Hiiii My name is Gill (that's Jill, only spelled with a "G"). Well Gillian really, but s’all the same! I used to live in New Orleans, but now I live in The-Middle-of-Nowhere, NJ. I graduated in May with my Bachelors in Environmental Science, and I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer focused on improving watershed health. I'm looking forward to a new adventure once my program ends in July!


Ask me ANYTHING. Really.


Boot Camp Day VII: Belated sweaty face due to finals! (GAH)

Boot camp was super fun today! August had us each take a turn directing the class in an exercise of our choice! Of course, I was thinking for my turn that we’d do some sort of squats (because I love squats!), but ~3 people in front of me chose some sort of squat, so when it was my turn to get up in front of the class, I chose mountain climbers! I got a few, “I hate you”s. Cute! So fun!

After everyone got a turn, we did other calisthenics, and then we did stations of lifting (not very heavy….) mixed up with laps. Pah, laps? Is this supposed to be hard? (;

Great fun! August and his mom (She comes to the class! How cute is that?!) made us samples of a yummy smoothie to try after. Fruits + whey protein powder + almond milk + spinach. Yum!

Rest of my day:

-rode home

-quick breakfast! oatmeal w/ almond milk, half a frozen banana, some pecans, and some choco choco chips. No regrets, just love!

-quick shower

-straight to the computer lab on campus— 6 hours finishing movie project (it turned out great!) [[Final Cut Pro, what what!]]

-quick lunch

-adventure to a different computer lounge to make a map for my capstone paper [[and now, ArcGIS…]] [[At least I don’t have to deal with Matlab anymore]] [[[BUT look at all these computer programs I have learned! I feel so accomplished!]]]

-back to the first computer lounge for our film screening

-the woman for whom our film was made (it was a portrait of her) was very very pleased, which made us happy! especially because my friend and I both put 60 hours into it EACH (our other group members didn’t help— COOL!!). 60 hours is no joke, holy schmoly! But it was fun and I am proud.

-back to the second computer lounge to finish the map

-home to write paper that’s due tomorrow

-you are now caught up, so this list is over.

August, the trainer for boot camp, also texted the class- apparently he’s sick (wah wahh :( ) so there will be no class tomorrow. BUMMER, but I was worried I wouldn’t have the time or energy to go anyway, so I’m glad I won’t miss it. August is sending us 2 workouts to do at home for Thursday and Friday! Woot!

Tomorrow, I wake up early to bang out this paper (all day) and then I get to babysit the cutest half caucasian/ half japanese baby for the evening!

And then I get to study some more the next day for my FINAL FINAL on Saturday!

My life is a whirlwind right now- I literally have not had more than 5 minutes at a time to do non-work things besides boot camp and sleep— but soon there will be serenity. SOOOOOON!

Boot Camp Day VI: “Oh f***!”

Today was a stations day.

Star Jumps (is this what they’re called?!), cleans and presses with weight, push ups, sit ups, one arm push presses, leg raises, bear crawls, duck walks, weighted squats, weighted push presses, moar push ups, moar sit ups… I don’t even know! I’ve forgotten what so many things are called, I may have made some of those ones up.

Today was funny, though, in that my abs did WORK and my legs are now toast. (The ol’ switcheroo!) I did about a bazillion sit ups today— plus or minus like 5, but we’ll just round it to one bazillion— without having to modify at ALL! #progress?! It was awesome!

But by the time the duck walks were finished, the quads forced a few choice words out of my mouth. August, the trainer, heard my F-bomb, looked me in the eye, and just SMILED. I couldn’t help but laugh at how happy my pain made him! And then we did more squats to top it all off. Dead legs, hey! At least I was able to ride home with ‘em, haha!

I love boot camp! It makes me happy.

But I am sad that my breakfast is all gone. Sigh. Can’t have everything we want, can we?

Boot Camp Day V: I smell BAD.

Don’t get too close to me, seriously. It’s deadly. I don’t even wanna sit close to me.

Today’s workout was pretty hard! Like a 7 or 8 out of 10. Not quite I-feel-like-puking status. My arms are toast though! Lots of weighted arm exercises and push ups (we’ve moved up to frequent sets of 20 instead of frequent sets up 10, ruh roh!). My shoulders feel strong today. Also, ab exercises were easier today, I guess because I had some time to give them a rest this weekend!

We did a lot of squat/lunge exercises too, but those are always pretty easy for me… I was noticing yesterday, just as I was sitting, that my quads are pretty solid. I mean, there’s plenty of fat too, but they are STRONG. I am a fan of this new-ish discovery.

Right now I’m apple-saucin’ on the porch until my stench becomes too much for me to deal with.

Boot Camp Day IV

It was super hard to get out of bed this morning! I fell asleep really late because my mind was racing over the recent events, but I knew that heading to boot camp would be a good start to my day.

