Archive | #FearlessFebruary RSS feed for this section

#FearlessFebruary: Boxing!

21 Feb

This month I wanted to try something that I have been inclined to try for a while, but haven’t had that last push of motivation to actually do. So… I tried boxing! I have always wanted to give this a try for the purpose of it being a great and intense workout, but also because I think I could learn cool self defense skills from it. However, I did always think it might be a little intimidating walking into a “boxing club” with literally zero experience.

I knew I had to try it though when I learned that Boxing Inc. gives out one free class to newcomers!

Related image

There are three locations in Tucson for Boxing Inc., but I went to the one on the East side. For those of you that might want to stay closer to campus, the University gym is right on Campbell. Anyway, I just called them and asked to sign up for a free class, and from there, it was just a matter of attending one!

I’ll start by saying, they definitely didn’t just let me into the ring from the start. That would have gone over terribly (lol). There was a lot of partner work and sparring, and one thing I really loved is that they made sure I warmed up my muscles before letting me throw out some wild jabs (which was of course tempting to do).

Something I was really surprised to learn was that there’s almost a zen philosophy to boxing. I naively figured it was mostly about anger and letting out all your aggression, but it’s really not. There was a quote that read, “The past is useful only if it is used to prepare for the future.” Now, I guess this correlates to losing a fight in the ring, but then taking that loss, and working hard to get a win in the future. Basically, it’s about being resilient and learning from your mistakes, and of course this applies to life as well. I feel like it’s so easy to get bogged down by one “loss,” and everyone tells you to “learn from it,” but that’s always easier said then done. Boxing forces you to take your future into your own hands — everything is up to you, the harder you train, the better your outcome. It’s all about you putting in the time.

Obviously, (perhaps not obvious to all of you, but obvious to anyone who might know me), I am not preparing to become an MMA fighter or anything along those lines. But, I definitely learned from this experience. ALSO, a huge takeaway — there is A LOT of cardio. So before you get in there, make sure you have a good amount of stamina in you. 🙂

– Amna 🙂


#FearlessFebruary: Climbing Camelback

20 Feb

Around the Wildcat Connections office, February means it’s time for some fearlessness! Some of us like to get piercings or dye our hair wild colors, but this semester I decided to with something a little bit more outdoorsy. If you’re a Phoenix native, like me, then you definitely know how much of a destination spot Camelback Mountain is for avid hikers. Now, I am all about the hikes… Arizona is a pretty awesome place to hike in but Camelback has always been one of the few places in Phoenix that I never really got around to experiencing. It’s always had a sort of intimidating presence (the climbing over giant boulders with a handrail really did it for me).

But since it is February and this month is all about being fearless I said “What the heck? Let’s do it.”

Last weekend I was up in Phoenix for my younger brother’s birthday (which was super nice btw) so it was the perfect time to get down on this huge boulder of a challenge. Just as I expected… This hike kicked my butt. In a good way! Keep in mind that I haven’t been very active these last few months basically because I suck and my laziness has taken over my life ever since I took on work, school, and research. Don’t judge me, I swear it’s more time consuming than it sounds… Add to that my not so healthy habits during that entire time and you got a heck of a (breathing) problem.

There are a few good things to come out of my asthmatic adventure, though. For starters I got to the top of the mountain LOL. The weather in Phoenix this weekend was pretty great too which made it all the more enjoyable. I also got to spend some quality time with one of my really good friends since I totally made her do the hike with me.  All in all, it was just a much needed workout and it resulted in a pretty amazing view of Paradise Valley. 🙂

Doing a little something that makes you a bit nervous can sometimes be a great thing. Not only did I get over my weird hesitancy at hiking Camelback but I got in some really good exercise and also the realization that I NEED to start being active again. I definitely encourage anyone reading this to go and do something fearless not just this February, but every once in a while!



#FearlessFebruary: Operation Goodbye Moana

20 Feb




Stay wild, stay adventurous, stay beautiful,

Lils xx

#FearlessFebruary: Creepy Crawlies

20 Feb

I hate bugs. I always have and I always will. For me, it doesn’t even matter the type of bug – scorpion, spiders, butterflies, lady bugs, crickets. I hate them all. They freak me out and give me the heebie jeebies. That being said, I recently got an internship at the Reid Park Zoo here in Tucson working with zookeepers to take care of the animals. As it turns out, diets for a lot of the animals in the zoo contain various types of bugs – crickets and worms to be exact. Also, one of the education tools is a colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. This is why for my #FearlessFebruary, I decided to face my fear of bugs.

