balance, dare to be different

The Sky Is My Limit

This week was some what of a chill week for me. A little bit of a flexy schedule. Some time for adventuring. A little less work and a lot more play.

This week had no “had to’s.” No business meetings. No trips to Disney. No packed restaurants on spring break. No trips to the office each day. Just a little staycation time in my local area.

I could have done the traveling and I could have enjoyed the beach but instead I opted for my spring break my way. For example, today I am relaxing on the couch with my dog watching the sun shine in my window. Just a girl, her dog, and her mighty blog.

Oh, the power of my words. My wisdom. My stories. My way. While I recharged my AAA-sized life batteries, I let the sky be my limit. The endless sky. It has no boundaries or confinement.

I went on a fabulous hike with some lady friends and my daughter. 5-6 miles of beauty and waterfalls. Birds chirping, girls giggling, a picnic lunch, great chit-chats and no technology. No cell service. Just taking away that one device allows you to appreciate other things. The smiles around you, the friendships you have, and so much more. It was a great day of nothing much then ended with some yummy ice cream from a local dairy farm. Talk about a creamy treat.

A spontaneous few days at the lake made for some good memories, too. Tied up boats with some friends and enjoyed some cocktails, cold water dips and exploration of the movie set for Ozark. I loved channeling my Inner Ruthy badass. Unexpected adventures are always the best. Add in a little jet ski fun with my mini me to make hump day a good one this week.

There was also a concert, a fancy dinner date, workout time and a glorious birthday bash included in the week. Nothing fancy just some good old fun with family and friends.

Many memories made this week but the big milestone this week was what I learned. I learned to sit back and enjoy the day’s sparkle. When you allow yourself time to reset you can accomplish far more than you think you can, personally and professionally.

This week I completed my first double unders at CrossFit. I had been working on the skill here and there but just didn’t commit to attaining it everyday. Somehow I made it work this week. If that wasn’t enough, I nailed my first toes to bar. This was a skill I was feverishly working on for a competition next week. It was a daunting task. It truly took an army of friends and coaches to get me to the finish line but ultimately I put in the work. I’m still climbing in progress but I hit a major milestone.

The above fitness achievements tie into my life in a big way. I am consistent, deliberate, and disciplined in my daily routines and my work ethic. The sky is my playground and my physical and mental strength let me tackle any turbulence that life tosses my way. And trust me I have obstacles daily!

I choose to aim high for what I want and only I stay in my own way of success. Sometimes it’s mental, other times it’s physical boundaries in in front of me. Whatever the barriers, if I have the will I will find my way. If ever I worry, I just look to the sky and know that possibilities are limitless if I set the sky as my boundary.

My way is my story. It’s not anyone else’s story. It’s only me who can put in the work. It’s only me who can define success. Others may think they guide or sway me on my journey but I choose who is part of my story or life journey and when I let them in or not.

My story is by invite only. If you’re in it, you are true to yourself and to me. If you are on the outside of my story there is most definitely a reason. Trust is earned not given to most.

Who is in your story? Is your story true to who you show to the world daily?

I am me. I am happy with who I am. I set the sky as my limit. Boundless energy to some, overly confident to others.

My motto is and and always will be: Dream big. Create. Repeat. Always strive to live without limits and seize infinite opportunities.

dare to be different, hustle

You Can Be Part of My Story…

Read on to see what it requires to be part of my story…

19.4 is white heavy check mark off in the history books for this girl. I thought this was a one-and-done workout for me, but here it is Monday and this whimsical girl decided to give it another go. I may be crazy but I did it. I knew I wouldn’t die, but I could improve my performance. 

Burpees are not my favorite so I said I’ll take my best effort on the first attempt and not redo it on Friday. Then I got to reflecting on my inner battle with self-improvement and said I should redo it Sunday. I was lazy Sunday so it didn’t happen. I had travel for work Monday so that wasn’t an option for redoing the workout. I felt unsettled about my effort and performance to an extent.

I had some time to think on my road trip. Just me and some tunes in the car. Jammin’ to a classic song playlist. Funny how music can be therapeutic. My mind was settled. I got creative. It was in that moment of clarity that the rippling effect hit me. Just like that, I rewinded the week. What a week. So much inspiration. A snapshot of highlights in my mind. So many stories to share. Where do I begin?

