Monday, January 30, 2012

Do Unto Others

When Al Gore invented the Internet in the early 1990's (ha ha), he opened up a world of possibilities and a source of information we never knew we always wanted. With the advent of social networks in the early 2000's, private conversations and lives suddenly became public information.

I realize when I post things on social networking sites and here on my blog that I'm opening myself up to comments and criticism. By making parts of my life private, I'm vulnerable to the opinions of friends and strangers. I should have a thick skin, but the truth is, I just don't. Things people write in response to my posts sometimes hurt me. But on the other hand, some responses lift me up and remind me why I live parts of my life publicly.

I've made some wonderful, caring friends online - most of whom I've never even met in person. I'm thankful for the connections I've made and the enrichment virtual friends have brought to my life.

It's the interactions from thoughtless, rude, and just plain MEAN people that I want to highlight here, though.

As some of you may know, I have many videos posted on my Youtube channel. Some are vlogs that I've posted on my blog, some are training videos, and some are silly videos of J and me. All of my videos are public and anyone is allowed to comment. Usually I'm excited when I receive comments on the videos; however, lately, my heart drops when I receive a comment notification email. Because for some reason, I've received several negative, rude, and hurtful comments. I've removed most of them, but left some of them in the interest of our 1st amendment right to free speech.

Since the comments are/were public, I figured it wouldn't hurt to call these people out on their rudeness.

TheAustralianMade has made a comment on Kari Keenan - Smith Machine Leg Press:
Nice range of motion... Not.
TheAustralianMade decided that he knows more about how to properly perform the Smith Machine Leg Press than I do. The point of this video was to show a different method and angle of leg press. My intention was not to do a full range of motion, as my feet were slipping on the bar.

AwestaKhalid has made a comment on Kari Keenan - Dumbbell Clean and Press:
I have nothing against cleaning w/dumbbells as opposed to a barbell but she doesn't have enough weight to do it right. the point of a clean is to generate force from your lower body to help get the weight up. The weight is so light that she can actually do the exact same thing w/o even using her legs, jsut her arms. And if that's the case either up the weight or the exercise is useless.

AwestaKhalid decided to critique my dumbbell clean and press exercise. This video was made when I was about two weeks out from the Arnold. I was depleted, had little strength, and still had some fat to burn. So J decided to add this exercise to my workout for some variety and to add a bit more movement in an exercise for fat burning purposes.

bettertroll has made a comment on Kari Keenan - Lateral Raises:
no tits, build like a guy. alex ill take $200 it has a penis
This was one of the more hurtful comments simply because I'm a bit sensitive about the fact that I'm small chested. Even off-season, I'm not all that big, so when I diet down during prep, there's really not much left. I've thought seriously about getting implants, but have decided that it's cheaper and easier to get a similar look with some magical VS bras (srsly, check them out - they're amazing!). The problem is, I don't wear those bras while training, so the sports bras I wear mash down what little is there to begin with. Also, this video was also filmed when I was two weeks out from the Arnold, and was very lean.

The other reason this comment upsets me is because Bettertroll (srsly - what kind of name is that anyway?!) assumes that I'm not natural. Maybe I should take that as a compliment because it means I can achieve an unnatural look without pumping illegal and dangerous substances through my body?? Bettertroll, sorry to tell you that you just lost that round of Jeopardy. Last time I checked, I'm still all female, baby.

ADZ01982 has made a comment on Kari Keenan - Cable Preacher Curls:
After spending three hours on YouTube how the hell did i end up here ?
This one actually made me laugh. Sorry, ADZ01982 that you spent three hours on youtube watching educational and highly informational videos and then somehow ended up on my preacher curls video. Hope you were at least entertained.

SexualStrat has made a comment on Kari Keenan - Cable Preacher Curls:
How about you "demonstrate" the anavar pills (STEROIDS) you swallow daily instead.
(I'm really starting to dislike these 100lb cocky juiced up American bitches who think they're special and call themselves "baby..." or "lil..." or "girly...". It's an out of control epidemic. You fuck and use a guy for steroids and then swallow/inject them. That is all. You're not special. Now proceed to block me and write "I can't believe anyone would accuse me of using steroids. I'm 100% natural")
I saved the "best" for last. From watching me train biceps two weeks before a show, SexualStrat has deduced that I am a steroid-popping, lying bitch who thinks I'm special. I'm not sure how he managed to make that assumption from a short video of bicep curls. First of all, I'll reiterate yet AGAIN that I'm natural. What others choose to take and do is their concern, not mine, and I don't judge. Again, maybe I should consider it a complement that he thinks I look unnatural? He's completely incorrect in every single one of his assumptions except that fact that I blocked his ass faster than you can say "What an asshole!"

And in case anyone is wondering, "babytatten" (which is my screen name most everywhere) actually means "baby kitten" because I love baby kittens. Yep, it means nothing more than that. I don't call myself "baby" or "lil" or "girly"; my username simply makes me smile because I think of baby kittens.