Although I hate all bugs, I think cockroaches hold a special place of gross-ness. Even looking at them freaks me out. You know the people that breed cockroaches or eat cockroaches or actually like cockroaches in any way? Yeah I don’t understand those people at all. So at the zoo, there’s a self-sustaining colony of cockroaches that they use to teach kids about insects and exoskeletons and stuff like that. Even though it’s primarily self-sustaining, the zoo keeper still has to change out the food and water. My big step of facing this fear was looking at the cockroaches. I know, that sounds pretty pathetic. I’m sure you thought I was going to change their food or maybe even pick one up. Yeah… I couldn’t quite muster up that amount of courage. It actually took every ounce of willpower I had just to look in their container and not run away freaking out.

The next fear I had to face was crickets. Crickets are’t quite as bad as cockroaches, so I was able to convince myself to actually have to touch them. In the morning, all of the diets for the animals have to be gathered. Part of many bird diets is crickets, which are stored (alive) in a big trashcan with stacks of cardboard. When my zookeeper asked me to go collect the crickets for the day, I steeled my nerves, and approached the can. I’ll admit it took me a few tries to actually reach my hand in there, especially when they started jumping when I picked up the cardboard. Eventually I was able to collect some but I did jump every time one of them touched me.

My last experience was with worms. There are three different kinds of worms that are used as food. Collecting them isn’t an issue, since you just scoop them out of a bucket with a scoop and don’t actually have to touch them at all. However, there are four tamanduas at the zoo that eat these worms. A tamandua is basically a small (think raccoon size) anteater, so to hand feed them you have to put the food in your hand and make your hand into a tube so they can lick out the food with their long,  narrow tongues. This means that not only did I have to hold a bunch of worms in my hand, but I had to hold onto them pretty tightly and for a while while the tamanduas ate them. Talk about creepy crawly. The only redeeming part of that experience was that tamanduas are really cute and pretty fun to feed.

So that’s how I worked to face my fear of bugs. I think the most important part of this experience was that I worked to push myself outside of my comfort zone, but I didn’t push myself too far. For example, I was uncomfortable even looking at cockroaches, so if I would have jumped right into holding them, I wouldn’t have just stepped outside of my comfort zone, I would have blown right past it. This would have probably made a really negative experience for myself, instead of the one that I was in that was challenging but still allowed me to try something new. I think that it’s really important to challenge yourself, but also know your limits and not push yourself too far.

Take the time to do something that scares you today and challenge yourself! I hope you can face your fears this February.


#FearlessFebruary: Adulting is hard

20 Feb

As graduation quickly approaches, there are many aspects of “adulting” that fall squarely on my shoulders that were never there before. This month for Fearless February, I decided to tackle those big challenges and decisions head-on rather than hiding from them.

Taxes: This was the first year where I had to file my taxes on my own without my dad’s help. Thankfully, it was not too complicated! I just used Turbo Tax’s free online filing system, gathered all of my receipts for educational expenses, and got it done step-by-step. Of course, I was nervous so I had my dad check at the very end just to make sure I didn’t completely mess up.

Grad school: This month, I finished my grad school applications! It’s been a long time coming, so it feels great to finally be done. Writing a personal statement involves getting very vulnerable and conveying to admissions committees who you truly are. It took a lot of time and deep thought to figure out what I really wanted to say, but I eventually got over my fears of being real in the personal statement. Thinking about the future so seriously is terrifying, but it is inevitable. We all have to figure out what we are doing with our lives at some point.

It’s been a tumultuous month, but overall that has facilitated a lot of personal growth. No one likes adulting, but it is necessary to overcome the challenge.


#FearlessFebruary: Practicing Self-Love

28 Feb

Image result for pool party

In a society where being thin means you’re beautiful, it is often difficult to feel confident in your own skin; especially if your own physical attributes differ. This is much how I felt last weekend when I was asked to attend a pool party.

Although I have been a lifeguard for the last five summers, I still get self-conscious sometimes. While I was nervous of being judged for my extra “body baggage” I was also determined to attend the pool party and enjoy myself. In spite of my fears, I put on my two piece, shorts, flip-flops, and towel and headed straight for the pool.

When I finally arrived at the party, I realized that all my fears about being publicly criticized were irrational. In fact, I probably received more gratification for my appearance than anything!  Regardless of what I perceived people’s thoughts of me to be, I made it a point to just enjoy being young and having fun.