It was, too! Pushed my body as hard as I could, and I felt proud. I can feel that I’m getting better. Dem planks? Got ‘em! Dem sit ups? Better today! Lots of “dead lifts”- aka squats with a 15 pound kettlebell thingy. And overhead presses with the weight too. Next time, I’ll try for higher weight, but there were slim pickings. The men in the room pretty much got all the 20 pounders, and then there was one 45 pound bar- the men alternated with that too. I mean, it’s not a weight-lifting class, but I wish there were more choices! Still, 15 was good today.

Came home ravenous, and made myself some toast with almond butter, honey, and half a frozen banana.

I also found a note waiting for me from my roommate— today is her birthday, so L and I made her a birthday cake and left her some notes with it. She has a lot of work for finals/ her thesis due today and tomorrow, so we knew she’d be closing down the library, and we thought it’d make her happy to have something nice waiting for her to make her feel celebrated despite all the school work.

The note she left was so sweet- apparently she came home an hour later than she expected because she was doing work, and was planning to stay up until 4 am. Upon seeing the cake and notes, she cried because she was touched. So glad to know that she feels the love!

These are things that make me happy today.

As far as those other sad things, thanks everyone for the kind thoughts and empathy! I’m going to be as proactive as possible in making sure that I can get back to my kids. I’m going to write a letter to the people at Tulane, I’m going to call the teacher I work with to explain what’s going on, I’m going to make gifts for my kids (because I do this every year to say thank you anyway), and if all else fails and I can’t see them as a Tulane student… I am graduating in 15 days, and they will not stop me from going back as a graduate.

Boot Camp Day III!

I’ll just tell you a story:

After Boot Camp today, I walked outside and over to my bike. As I was opening my bike lock, I burped, and bile water came up and shot out of my nose.

I’ve had cuter moments.

But I guess this means I’m trying my hardest!

Today, I learned to like squat thrusts a little better, but I learned to hate sit-ups. Only because I can’t do them- my abs are even lamer than my arms if you can believe it. (It’s hard for me to believe because my arm strength is seriously embarrassing…)

That is all- must get ready for work!

Boot Camp Day II : All the sweat.

We started with the usual rapid fire push ups, squats, jumping jacks, sit ups, planks, etc. for the first half of class. Then we had stations, with one minute to do each exercise.

Squat thrusts (HATE), alternating V-ups, mountain climbers, bicycle sit ups, bicep curls, triceps curls, overhead presses, (something I forgot the name of), push ups, sit ups, cross countries, and jumping lunges.

My body was like, “Nuh uh, nope.” when it got to the sit ups, so I just did crunches there, but I did everything else okay. I really hate squat thrusts though! They’re like burpees but not as fun. They hurt my back for some reason (I probably have terrible form), so that’s probably why I hate them. Oh well.

I got nice and sweaty today! I was sweating profusely by the time I got to the mountain climbers, ha!

Also, the gym’s location is hilariously close to 3 bars, so when I am going into and out of the gym, people are still out there drinking. Yay good life choices! As I was passing one of them today, 2 drunk guys out front waved, and one shouted, “You look good in the morning! Work it, girl!” Thank you sir. You were probably noticing my body odor pheromones. It made for a good laugh.

Alsoalso, I think I’m going to get used to this whole wake-up-to-hear-the-birds-chirping, early-morning-sweatin’, leaving-the-gym-to-see-the-sun-rising-to-the-east, enjoying-the-early-morning-cool-weather-on-the-porch thing.

Boot Camp Day I : COMPLETE!

I am le pooped. I woke up at 4:45 A.M. to get myself dressed and out the door by 5:05. I had to ride my bike there, so I didn’t want to be late! It starts at 5:30 M-F throughout May!

I got there early and chatted with a few people out front, and then August (trainer) got there. He had far too much* pep in his step for someone about to participate in boot camp at 5:30 A.M. (*I’m just jealous.)

There were probably 20 ish of us in there, and we all took off our shoes and headed into the padded room (not the kind that holds crazy people) ((okay, wait maybe)). We began by stretching, and then quickly headed into rapid fire sets of squats, push ups, jumping jacks, sit ups, crunches, butterflies, sumo squats, jumping squats, some other kind of squats I don’t know the name of, planks, etc.etc.etc. It was fun and SUPER challenging. After the first set of push ups, I had to do the rest modified. (HELLOOOO lame upper body strength.) At least I was awesome at squats. And I learned lots of new exercises!

For a few of the exercises, I could feel my heart rate getting suuuuper high, though. I started to feel a little nauseous (Good job, August, good job.), so I had to sit for a few seconds to wait for my heart to calm down.

Riding my bike home, my arms felt like jello. Can’t wait for tomorrow morning!