Then a fluke event happened and my travel plans were interrupted. I had time to make it to the gym Monday night. Fate would have me WOD 19.4 again after many hours crammed up in a car, sedentary. I basically blinked and opportunity knocked. I had to seize the moment. Unplanned events make for the best memories.

Before I break down my workout, I need to explain my version of the rippling effect. You see, people often tell me I inspire them. Whether it be through my physical actions or through my words in books or this blog. That just gets me in the gut. It fuels my soul. It inspires me to keep on going and broaden my reach. My desire to share more and impact many more. The puzzle piece Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 7.08.12 AM of life.

With that being said, I have many people in my life who inspire me. I can’t name them all here but those reading this may know who they are, even if they remain nameless. One person person can inspire another which causes a rippling effect. I inspire to desire better for me and others. Once one person sees how they can inspire another, the benefits are magnified and the rippling begins. One by one.

This week I saw a photo that captivated many. A gym photo shot by the talented Milagros. That photo showed fatigue, grit and passion all rolled into one small photo. That photo reached far and wide and had a rippling effect. This photographer is amazing and she has caught me in action plenty of times already with many more to come. Her storytelling is through pictures and those pictures inspire others to see their value from a lens they don’t normally have the opportunity to view. #inspiring

Due to my schedule mishap, I wasn’t at my regular class time on Monday and I got the pleasure of meeting Jeremy.  Jeremy is one cool dude but full of inspiration. He works out with a modified workout each week, but it was amazing to watch. I didn’t plan to watch him. It just happened as I recovered from my death WOD. Jumping rope stationary with bands. Rowing elevated. Dumbbells used strategically. This week’s unplanned event allowed me to meet a new face and a new inspiration. I hope to share more about Jeremy in the future if and when our schedules align again. Jeremy was the cherry on top this week for my rippling effect. #unplannedimpact

Another post from an influencer online took me on a walk down memory lane. How two people can be so different on the surface yet harness the same inner strength. It was a vision that was hidden in plain sight.  You almost had to step back to see it. The take away from that post was “Never judge a book by its cover.” We all do that at some point but beauty is within and sometimes you have to look beyond to see what’s hidden in plain sight. Dig deeper inside to see the true story (this includes people). We all have the power to influence and inspire one another directly and indirectly.

Another gal pal at my gym pushed me when I didn’t think I had any push left in me. That person didn’t even have a clue they were inspiring me. That person is nameless for the purposes of this blog because it signifies more than one gal pal throughout the week. But then again, it’s not just gal pals. It’s the dudes. The big muscle dudes that have abs and then more abs. They inspire me to be the best version of me. They don’t see me as a 47- year-old mom tossing the bar weight around like a chicken with her head cut off. They see me as an athlete looking to get to the next level. Just working hard each day to get better. High fives, fist bumps, kudos, smiles, etc. all go a long way. Fostering community is free. Being nice is free. Inspiring others is free. Yet in today’s world some people miss those free opportunities.

Last but not least, I have kids. Three to be exact. Each of them special in their own way. They each inspire me and my desires more than they will ever know or understand. Their perseverance through tough times, injuries and heartache show me hope and wisdom. I recycle the hope and wisdom and share it with others in meaningful ways. Another form of the rippling effect. #lifelessons

All of the inspiration and perseverance this week led me to desire better or more of myself. Time was on my side and a window of opportunity arose for another crack at 19.4. Would I do better? Could I do better? Should I even chance it? Absolutely!

I started out warming up my SNATCH. For those of you who don’t CrossFit, it’s a real thing. From there I went to figuring out my burpee options for getting over the bar without falling on my face. I consulted and practiced with a few people for variations. I still had to figure out what would work for this 47-year-old that had 185 pounds to move over that bar after a burpee. The rest of the time I figured I would stare at the bar and pretend I could do a bar muscle up. I didn’t stare at it actually. I pulled up and failed a few times but my arms and shoulders were toast anyway. #muscleupgoals

That’s it folks, nothing exciting to report this week for this girl. I got inspired. I put in work. I exercised my patience muscles. I made new friends. I didn’t die, but I completed the 19.4 WOD Rx not once, but twice. I know I do much more each week than many my age and I share these stories online.  My actions of sharing my story may help one person see their inner beauty and inspire a desire to be their best.

