Baltimore Comic Con 2014

Baltimore Comic Con took place September 5-7 at the Baltimore Convention Center. It marks my one year anniversary of comic cons, my first costume contest entry, and the first time I wore my solo dress to a comic con.

For my costume contest costume, there was very little prep that needed to be done since most of the parts were completed! I spent a bit of every night the week before painting a pair of hard shoes to go with my costume. I think I used three coats of a red acrylic paint, followed by three coats of red glitter. The night before we left, I sprayed them with four coats of clear acrylic sealer to make sure things stayed put (and for a bonus shine factor!).

I really felt like I was packing for a feis because I had all the usual culprits (and more). Dress bag? Check. Wig box and make up? Double check. Blue hair dye? Check.

My boyfriend and I drove up to Baltimore on Saturday morning to have one full day of the con, thinking (correctly) that the costume contest would take up all of Sunday. I was dressed as Ultimate Katie Bishop from the new Ultimate Spider-Man books. He dressed as a shinigami from Bleach.

We spent Saturday night in a hotel near the inner harbor (thanks to the Hotel Tonight app!), and got ready for Sunday at the con. (Namely, I dyed my hair blue.)

On Sunday, I showed up wearing my solo dress. I got many stares (sparkles do that), appreciation from an actual Irish dancing family, and many many compliments on my original idea. Irish dancing Captain Americas are hard to come by (probably because I'm the only one). It was cool to have people recognize my costume first as Captain America themed and then as an Irish costume, rather than an Irish costume with a patriotic theme.

The afternoon was taken up by the costume contest. I did in fact get up on stage and do a treble reel for the crowd! I was hoping to take home the prize for 'crowd favorite,' but though it was advertised in the program, they didn't award it this year. Though I didn't take home an award, I did get many pictures snapped of my costume, as well as a few videos, and lots and lots on compliments on my Irish dancing.

I know that I will be wearing my solo dress at future comic book conventions. It is too much fun to pass up! Next time I may wear my ghillies though because hard shoes for five plus hours is very uncomfortable!

Enjoy a ton of pictures from many different photographers from around the con! Also, be sure to check out blog content from Pete Goes to Comic Con, Geek Girl Ramblings, DC Comics News, and a feature in ABC 2 Baltimore News.
What's that over there?
Ms. Marvel, Star Lord, me, and Deadpool
Irish dancing Captain America
Ladies costume contestants side stage
image image image

Goals: Downfall rhythms and timing
Days till Os: 60


Surgery Update, part 3

I am now done and graduated from physical therapy. My next doctor appointment is a month away. I am a regular participant in everything at dance class, even leading a fitness class during our Oireachtas prep Saturdays.

Did I really heal this fast?

Three months seriously flew by! Maybe I just feel that way because the past month has been a blur with the beginning of the school year and my own insistence that I never have days off to do nothing.

For the most part this past month, when I wasn't working, I was doing something to improve my physical fitness. I was at physical therapy getting essentially an hour and a half personal training session. I was running (yes, running!) in the fitness center on the treadmill. I was choreographing a show treble reel for the Baltimore Comic Con.

So, yes, I finally got to attend a comic con in my Captain America dress! I entered a costume contest for fun, and danced on stage for a bit of an audience. They went wild! My costume was totally a hit, and I loved getting all the comments on how cool an Irish dancing Captain America is. Now, I'm going to dedicate a whole post to this outing very soon, but until then, have a picture!

I have officially registered for two feiseanna this fall before the Oireachtas. I will be doing only the set dance competition at Rhythm of Ireland to try out my new Downfall of Paris without the stress of having to push myself to have the other rounds ready (namely slip jig). Hopefully all goes well, and if not, there's still time to perfect it before the SRO (and if not, there's the ol' standby Planxty Drury). My one and only three round competition will be Feis Culkin a few weeks after.

And now for something completely not related to healing... Remember when I mentioned I won an instagram contest hosted by Marvel and Dr. Pepper that was run during San Diego Comic Con? My prize came in the mail last month. I was expecting five Dr. Pepper cans, which I got. What completely blew my mind was that they came in a fantastic case signed by the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast! Consider me blown away.

Goals: Stamina all around
Days till Os: 66


Surgery Update, part 2

When I last posted, I was just about to start physical therapy.  Now, I am a little over two months out from surgery, and I have come so far since then!

My first week of PT was tough.  I was weaning myself off crutches that week, as well as learning that PT after surgery is apparently more painful than PT after healing from an injury.  I had barely any movement when I first started, in my third week out from surgery.  Now, I am through my initial six weeks of PT, and set to do four more weeks.

I was one hundred percent off crutches my fourth week after surgery.  That was the week that I also received a wonderful shirt made by my dance buddies.  They were making shirts for nationals, and wanted to make sure I was included too!  It was a nice surprise, and nearly made me tear up with all their kind get-well messages.

Six weeks out from surgery was one of my most exciting weeks yet.  I was finally able to give the boot the boot!  I spent the week relishing in the feeling of wearing two shoes again as I went on a vacation to Ann Arbor, Michigan with my mom and one of my sisters.  I spent a lot of time walking around the Michigan campus, and the general downtown area, all the time (mostly) happy that I had shoes that matched.

