I woke up to a bright white light squeezing into the slits of my eyelids. Strapped down by each carpal and tarsal, I was crucified on a surgical table in downtown Santa Monica. I awoke with an inability to breathe, gasping for air from what felt like two cement bags pushing on my lungs. The nurse asked, “Do you need more morphine?” and with a quick reply of “yes,” I was sedated again.
At the beginning of this month I joined a 6-week bootcamp at a CrossFit gym thanks to my trainer boyfriend (eye roll lol). Originally I had no intention of joining whatsoever and was content with my only-workout-to-eat-and-drink-whatever-I-want lifestyle but of course, girlfriend duties mean that I respect his work.
In the corner, weighing in at 145 pounds, standing at 5 foot 7 inches with 27% body fat, Jillian Salas ready to rumble.
Although I’m at a particularly healthy weight for my size, I joined the bootcamp to see if I can push my body to levels I haven’t before. Prior, my workouts included going to the gym lifting for 30-45 minutes then cardio for another 30, with basic knowledge on form and diet. Now, at high intensity training using just body weight and dumbbells programmed specifically for the bootcamp, I am already seeing results in strength as well as endurance.
The bootcamp classes are held every weekday and night with about 5-15 attendees varying from each class. We have two coaches that lead the classes and assist us with proper form as well as introducing new workouts. They push us to reach our goals and to make sure we are staying on track. This is only the third week of bootcamp but I feel like my healthy lifestyle choices are improving overall. My diet is more consistent and now I workout on a daily basis.
My personal goal is to lower my body fat percentage to 24% while gaining muscle by the end of the six week program. Part of the bootcamp includes free consultations for meal prepping and showing us what supplements aid in proper muscle recovery. My daily routine looks something like this:
Supplements: Vanilla Whey Protein (to feed protein to muscles after workouts), Multivitamin & Carnitine (fat burner) taken 1-3 times a day, BCAA (amino acids taken while working out to protect muscles), Glutamine (restore glycogen levels), and occasionally pre-workout to get me through bootcamp.
Meal 1: Egg whites with banana and peanut butter wheat toast
Meal 2: Quinoa kale cauliflower with lean steak; stuffed quinoa avocados; black bean patty sandwich with hummus and wheat pita; ground lean turkey with veggies; salmon and baked sweet potatoes
Post Workout: Protein Shake with vanilla protein powder, glutamine, almond milk, peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, ice cubes
Snack: Greek yogurt with blueberries
My body is still adjusting to eating four times a day so often times I feel bloated. Since I work at a restaurant I also have problems with snacking too much before eating my meal. I TRY to save it for the weekend but sometimes I can’t resist 🙂 but alas I’m also working on my discipline. Three weeks and counting but soon enough you’ll see the new and improved me!
No words can describe the way I feel towards him, but I’ll try my best to do so. Since first saying ‘I love you’ to each other our relationship has only bloomed into a beautiful field of flowers. In our garden, aromatic bursts of passion and scents of excitement intoxicate the surroundings; if love was in the air then you’d be suffocating on it.
Our first Valentine’s Day was perfect. We began the day at 6 a.m. to fit in a CrossFit workout before our complete and utter cheat meal day commenced. By 10 a.m. we were fresh and already on the road to Pasadena. Our champagne brunch was served at Barney’s Beanery in downtown complemented with the American take on Mexican breakfast. We were there to watch the Champions League game Real Madrid vs PSG. There my back to back champions defeated PSG in a 3-1 upset that shocked football fanatics (and my boyfriend) to the core. But me, being the savior of the day, didn’t let him drown in his sorrows because his gift was PSG Nike Windbreaker and a Barcelona Nike training pullover. Although one day, I’ll convince him to wear a Ronaldo jersey.
Hand in hand we walked down Colorado Street on a beautiful mid-February day once the game was over. Cars were driving from light to light and the season casted a temperature just over 75 degrees. Love really was in the air that day and it was radiating just from our connection.