While I appreciate the fact that people spend some time reading and watching the things I post online, I wonder why someone would take the extra time to be negative and mean. What is the point? Do these people have such an inferiority complex that they feel the need to put others down in order to make themselves feel better? If so, the Christian in me pities them. At the same time, the Minnesota-nice in me wonders why they think it's ok to be mean.

It's ok to provide constructive criticism or to ask questions. It's not ok to be mean and disrespectful. It all goes back to the Golden Rule (which we all should've learned in kindergarten or before):

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

For those of you who have blogs or post videos, do you ever receive negative comments? If so, how do you handle them?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting to Know Me

One of my blogger friends, Dani, posted these questions on her blog today. I thought it'd be fun to join in the game and answer them on MY blog!

1. What’s the most interesting or moving book you’ve ever read?
This past Fall, I read Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand. It's the story of Louis Zamperini, and how he changed from a street-wise kid to an Olympic athlete to an Air Corps Lieutenant to a castaway stranded on a small liferaft in the middle of the shark-infested Pacific Ocean to a prisoner in a Japanese war camp to a free man. It's inspiring, motivating, moving, horrific, and utterly unforgettable. I can't recommend it enough! Check out some videos on youtube of his speaking engagements. Louis is now 93 years old. Simply an amazing man.

2. Which do you prefer: the book or the movie?
I always prefer books over movies, simply because I can use my imagination to "see" the characters and the setting. Also, books provide so much more description, dialogue, and backstory. I do enjoy seeing the movies of books I've read, though. Always interesting to see other people's perceptions of stories and characters.

3. If you could move to anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
Some place warm! I'd be totally fine living on a tropical island, falling asleep to the sound of ocean waves every night.

4. What’s the one thing in life you can’t leave the house without?
My phone. People tease me that it's glued to my butt. I also never go anywhere without my chapstick. Just say No to chapped lips yo!

5. What’s the furthest place you’ve flown to?
I think it's a tie between Honolulu, Hawaii and Madrid Spain. I remember the flights to/from Hawaii as being VERY long and boring with a touch of airsickness. I remember the flight TO Spain being awesome! Mostly because I somehow managed to sleep for most of the 7-hour flight. The flight FROM Spain seemed to take forever, though!

6. If you could be anyone for a day who would it be?
Me! But with more money so I could travel more often.

7. What is one word that best describes you? (ONLY ONE)
Stubborn. I like to do things MY way all the time. ;)

8. What’s been your greatest accomplishment to date?
I have two very different accomplishments.
1 - Two life-changing moves: Montana and Maryland. Both times, I didn't know more than three people who lived there, and I left a comfortable life and job. I learned so many things about myself both times; they've been fantastic growing experiences.
2 - I won the Overall title at the 2008 Contra Costa Championships and won a SWORD! It's one of my most prized possessions.

My dad made me a sword holder for it. How cool is that?!
9. What’s your favorite type of food?
Anything with sugar. Srsly, I have a sweet tooth that's out of control. I especially like frosted sugar cookies. Don't know why people think only kids like cookies.

10. What’s one nickname you have?

11. What’s the best thing you did in 2011?
Finally paid off my student loans and credit card. Talk about a huge weight off my shoulders! I like this whole being financially responsible concept! Does this mean I'm finally growing up?!

I want to hear your answers to these questions! Either write them in the comments or post a link to your responses on your own blog!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Keenan Family Vacation!

HELLO!!! I'm back and I've missed you all!

This past week (Jan 13-20), I was in Cozumel with my family for a wonderful paradise vacation! J and I met my parents, brother, SIL, and two nephews at El CozumeleƱo Beach Resort last Friday.

View from our room!
My family arrived a few hours before we did (did you know there's no direct flights to Cozumel from the DC area?!), so we immediately changed into our suits when we got there, and headed down to the pool!

J and Jeffrey announcing they're #1
The next day, we woke up to a light rain. After discovering that two of the treadmills in the gym didn't work, and the third had a speed max of 1 mph (srsly?!), I hit the beach for a quick run. It felt nice to run, and I got to explore the lots next to the hotel. After breakfast, we headed to downtown San Miguel to go shopping. The rain held off for awhile, but once it started, it came down in sheet! Rivers formed on all the side streets, and everyone's running shoes got soaked (except for me - I was wearing sandals). We bought rain ponchos and continued shopping - we're troopers!

The ponchos were totally worth the $4 a piece!
While in one of the malls, we took some pictures with Macaws.

The next few days were beautiful weather! We spent most every day lounging on the beach, reading, and swimming.

Jeffrey and me playing in the pool
J got food poisoning one day. Beware of the room service cheeseburgers! Luckily, he was feeling better the next day.