In the end, I realized that I do not need to be so self-conscious about how I look all the time. Generally, people are not too much concerned with the appearance of others rather than enjoying themselves. The truth is that everyone should be able to have fun and feel comfortable in their own skin. Yes, this is difficult to do considering the kind of society we live in, but it gets easier if you work on loving yourself more day by day.



#FearlessFebruary: Battling Bugs and Technology

27 Feb

This February, I took on a challenge that I never thought that I would ever have to do: Battle DISGUSTING cockroaches! Along with this, I also decided that I wanted to cut back on using technology because I use it way too often. Of courgiphy-1.gifse, it happened to be the same day that I promised myself that I would not use my phone nor computer that I was outside for 5 hours, bombing the house for cockroaches. Don’t get me wrong, I am not nomophobic or nervous when I do not have technology around me. I just like to use them for music and online shopping, which I do all of the time.

They day before my boyfriend and I were going to raid the house, we had to prep! I went on my computer (don’t worry I did not cheat, it was starting the next day) and because I am always nervous about using harsh giphy-3.gifchemicals around our cats and little turtle, I had to make sure we did everything to prevent them from being harmed. I went on the Raid website and it had a little quiz that found out what kind of bugs you wanted to get rid of, where they were located, how many you have seen and then showed a system that would get rid of the gross bugs. We made a trip to the store and bought what we needed and the nextgiphy-6.gif day, was the day: no phone/computer and bug killing. We were determined to get rid of the cockroaches that took over our kitchen!

The day of was a little difficult I must say. The moment I woke up, I wanted to reach over to my phone to make sure that no one texted/called me. I had to remind myself that I promised to stop checking my phone as often as I do. I decided the best thing to do was make Casey, my boyfriend, hold onto my phone the whole day so I would not be tempted to use it. Also, just in case my father called he could talk to my dad for me. We prepped the house and the giphy-5.gifanimals to be outside for the majority of the day by getting some blankets and putting them out in the backyard along with their food dishes and essentials. For our amusement, I brought out some playing cards and some toys that the cats could play with.

Casey went inside the house to set off the foggers and then ran out to the backyard, holding his breath. We set off 4 and then started to relax for the long haul. I kid you not, after 5 minutes, the cats wanted to go back inside! We started laughing and told the cats that if they are wanting to go in now, they have a long time ahead of them! They were very antsy, and then they started to get the hint that we were going to be outside for a long time, and started to settle in. Mr. Turtle, on the other hand, was in paradise! He was climbing on rocks, wedging his way through plants, and exploring boxes and tarps. He loves every time he is outside and he gets the biggest smile on his face! giphy-4.gif

At about the halfway point, we realized that we did not bring any snacks or any food outside. You would think that we would have thought about that before we set off the foggers but no, we were too busy taking care of the cats and Mr. Turtle. Casey decided to order pizza to our backyard over the phone and it was delivered super fast! Once the cats smelled our food, they went crazy! They were begging to go inside so I fed them some wet food and they were content for the rest of the time we were out there.

Once all 5 hours passed and we aired out the apartment, we were all, including Mr. Turtle, happy to be inside. We were also glad to see that there were no cockroaches that were hanging around still! I must admit, it was difficult being outside for a long period of time with no technology but we were prepared with playing cards. We actually spent a majority of the time playing war and talking with each other. It made time go by fast and for the rest of the day, I was not tempted to look at my phone or go online. I think that as long as I keep myself busy, it will be easier to limit the time that I spendgiphy-2.gif looking at a screen. You should try it too! You will realize you can accomplish much more and will have more fun if you do not constantly rely on your phone or computer for entertainment!



#FearlessFebruary: Room Escape

27 Feb


For my #FearlessFebruary Blog I decided to attempt a Room Escape, with another peer mentor, Mehruba. In case anyone reading decides they want to try the Room Escape, I won’t go into too much detail to spoil it.

Mehruba and I were very nervous about this adventure because we both have never tried anything like this. I am not claustrophobic, but I do slightly panic when I feel like there isn’t enough air in a space. For example, if I don’t get a lot of space at concerts I become really anxious that I won’t be able to breathe. I know it’s an irrational fear, but it still creeps me out. Leading up until the day we went, I was pretty excited. I love solving puzzles so I thought this would be something I would truly enjoy. The worry didn’t set in until the day of our scheduled appointment came. That morning, I began to slightly panic. I was worried about what would happen if we couldn’t solve a single puzzle. Nerves were in full force once I arrived at the place along with Mehruba.


