Skateland West

Today Maru, Nina and I went to Skateland West roller rink in Westland. Over a decade has passed since I went to one last, so we thought it’d be a great sisters outing, and another ‘golden opportunity’😉

Skateland Sign

When choosing a rink, we went based on proximity + availability and discovered that the closest is Skateland West who has convenient weekend hours.



Their pricing is reasonable, $7 per 3 hour session or $10 per day which includes free skate rental. They also boast 25 cent lockers and dollar+ drinks at the concessions. 🙂

The rink was cool with the universe theme, blacklights, live DJ and multiple disco balls. The floor itself was pretty smooth, just needed to watch for the occasional rough patch and for fallen little people. 😉


…Gotta love perspective and ancient skates!

The rented skates did their job, however I would recommend bringing a personal pair for comfort …and aesthetics.


Ready for skating!

Once laced up, I was ready to go! There were quite a few regulars flying by, so I was determined to give it my best and not fall flat on my face.

After stepping onto the rink floor I realized that skating is all about balance. I ended up using what I learned about balance and control from both skiing and skateboarding. In skateboarding you bend your legs, lean forward and use your upper body to direct the board. In skiing you bend your legs, lean backward and point your toes to direct your skis. With skating, if you lean too far forward, you’ll fall, so you need to lean back, but not too far back because you’ll fall. Lol! My solution: bend knees, lean back slightly keeping hips above ankles and use upper body for steering. I’m sure I looked a sight, but during the two hours there I didn’t fall once! 🙂

This outing has worn me out, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to spend this time with my sisters and learn something new. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project: Complete!
Check out some of the nifty things I did down below!

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!
  9. 5/31/2015: Handy Dandy Eye Candy
  10. 7/2/2015: Tri-Harder
  11. 8/14/2015: Paddleboats Ahoy!
  12. 8/22/2015: Skateland West

Pick a New Dream

Right after my sister and I started swimming in January of 2014, we decided would like to earn our Lifeguard Certifications. After a five month break from swimming, I picked up that idea again in November when I started private swim lessons and worked on my stamina, surface dives/brick retrieval. In January it made the top of my list of things I wanted to complete for my Golden Year Project where I am accomplishing 28 new/different experiences to help me grow as a person. Since then it has been my goal to certify in June as I figured that would allow me enough time to build up my stamina and be able to successfully complete the prerequisites and be accepted into the course.

It is now June and the class I was planning on taking starts in tw0 weeks. I have been making sure to watch a lot of swimming videos, reading up on requirements and practicing daily to tighten up my form. I have even started reading the lifeguard manual in preparation for the course.

The prerequisites for the course I have no qualms about successfully completing:

  • 300 yard continuous swim combination breaststroke, freestyle – Check
  • Treading water for 2 minutes without using arms or head going below water – Check
  • Swim 20 yards, surface dive to and retrieve a brick, carry it back to the side of the pool in less than 1:40 – Check

After all this preparation, I just had to come to terms with the fact that I will never earn my American Red Cross lifeguard certification. There is a technicality about one of the requirements that wasn’t in the literature I originally based my training on. It’s mandatory to do the brick retrieval without goggles.

I can’t see underwater without goggles. Above water I am near sighted and often misjudge distance; underwater everything is so blurred together I have absolutely no depth perception and can’t make it to the bottom. (No, contacts do not help.)

9 months of getting kicked by other swimmers, hit by stray balls, bumping my head and shins into the wall, slicing my toes on the line, getting bruises from climbing out and fainting from fatigue and dehydration and this is the first time I’ve cried at the pool. Unfortunately nothing is going to fix this.

Time to pick another dream. 

Make a Run for It!

“Jogging? Me? You must be joking!” That was my response before I lost weight. Back then I could jog a few house lengths at best and my chest and calves would hurt so bad I thought they they were going to explode. With such terrible reactions, I believed that I could never be a jogger. 

Fast forward to 50 pounds lighter and the momentum of over 100 hours of swimming, and trying new activities i.e. yoga, skiing, rock climbing, when I read an article that recommended jogging to increase stamina. Determined to swim farther and for longer in preparation for my life guard certification, I incorporated jogging into my exercise regimen on March 17, 2015. I thought “If I can ski, I can jog.” and went for it. Finishing that first lap around the block was exhausting but so exciting!