J and James have the same hair style!
We took the ferry to Playa del Carmen one day. We swam at the public beach, then walked down 5th Avenue and poked our heads in shops. The sand is so much nicer in Playa del Carmen! It's white and fine with fewer stones and shells. We had a great time jumping the waves!

Here are a few more pics of some fun times on the beach.

Love me my pink floaty!

James and Jeffrey looking adorable, as usual

Snuggling James at the pool
We dressed up for dinner every night. There was a buffet and a fancy restaurant. We ate at the fancy place one night, but mostly favored the variety of the buffet.

Keenan Family!

J brought a bunch of meal replacements and homemade protein bars, so we supplemented with those throughout the day or when we were in town and needed a healthy snack. Every morning, I went for a walk with my parents, or for a run by myself. I love that my family is also healthy-conscious!

My camera broke on the second day, and my brother's camera also broke later on in the week. We resorted to using my dad's camera as "THE" camera for the rest of the trip. I can't wait to get the DVD of photos of the rest of the week from him in the mail.

I'm so grateful I got to spend a whole week with my family in such a beautiful, relaxing place!

James, Aimee, Jeff, Jeffrey, Mom, Dad, Me, Jerry

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Countdown Already?!

Last week when I was in the middle of my workout, J felt it necessary to inform me that we're 25 weeks out from our show. ONLY 25 weeks! If I stop and think about it for a minute, I realize that 25 weeks is almost a whole half a year away. But by attaching a countdown to the show, it suddenly gave the show much more urgency and imminence.

Last year, I did a 20-week prep. This year, since I'm maintaining a leaner physique, I'll do a 12-15-week prep. At 15 weeks out (mid-March), J will assess me and decide when I will start prep. In the past, I've usually done 15-week preps.

Some people will argue that no one should ever need more than 8-12 weeks to prep; however, those same people admit to looking their best at their 2nd or 3rd show of the year. Which means 8-12 weeks wasn't enough time for them to get in their best shape. So why not prep the extra time and look your best at ALL of your shows? It seems like a waste of money to do a show if you don't feel you're at your best.

While I'm looking forward to starting prep (it's exciting - like slowly unwrapping a beautiful present!), I'm also going to thoroughly enjoy the last 10 weeks of my off-season.

How long do you prep? What prep timeframe seems to work best for your body?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Make it Count

This is a short, but powerful video. It clearly makes the point that top athletes don't subscribe to the "everything in moderation" school of thought. In order to be at the top of your game, you need to be focused and thinking of your sport and your competition at all times.

How will you make 2012 count?

Monday, January 2, 2012

No Resolutions?!

Happy New Year!!

I feel like this is the part where I inform you about all that I accomplished or didn't accomplish in 2011, and then discuss my resolutions for 2012. But quite frankly, I'm kind of sick of hearing about resolutions. In my opinion (and I agree with my friend, Donloree), if you want something badly enough, you won't wait until the first of the year to start it. Every day is a clean slate, and a perfect time to start something new.

So with that out of the way, let's get on with life! What's going on in my world lately? Well, not a whole heckuva lot, to be honest. That's why I haven't been writing as often; I'm really not doing anything exciting! But here are a few (not-so-exciting) things in Kari's World.
  • I tried Greek food for the first time on New Years' Eve, and discovered I like it! J and I went out to dinner with some good friends who recommended the restaurant, and we had a wonderful time with great conversation and delicious food.
  • I somehow found myself in a Lululemon store this afternoon (I swear, I just happened to wander in! Ha!). I'm not really in need of any workout clothes right now (can you believe I just said that?!), so I just browsed around. And wandered into the Sale rack (hey, how'd that rack manage to step in front of me?). I walked out of the store with a new (very cute!) sports bra that actually accentuates (instead of flattens) my chest. Score!
  • Yesterday as I was eyeing the workout pants at Old Navy, J suggested I try on an "active" jacket. He reminded me that I don't have one, to which I replied, "It's not a LACK of a jacket; it's intentional. I don't have any because I don't WEAR them." I begrudgingly tried it on ... and lo and behold, I actually liked it! The cut was flattering and non-traditional, and I have to admit, I could use it to stay warm when I first begin my workouts. I wore it today. :)
  • I haven't been doing morning cardio on week days. For some reason, I've been staying up WAY too late (I blame J and the stupid, ridiculous 40" television in the bedroom), so I've been sleeping through my alarmSSS (I have 3 of them). Should I make a resolution to go to bed on time so I can get up on time so I can get my cardio in? Naaaww.
  • I weighed myself for the first time in awhile on Friday evening. I was about 5 lbs less than I'd expected. Woot! I'm not following a diet at this time (holiday snacks are SO delish!), but I haven't been overeating. It just goes to show that portion size actually does make a difference!
Well, that's about all that's new (and not-so-exciting) in my world. I hope 2012 is off to a great start for you!

Did you make any New Years' resolutions? If so, what are they? What's new in YOUR world?