I have probably a week or two before I can slowly start into dancing again, but I already have my back to dance outfit chosen!  I found the shirt at TJ Maxx and couldn't in good faith as an Irish dancer, pass it up.  The shoes are my I Can Wear Two Shoes Again present to myself.  They're Nike Free shoes, and I know they will be invaluable as I ease back into dancing, especially during long ceili practices.

It may be a month or so until my next post here, so fear not in my silence! Work will be starting up next week, and I expect it will take a few weeks to settle into my schedule after all the Back-to-School-Nights, physical therapy, beginning of fall dance classes, and weekend excursions planned.

Goals: Keep up my PT exercises
Days till Os: 108


Injured girl fitness

Maintaining my fitness during my surgery recovery has been something very important to me. I am planning on training for the Oireachtas this fall when I am cleared to dance, so I want to make the transition as easy for myself as possible. Plus, apparently staying active while injured (withing your limits of course!) helps with healing. Enter Blogilates, a YouTube channel I stumbled across last fall while searching for ab workouts.

This whole fitness journey started in April when I first really dug deeper into the Blogilates website. I decided to reinvent my eating habits by completing the 12 week New Body Makeover, which includes clean eating meal plans for 12 weeks. I followed the meal plans right up until my surgery, and while I no longer follow their strictness, I do find myself making better meal choices based on guidelines from these meal plans (also, some of the meals have made their way into my go-to meals they were so delicious).

After resting for about two weeks after my surgery, I became very bored at home. I have always been an active person, so sitting on the couch doing nothing got old really quick. Boredom led to me searching out the June workout calendar from Blogilates and completing five YouTube videos, which added up to a 50 minute workout session. From then on, I knew that I wouldn't be bored for an hour of each day.

I was extremely mindful of my own limitations, so I modified a lot of exercises at first.  I skipped whole chunks of standing exercises, I planked on my knees, and did whatever I could to complete the exercises withing my limits. The Pop Pilates videos lend themselves very well to modifications for ankle injuries (aside from cardio videos). The modifications also helped me not feel overwhelmed with the intensity of the exercises because some are really difficult!

Want to see the calendar? Sign up at blogilates.com!
My favorite part about Cassey's whole system is that she releases a calendar of what workouts to do on each day of the week. I literally don't have to think about what I'm going to workout each day because she has done that for me! Her calendars change monthly, and this change over to the August calendar has been tough for me because there is more cardio and leg exercises, two areas I'm only getting back into since my surgery. On occasion, my boyfriend will join me during my daily workout (if I don't complete it while he's at work). It's a fun challenge to see if I can match or outlast him over the course of a ten minute workout video.

I can proudly say that I have only missed one workout since June 30th and that was because I was at Kings Dominion all day long. I was still able to complete the daily workouts while I was on vacation in Michigan with my mom and sister (possibly getting them hooked on Blogilates in the process), thanks to my tablet and free Wi-Fi at our hotel! I can feel that I am stronger all over, and I hope to be able to continue the daily workouts once school starts.

As an added bonus, I also have new ideas for ab workouts at the beginning of dance classes (because that always seems to be my job at my dance school). I can't wait to torture the other dancers with some of my new-found ab routines.

Here's where to find Cassey Ho and Blogilates on the web. Sign up for the workout calendar on her website, watch for new workout videos every Monday, and look for quick healthy recipes on instagram!

Goals: Daily workout, ankle exercises, and stretch.
Days till Os: 115


Solo Dress Spotlight

Dearest readers, I hope you accept all my apologies in forgetting to write my injured girl fitness blog post when I said I would.  I promise that you will be getting the scoop on how I've been staying fit while injured next week, because the post is already queued up!  In other news, my solo dress has been making the social media rounds recently!

The end of July is always very exciting for me because it marks the weekend of the San Diego Comic Con!   It is my dream to one day attend the convention of all things geekery, but until then, I am sated with instant updates from twitter, live blogs, and all the content that gets posted on tumblr.  One of my biggest dreams is to be able to participate in the Marvel costume contest where, you guessed it, I will wear my solo dress and dance on stage for all those at the Marvel booth.

This year's costume contest was also hosted by Dr. Pepper, and boasted the theme of (and special awards for) being "One of a Kind."  The winner of the contest was this super awesome steampunk Iron Man, who won a very limited edition set of Avengers Dr. Pepper cans.  At the same time, Marvel and Dr. Pepper ran an instagram contest where fans could submit their One of a Kind Marvel costume for a chance to win the same set of soda cans.

All this is leading up to say that I entered and was chosen as a winner!

Just a few days later, I was also deemed "Fangirl of the Day" on the Her Universe website, which specializes in apparel and accessories for some of the biggest sci-fi and fantasy fandoms.  Fangirl of the Day is a submission-based endeavor on their blog to promote how awesome being a fangirl is!  If you'd like to shine the spotlight on your favorite fangirl (or even yourself as I did), go check it out!

And with that, Rince go Bragh's 200th post is done! Thanks for your support and interest over the years!

Goals: Continue turn out exercises, PT exercises, and daily workouts
Days till Os: 122
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