BIG+bold is a project in blogging and living life, from a twenty-something with too much to say.

Friday, October 22, 2010

#7 Take a self-defense class... kind of

Last month, after years and years of hearing about it, and putting it off (for time considerations, but mostly and admittedly pure intimidation), at the prodding of my friend and colleague, I signed up for a RAD self-defense class.

As their website ( says,
“The Rape Aggression Defense System is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women. The R.A.D. System is a comprehensive, women-only course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. R.A.D. is not a Martial Arts program. Our courses are taught by nationally certified R.A.D. Instructors and provide each student with a workbook/reference manual. This manual outlines the entire Physical Defense Program for reference and continuous personal growth, and is the key to our free lifetime return and practice policy for R.A.D. graduates.”
Unfortunately, before I could learn to kick some ass (only to protect myself, of course), summer kicked my ass. Or, my foot’s ass to be more accurate. At the end of the summer ago my foot started bothering me, and I can only think to attribute it to wearing flats and sandals for months. So, I wasn’t able to participate in more than half of the lessons, but since showing up is half the battle, I attended each class session and learned a lot from watching. I really loved the format of the instructions, which ends with a simulation on the last day (check out some of these video clips.

I’m planning to sign up for a later session once my foot is feeling better, and to finally kick some butt
I still got a whistle even though I didn't finish!

If you’re an American University student, staff, faculty, or alum, you can sign up for RAD at AU. AU also has specialized RAD training for men. Check RAD’s website for trainings in other locations.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

#18 Start a blog

Some of this might not make sense as I haven’t written an “About Me” post yet, but a week full of food events (cookbook author talks, food trucks, new foodie friends on Twitter, and planning birthday cupcakes) ended with a totally unrelated conversation about food blogging at Friday night dinner. Actually, when I’ve told people that I started a blog, many have assumed it was a food blog.

If you’ve read the previous posts, you know I’m no food blogger, though there are a few food related items on my list. For some time now, before starting BIG+bold, I toyed with many ideas for blogging, food being just one, but couldn’t settle on one with any cohesion. The same way that the 25 by 25 list is an experiment in living, exposing myself to more experiences and opportunities, BIG+bold is an experiment in blogging, exposing myself to more topics and options.

Before taking the plunge into blogging, I did a lot of reading of tips and tricks for starting blogs, some of which was helpful, but lots of which was irrelevant. It took a little too long to occur to me that I should seek advice from the bloggers I know and love. But when I did, I finally contacted my friend Jaci, who just celebrated the third birthday of her blog Everyday Sassypants the beginning of this month! Check it out and you’ll see why I asked her.

For now, I’m trying to listen to the little voice in my head (that sounds like a cross between a Regal Tang fish and Ellen DeGeneres) saying “just keep blogging.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

#12 Read 10 books (1/10)

I added reading ten books to my 25 by 25 list, because, well, I’ve sort of stopped reading books. With access to so much information (arguably more current and accurate information at that) online, books just slowly tapered out of my life. That said, there’s an art to writing a good book, obviously with fiction, but different with non-fiction that needs to be both current and accurate, and present new and useful information in the same way that blogs and articles can. So I’m trying to get back in touch with my appreciation of said art.

While unplanned, it seems fitting that the first of 10 books I read is based on a blog.

In Ignore Everybody, and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, Hugh Macleod shares his experience as an artist trying to make his way, and his journey to and through his blog, Gapingvoid. I first heard of Hugh MacLeod, Gapingvoid, and Ignore Everybody at Gaspedal's Word of Mouth Supergenius conference this summer in New York, where Hugh talked about the book and designed the conference's artwork.

Just one of the 39 keys that resonated with me? “36. Start blogging.”

It’s a quick read, with accessible language and good points, punctuated by Hugh’s business card illustrations. It doesn’t necessarily feel like he’s trying to offer advice (though I do think much of it is good advice, even if not totally applicable to my life), but uses his often funny and always entertaining stories to share what worked and didn’t work for him. And, considering Ignore Everybody is a Wall Street Journal best seller, I’d say it worked.

Read the first 25% of Ignore Everbody free at Follow Hugh on twitter @gapingvoid.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The list

As I mentioned in the first post, the 25 by 25 list is meant to serve as a vehicle to live life... better more. Many of the items on my list are things I’ve never done. Some are things I’ve attempted and not been able to sustain. Some are things I haven’t done in many many years (some are even things I’ve done in the last month but it’s taken that long to design the blog). So, in no particular order:

25 by 25
1. Visit a new city
2. Sell something I have made
3. Eat a totally new ingredient/food
4. Ride a roller coaster (again)
5. Watch the sun rise or set (coast appropriate)
6. Have visited every Smithsonian in D.C.
7. Take a self-defense class
8. Take a class (not self-defense)
9. Work on a Habitat for Humanity site with my dad
10. Donate blood
11. Play with a baby animal
12. Read 10 books
13. Try a new alternative therapy
14. Fly a kite (again)
15. Go down in clothing size
16. Go somewhere new in D.C.
17. Write a letter
18. Start a blog
19. Pet a llama
20. Teach someone something
21. Roast a chicken
22. Host a 5-course dinner party (don’t serve roast chicken)
23. Create a monthly budget. Try to stick to it.
24. Spend some time with a child
25. One item from my 30 by 30 list

Do you have a similar list? Is anything from my list on yours? Anything here you’ve done before and have a great story? I’d love to hear about it.