At our hotel we toasted to our relationship with a handmade cocktail. The room was decorated with chocolates and flowers per his request. I was so in love, my heart filled to the brim with his kindness. He could have given me rock with a bow tied around it and I still would have been happy.
With him, it’s something that feels so real. So tangible and alive that it makes life easier. To have the person you love by your side, to share that same feeling with each other, it is the most deadly yet compassionate drug ever. I have his heart, and he has mine.
We later had reservations at Ruth’s Chris and again he swept me off my feet with an amazing dinner. A glass of Duckhorn Merlot and a medium rare filet, my stomach was as happy as my heart. For dessert was him, and a slice of mixed berries cheesecake.
The best thing about this relationship is looking forward to the new experiences we get to share with each other. We promised to take care of each other and in my most intimate inner thoughts, he is there right beside me.
I boarded the wooden ship to set sail in search of a mythical creature. I, the captain, was preparing for battle.
Into the ocean I hoisted my sails, gazed upon the stars for direction and left everything I knew behind. I was vulnerable and alone in this voyage. The day turned into night and I found the beast alone in his cave. Ready to attack, he made the first move.
He was conniving. He knew my weakness, my obsession with defeating him. Our quarrel began at the strike of midnight and I was lost at sea with the creature unknown.
The waves of the ocean tossed and pounded my vessel onto him. Back and forth we were both fighting for air. The wetness was everywhere, our bodies glued from the sweat and salt water precipitating from our skin. The current was aggressive. Just like the beast, it was rough and insurmountable but we rallied through the night. He was thick and large, again pounding onto my ship like every blow was going to be my last.
It was a dance through the night, parlaying each other’s sanity for the final strike. Our formation was unbroken. When I finally took the lead, I thrusted forward and attacked. Waves grew higher around us and crashed in the form of a tempest, swallowing our energies. Back and forth, back and forth, we were crawling into each other’s skin.
In between the respirations and battle cries he let out a whimper. A whimper so soft I couldn’t believe it. It was what I traveled the sea for, what I came to conquer; it was his heart. In the misty night he said “I love you” and I dove into the cave in which he lived. Every guard I had up, every drop of patience, was for this moment. There, in a split second our forbidden love turned into something real. So real that we were both afraid of it but we had each other to navigate this course.
The battle between woman and beast had ended. And in that night, I claimed victory at sea.
It’s hard to come to an understanding on my personal life when a language and culture barrier still separates my mother and I.
On my end, I want to express my freedom of liberty, sexuality and expression. On her end, she wants me to be her perfect stay-at-home-daughter. I want to travel the world and move out of the house, she wants me to do the chores and run the errands. I want to go out on weekend nights with my friends, she wants me to stay inside and lock me in my room. I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, she wants me to regurgitate it back up and wash the dishes.
The complex is: What should a 24 going on 25 year old daughter do when she still lives in her mother’s traditional Mexican household? Do I choose selfishness or do I succumb to prehistoric standards?
I read in Octavio Paz’s Labyrinth of Solitude that the Mexican woman can never be herself as she must play the roles of wife and homemaker. Although he’s speaking to the native born female of the 1950’s, this concept was how my mother was raised throughout the 70’s in Mexico.
She was conditioned to be the perfect household mom. Her schooling was that of my abuelita’s where her and her other nine siblings received lectures of cooking and cleaning. Emigrated by 18, married by 23, first child by 25, my mother’s path was set in stone.
As a daughter I carry the same weight of those traditions. Since nothing is more important to me than to make my mom happy, I oblige to most of them. Our sincerest mother-daughter connection even comes from the kitchen when she’s teaching me how to make chile rellenos or bestowing the recipe for my abuelita’s salsa. In the intimate setting of our kitchen our love is wrapped up in a tortilla, served with a side of arroz y frijoles, and shared with nuestra familia.
But in the Mexican Mother, American Daughter complex, our disagreement on her outdated norms bring us to each other’s necks.