To begin with I jogged everyday going around the block in the morning before work during the week and before church on Sunday,  but on Saturday I would jog at the track at the Athletic Center before swimming. I had to stop every lap for a breather and to hydrate, but I was not deterred. Slowly I was able to go longer without a break. After several weeks I looked at how many laps around the track equaled a mile, and was surprised. 10 laps was a mile and I was doing four. Just knowing how close I was to a half mile, I started pushing for another lap. That was when I decided to make jogging into a goal for my Golden Year Project. 🙂

So this morning I went to the Athletic Center with a specific goal in mind: Jog a mile without stopping. I put my stuff away, clipped on my tunes, stretched, hydrated and took off at a slow steady pace focusing only on my breathing. I successfully completed 11 laps in less than 20 minutes! 😀 😀 😀


Not bad for a not-jogger!

(8 down, 20 more to go!)

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 8/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!

Play Me a Song

The only instrument that I ever learned to play with some proficiency is the guitar. (I ♥ guitar!) When I was a teen I really really wanted to be in a band and I was – technically. When I was 18 I was a part of the vocals for a new band called Lethal 7. We only had one practice and parted ways due to the driving distance between band members… lol! I wasn’t too heartbroken since I was starting college and didn’t have the time. But way before the short lived band, back when I first started my private guitar lessons with Dave at Marshall Music, my goal was to learn how to play Follow Me by John Denver for my parents anniversary. Due to the difficulty of the chords, they had to be simplified for me and every week I practiced different parts of the song with Dave.

When my parent’s anniversary came around, I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I didn’t perform it.  :(( Once private lessons ended I moved into group guitar lessons which I stupidly blew off due to my social life. Not long after that I got involved in music ministry at youth group where I would assist in leading worship songs. After graduation I laid down my pick and really haven’t touched guitar since.

Until now that is! Introducing my new electric guitar Sakura! (I just call it Blossom. ;))


Despite playing for over a year, I never owned my own guitar so this is my first one! 😀 😀 😀 I’ve always wanted an electric guitar (’cause they’re cool!) – specifically the Warlock Black Agathis with Silver Bevels and the Widow Head-stock. I drooled over that pretty piece in the Guitar Center catalog for ages and had that description memorized! Lol! In college I had tried one out (without silver bevels) and was turned off by how heavy it was! D:< That desire was no longer existent when I purchased Blossom. 🙂


So as a part of my Golden Year Project I decided that I wanted to finally play Follow Me for my parents anniversary. 🙂


And with decisions come sacrifices…


My long nails had to go. 😥 (I know how to grow them out if I really want them back)


I was really stoked when I found someone on YouTube who simplified the chords for the song into D, G, C, A which I was able to start recalling pretty quickly. So after two weeks of practice…


I did it! 😀 So many things could’ve went better with my first performance in 10 years, but I had a very forgiving audience.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 7/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song

Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Hello hello!

It’s easy to get so focused on my goals that I forget to step back and appreciate the good that is happening in my life right now. So I would like to just take a moment to share a few things that I am currently feeling thankful for. Here goes. 🙂

  1. I am thankful that through the Lord’s grace I have lost 56 pounds since January 1st, 2014.
  2. I am thankful that I am now able to squeeze into size 6 pants. (Say wut?!)
  3. I am thankful for those who share their ideas and experiences freely on the internet – they have been a huge help.
  4. I am thankful for my family and friends who are always looking out for me.
  5. I am thankful that I had a breakthrough and no longer think of myself as a boring person.
  6. I am thankful for the revelation of “false gods” in my past that were still affecting the now.
  7. I am thankful for discovering natural beauty products 🙂
  8. I am thankful that I made it to the top of the rock wall! (Yay!!!)
  9. I am thankful that I K.O.’d my happiness saboteurs today!
  10. I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to assist others too.

For the next week I am going to be challenging myself to find three things that I am thankful for each day and praise the Lord in a special way. Feel free to join in!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Ollie Oop! Part 1

Hey everyone!

I’m really stoked to share with you one of my current long term Golden Year projects “Ollie Oop!” Unlike Canada, Chicago, rock climbing, shooting and skiing where they are destination or “one time experiences” this one is going to take a lot of study and practice. Lots of practice. 🙂 It is my goal to learn to ollie, but in order to learn to ollie, one must be able to roll first – which is where I’m at.