I was close to giving up, but Mehruba was there to calm me down. She practically forced me into the building and we geared up for our hour long adventure. We weren’t allowed to have phones for any outside help. My phone is like a safety blanket, so this was a little challenge I had to overcome. Once we were in the room and the timer began, Mehruba and I were a mess. We had absolutely no idea where to start. There wasn’t any sort of direction!


The timer wouldn’t stop and we definitely felt the pressure. We were given a hint and were able to find the first puzzle. The puzzle itself wasn’t too hard to solve, getting there was the issue. Once that task was done we went into a frenzy again looking for the next piece. We hit a wall and needed another hint. By the time the second hint was given to us. It was so nerve racking knowing that we were being timed! Luckily, I saw vents in the room so the idea of not having any air didn’t phase me.

We were given a second hint and it led us on the path we were supposed to take to escape the room. We were able to move forward, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quick enough. Mehruba and I weren’t able to complete the final puzzle and we did not escape the room. We both felt defeated, but proud. The Room Escape wasn’t like anything I expected. We had to think so far outside of the box that it tripped us up. We were proud that we were able to get as far as we did and I know if we had 15-20 more minutes we could have solved it.


Our Room Escape adventure was very nerve-racking, but I’m glad it was something I followed through with doing. If you want to have a fun challenge for an hour I would highly recommend Room Escape here in Tucson! Good luck!


#FearlessFebruary: Facing Haunting Foods

24 Feb

There are two types of foods I have been terrified to try since I was a kid: olives and cherries. For more than 10 years I have not tried these two foods again. Something about the taste and texture of olives I just find unappetizing. But, I decided it has been long enough that I give them a second chance to see if my taste buds have changed. It is time to face my fears. Welp, here’s what happened!

The contenders


First up, olives…


YUCCKKKK… I still do not like olives. To be completely honest, I had to spit it out. But, hey I still gave it a shot!

Let’s hope cherries have a better result!


Well, cherries definitely taste better to me than I remember. Although I am still not crazy about them, I will eat them if they are offered!

Overall, trying olives and cherries terrified me. It was not trying new foods that was my fear. My fear was trying foods that I remember being gross to me as a child. But, I am glad I faced my fears and I tried them again. I found out I actually like cherries! Now, I can have cherry pie, cherry cake, cherries with cherries! Olives, on the other hand, I am still not a fan. Maybe I’ll give them another chance in another 10 years. There are still a lot more foods that I refuse to try, I’ll have to blog about that next time!


#FearlessFebruary: Early Spring Cleaning

23 Feb

If you’re anything like me, you keep things way too long and have a hard time ever getting rid of anything. This is especially true with clothes. I constantly buy new clothes (I’m a chronic sale/thrift shopper), but I never can seem to bring myself to get rid of any old ones. I always think “Oh, I’m sure I’ll wear this again” or “what if I need this for some future event/costume/whatever else”. Things that I don’t even like anymore just sit in my closet because they still fit and are in good condition and I always hold onto the thought that someday I’ll wear them again, even though I know that I won’t. So for Fearless February, I decided to tackle my fear of giving things up and clean out my wardrobe.

I decided that instead of setting “ground rules”, like giving up things I hadn’t worn in a certain amount of time, that I would first start off by giving up things that I didn’t actually like that much anymore. This was really hard because I kept thinking “what if I’ll like this again someday”. I especially struggled in parting with things that still fit. It seemed silly to give up a perfectly good piece of clothing like that. It took a lot of willpower and convincing myself that no, I wouldn’t actually wear that ever again, to part with a lot of the older items in my closet.

The next items I tackled were things that didn’t fit me very well, be it too big, small, or just wrong for my body. Let me tell you, I have a very loose definition of the word “fit”. To me, I tend to define it as anything that will physically zip, button, or otherwise make its way on my body, regardless of if it is on properly or comfortably. So I really had to make decisions on what I felt was actually comfortable and looked good as opposed to what I could actually force on. This may not seem like a big deal, but let me tell you, I am a master at convincing myself that I need something or that it fits, even if I clearly don’t need it or it doesn’t fit at all.

In the end, I was able to part with quite a few things that I definitely did not need (and probably should have gotten rid of a long time ago). As much as I hate getting rid of stuff, it actually felt good to have more room in my closet and part with some stuff that I knew I didn’t actually want anymore. I plan on taking all my stuff to consignment stores first to see what I can trade or sell, and then just take the rest to Goodwill or some other clothing donation place. If you’re thinking about cleaning your closet, I’d say just do it. You won’t regret getting rid of things you don’t need and you’ll thank yourself later for the extra closet space.