In light of the growing relationship between my Mexican-American sancho and myself, I’ve had to make the decision whether I want my mom thinking of me as a “bariloca” or “borracha.” Our puppy love between my man and I means that I spend most weekends at his house, MIA at times from the place I call home. Since he was born a male, and I, a female, our star crossed love was doomed from the start.
The head of my house, Guadalupe “Lupita” Maria Tamayo Cruiel, Ruler of Rules,
Giver of Life, deems that her middle born child has no need for boys. So I, being the middle child that I am, will make up excuses and say I’m spending the night at a friend’s house. In return, she thinks I’m out partying every weekend when really I’m just watching Netflix with my sancho.
So after spending a few nights here and there in a bed other than mine, my Mexican mom has blessed her American daughter with angry voicemails on her phone.
Another fixation I have is in regards to the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Parents and the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Lover (me). Why is that when I stay the night at my significant other’s family house, the parents are so welcoming to bring me in? Does this only happen in Latino households? Are we viewed as the one to settle their son down? Now that I’m 3 for 3 on the subject, I’m also still wondering why I can’t even bring a boyfriend into my room.
I guess this is a topic of discussion for another time. Until then, as my mom would say, “Pónganse a limpiar!”
Six months after I left Spain I was on the next 12 hour flight to Barcelona. I was so homesick for Europe, for countries that spoke different languages, for a time zone that I was never quite able to adjust to. So there I was again, March 2017, my second Euro trip but this time with another.
I planned the majority of my vacation as a solo traveler but three weeks prior to my departure date my ex-boyfriend joined the ride. At an incredibly awkward time in my life where I wasn’t ready for literally anything and where this was the first time we had spoken to each other in months, we spent 24 days together traveling throughout Europe.
The trip was planned around specific dates; Las Fallas in Valencia, Real Madrid fútbol game at the Santiago Bernabéu, Drake concert at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and whatever museums, monuments, and structures I could fit in between.
The whole trip in itself was actually a lot of drama considering you could have cut the tension between my ex and I with a baby’s spoon. Anyways, back to traveling.
I laid my head on his chest and listened to his immensely slow and relaxed heartbeat. Just the touch of his skin made me as nervous as the first night I spent with him. I felt like I was drowning in emotion.
There in his bed midmorning, I traced the words I was too afraid to say out loud with my fingertips. With my touch I said “I love you” and I melted into his body.
I imagined, how could have I gone so long without him this close to me? Ignoring his pursuits for so long and leaving him to be with someone else..
Everything has changed since then.
But my pride shakes me to the core, I will never tell him that I love him first. Considering he has had long-term girlfriends before and I have always been the one to say ‘I love you’ first to pervious boyfriends, I think it’s time for him to confess his love for me.
Stubborn, I know, but it’s what I’ve decided.
Each new day I spend with him I want to vomit the disgusting little phrase out of my mouth as if it was a sickness plaguing my body. Me, Jillian, not commonly known to let men get the best of me or one to communicate my emotions, was and is undoubtedly drunk in love. A feeling so foreign I didn’t know what to do with myself.
First, I tried rejecting it by bottling up my feelings and turning it into a Molotov Cocktail. Then, I tried ignoring it by making a list of things I didn’t like about him. When neither of those worked, he dared to say things to me like “there is always room for you in my schedule” or “you know you love me.” The audacity, the repugnant odor of his hubris was my fatal attraction. I was hooked.
Our love affair had made it through the end of summer and through the weekend outings. It progressed from talking only twice a week through Snapchat message to consistent text messaging every day. My presence at his birthday party was his present in October but by Christmas we were exchanging gifts with one another. He was my New Years kiss and will be my Valentine. By the way it looks, he’ll make it through spring and celebrate with me my 25th birthday in May.
To tell you the truth I don’t even know when the dating stage turns into the relationship stage. But things are going smoothly, for now. Sooner or later though one of us has to crack and admit defeat in this little game of love. Lord knows it’s not going to be me.