the pre-reqs required to get in the program so I started out in college as a legal studies major to prep for law school. Then I quit and went to beauty school. Dropped out there twice. Then I went back to school to be a medical secretary, then I stayed to get an associates in business administration. Then I transfered schools and got a bachelor’s in Accounting. Now I work at a mental health firm and cringe everytime I see what psychologists get paid compared to me! lol!

  23. Detours? My GOSH, my whole college career was a detour. I am not using my degree at ALL, the whole time I was in school I thought if I studied hard and tried my best I could change my personality to fit the job I wanted (recreation coordinator). But that’s not the way it works, you can’t just change who you are by getting good grades on tests! So now I am using other skills I learned in college (research, etc.) in a job I am great at and like doing (Librarian)! But I got here only after working at two different furniture stores and temping for various companies. (Tempting=SUCK)

  1. Pingback: Prepared meals versus cooked food « Beek Eats!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: