... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Link-up love

Today the Influence Network is hosting a little link-up party, and I'm here to join right in! The purpose is to share a little bit about ourselves to help build community and friendships here on the tangle that is the superweb.

I will share:
3 things about myself
1 thing the Influence Network has taught me
A favorite pic of me

Giddy up.

Age really is just a number

Almost six years ago, I decided that I was going to finally pursue a passion that I had always wanted to pursue, but never really had the means or the moxie. Summer 2007, I had the moxie. I marched myself to the Dance Department at Colorado State University and declared a Dance Major. All the dancing I had done up to that point was social, "street" style dances... Lindy Hop, swing, salsa, hip hop, and a little West African... but no ballet, no modern, no technical training. I was 27 years old. Some people thought I was crazy, but I had to see where I could go with it, and if I failed, at least I could say I tried. But I didn't fail. Am I headed to American Ballet Theatre or Alvin Ailey? No. But I know that I am doing exactly what I should be doing. This is what inspired the name of my blog :)

A native Rocky Mountain girl living in the Steel City

I packed up and moved from Colorado to Pittsburgh, PA, about seven months ago, for my husband's Ph.D. program. To dispel a couple of myths about Colorado that I've run into out here, no, we don't ski everyday or live in cabins in the woods (although both are fun!) nor are we covered in 3 feet of snow all the time. Ha, it's funny the things I get asked! I've actually seen more snow in Pittsburgh than in several combined winters back home. Colorado is dry. And crazy beautiful. People are happy who live there. The Weather Channel says so. But us Coloradoans already knew that :)

Rheumatoid Arthritis

I was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease last year. It's been a tough emotional journey coming to terms with my body suddenly deciding to rebel against itself, and I'm not quite there yet, but it's a process. A quick explanation: the disease attacks primarily the joints, but it can also affect other body systems. I won't go into detail now, but it's a big pain in the butt (no pun intended... no joint in my butt, that I'm aware of, ha!). I finally have a doc here in the 'Burgh, so the pain is being managed and we're taking care of business. My RA is what's inspiring my desire to explore eating clean and other whole eating ideas out there. I discuss on the blog in my Hungry Dancer posts on Tuesdays.

As far as what I've learned from the Influence Network... It may sound silly, but the IN has given me permission to just be me. That I don't have to compete for the prettiest blog, the most profound story, the most popular DIY project, or a smile on my face 24/7... but that I can just be me, nothing more, and I still have a story to tell and that it means something.

And fave pictures! Yes, plural. I'm bending the rules, of course.

Dance. Colorado. The mountains. Doing something crazy. Love, love, love. (circa 2010)

How can I not love this pic?! Our wedding day, August 12, 2012. The day before we moved to Pittsburgh. See? Crazy.


Want to learn more about the Influence Network? Go here. And stop by the blog to meet a bunch of other great gals!



  1. You're too cute! I so wish that I could do that with my leg...haha :) I love to dance too, but it's not pretty ;)

  2. That is so awesome that you majored in Dance after toying around with the idea. You're right - the worst thing that could've happened was to fail - but you made it work! Congrats to you! I look forward to getting to know you better through The Influence Network! <3

  3. LOVE your pictures. I wore a birdcage veil on my wedding day too, and I think they are the loveliest. So nice to "meet" you, Jessi!

  4. i loved reading this post! i received my degree later than usual because i changed course and wanted to pursue my passion for design. i love that you went for what you wanted in dance! so awesome. thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment, and yea, grapefruit cake is the business! ;)

  5. I love all of your photos! They're great. And I can't wait to hear more of your story.

  6. "IN has given me permission to just be me. That I don't have to compete for the prettiest blog, the most profound story, the most popular DIY project, or a smile on my face 24/7... but that I can just be me, nothing more, and I still have a story to tell and that it means something."

    i LOVE this quote. seriously love it. it's how i feel as well. and how freeing it is!

  7. I love those pictures of you! I love that the network has given so many of us permission, so to speak, to use our voices without worrying how pretty they (i.e. our blogs) are or if someone else is saying or could say it better or anything else we worry about.

  8. Thank you so much ladies! And thank you for stopping by... I hope you come visit again really soon :)
    xoxo J

  9. Good for you on getting your degree. My father got his college degree when he was 50, and we were all so proud of him!!

    p.s. lovely pics, too! xoxo

  10. Jessi- I love that you chased your dream and just OWN it. Super inspiring girl. :) hope you can come to the conference this fall!