When I was a teen, my guy cousins would come by every day in the summer and I’d chill with them. We’d talk guitars, music, snowboards and skateboards and they’d show me tricks on theirs. We’d pour over catalogs and discuss brands. When I suddenly found myself with $50, I had my mom take me up to Dunham’s and bought my first skateboard. Lol! All I remember about it is that the brand had good reviews and the graphic wasn’t offensive. My cousins were on the spot to show me some board basics. I tried my best and was practicing everyday – but school started and my tutors were no longer available. The sidewalks around my house were really crappy and I didn’t have enough knowledge or resources to ask how to handle the rough terrain. Despite this, the day came when I had my brother take me and my board to the Metropark. I ended up taking my board down a notable incline and was able to carve enough to not plow into grass until the bottom and when I did – I didn’t fall off. I was in my glory! Life ended up happening and I haven’t touched a board since – until early this month that is. 😉

After randomly watching some basic skateboarding videos – my faves being with Spencer Nuzzi (He’s so cute! x3) – I was like ohhhhh… the tips my cousins gave were on point – I just needed more mentorship and practice. So I picked up a Dukes board at Dunham’s.


It was inexpensive, cheaply made and is a really poor roller. I’m lucky if it rolls two feet before I have to push again!Because of the snowy outdoors, I practiced rolling down the hallway at home and tic-tacking in my bedroom. Not dangerous at all… 0:)

After a couple wipe-outs (indoors AND outdoors) I realized that it was time to invest in protection because I decided that I am going to learn to learn tricks which are even more dangerous than just cruising.

I asked my friend for his opinion on learning to ollie and sorta got shut down. >:\ Due to my age he recommended not learning tricks and to take up cruising with a long board. I bucked that one right away, so the advice I ended up receiving was get comfortable with cruising on a wide variety of terrain before learning to ollie. Cool.

Today I went to Dunham’s and was referred to Anime to Skateboards in Southgate for specialty gear.


Super geeked! I didn’t think that I would end up at a skateboard shop so soon and never thought to look for a local store. XD


I monopolized the clerk for an hour, but got hooked up with an interesting color array of pads, guards and helmets. (public eyesore… lol)

I was there for so long I even got to watch her scrape grip tape off a kid’s board and replace it with Grizzly brand tape. I’ve only seen this done on Youtube before – so cool! XD I eventually asked her about my board’s rolling issue and agreed to take it in later this week for an assessment.  Apparently cheap boards don’t have real bearings even though they look like they do. Ohhh… We’ll determine then if I can just replace the wheels and bearings or if I should ditch the board entirely and get one of theirs.

While I was waiting to check out, a teen girl was buying a longboard. I chatted with her about boards for a minute. She already owned one but really fell in love with one with an epic planets graphic on it. When I asked about her skating, she said she likes cruising and wasn’t interested in doing tricks and was in awe that I was! I found the difference in mindset rather puzzling. What’s the point of skating if you’re never going to do tricks? My brother theorized that she probably has a boyfriend who skates and wants a common interest. In regards to me he stated, “You are doing it for yourself and not to impress someone else.” Which is true. I am doing it because I want to do it, not to gain anyone else’s approval. 🙂

So yeah, I’m still super super stoked and can’t wait to go back!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

On Target… Or Not.

Evening Y’all!

Today I went to the Introduction to Firearms class through Schoolcraft College’s Continuing Education program in Livonia. I have never touched a gun before and thought it sounded like an interesting new experience. 

After some difficulty in locating the facility I finally arrived! (Thank goodness for GPS – I don’t know what I’d do without it! lol)image

Had to sign off on several waivers to participate in the class.imageMe intently watching the instructors…


My station. I decided to try the 9mm pistol.


50 bullets! 6 fit in the magazine at a time.


My first loaded magazineimage

First round shooters up.


The aftermath… My aim was less than amazing. Maybe another time…?image

Overall it was a cool experience and didn’t break the bank. However it would have gone a lot better if I had been caught up on sleep from my Chicago trip and had eaten dinner. Oh well, live and learn. ^_^;

Fifth one down! Twenty-three to go. 😉

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 5/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.