On the flip side, I am super proud that this year I have hit the Rx button for 3 of the past 4 workouts and for the one that I scaled I actually completed it before the time cap. I couldn’t be more happier with my results and as of now I am in the top 20% of my age group which isn’t too shabby for this girl. The OPEN for me is a health check. No different than the fat truck test I do each year. It’s a personal measurement of me, myself and I.  See my progress pic from the past three OPENS. It shows hard work does pay off in time.

As I reflect on the OPEN this year I get to look back at how far I have personally come in the past year with regard to endurance, skills and strength. At the same time I get to see how much further I can go and what I need to do myself to level up. This is my OPEN story and it matters to me. One more OPEN post for you next week.

bar muscle-ups
strict handstand push-ups
toes-to-bar
pull-ups

Those are just a few of the skills I am diligently working to master. I am not perfect by any means. I have to work at things to master them. It may take a year or it may take several weeks to learn these skills. I will be chipping away at these and will work on my weaknesses in time. Wish me luck with the final OPEN WOD. Will I be able to Rx it? Will I be able to stay in the top 20%? Will I stay injury free?

Be part of my book: until my next post I challenge you to inspire just one person. Capture the moment and share your story. Most people have social media. Tag 2 Chicks and a Pen (#2CHX) in your post. Your inspiration story might just make my #1095Days project. Submit your story today. You may become part of my upcoming book. I dare you to be different. Post online your inspiration to desire. #1095Days

I guess you will have to stay tuned for my final open post to see how I fare. Working on my top 20% goal.

dare to be different

Spreading Our Story – We Need Your Votes!

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We’ve entered the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest!

Check out our entry here at 2 Chicks and a Pen. 

It has been a year of growth for us.  We’ve expanded our audience and the ways we tell our stories.  Check out our new video to see how we’ve evolved.

Big things are on the horizon for the 2 Chicks. What’s next? Our #1095Days project is taking shape.  The first book is due out in early 2020.

Please vote for 2 Chicks and a Pen – with your support, we can reach further and inspire more!

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dare to be different, hustle

Shouldn’t you be sleeping in?

We were out of school one day this week.

Naturally, I arrived at the gym at 6:30am.

A friend greeted me: “You’re off today.  Shouldn’t you be sleeping in?”

Maybe.  And many people would be snuggled up on a frigid January morning (and were!) But, for someone like me, a day off of work is a chance to start my day at the gym.  Although I was #team530am for nearly a year, my current schedule of work / life responsibilities doesn’t allow for crack-of-dawn workouts very often.  I miss that morning jolt of energy! There’s nothing like conquering a workout before the sun comes up. The time will come again.  Life just has its seasons.  #team430pm will have to do for now, as often as I can get there.

So, while others were relishing a few extra minutes of sleep, I was working on my burpee box jump overs, thrusters, and assault bike. Might not sound like fun to some, but it carried me on a wave of confidence and accomplishment for the rest of the day. Yes, it was challenging.  Yes, it asked a lot of me. But, as the corner of one of the signs in our box says, surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.  Getting to the box does just that, for one part of my life’s mission: to be healthy, strong, confident. All the friends who scraped themselves out of bed to workout are on their own version of that mission with me. This is also why online communities like the Stronger U group and many others are so helpful.

What mission are you on?  Do you surround yourself with others who are on that journey, to encourage each other and show up even when it is hard?

dare to be different, featured

#1095days

The countdown is on!

I set the clock for 3 years or 1095 days or 26,280 hours. Three years to hit the fab at 50 mark. 1,095 days to crush some professional goals. 26,280 hours to get my fitness on (still hoping for abs).

Get your popcorn out. You have a front row seat. A chipper workout of sorts. A workout of the mind, the body and the spirit. One with many ups and downs and everything in between.

I will fight battles. I will climb mountains physically and mentally. I will make new friends and say goodbye to old ones. I will witness births and no doubt deaths of loved ones. I will see sunshine and darkness along the way.

I may find fame and fortune or I may end up hitting rock bottom. Whichever occurs you will get to watch the project unfold.

It will be a ride for the record books. What is at the end of the climb? A fantabulous year. I will turn 50 in 2022 and instead of celebrating one day or one month I will celebrate all year beginning 1.1.22, hence the countdown.

I will travel and soar to new sites and heights. Oh the adventures I will plan while I countdown the minutes, hours, days, months and years to 1.1.22.

I will chronicle my innermost thoughts, my ups, my downs and everything in between right here on this blog. 2019-2022 a glimpse of KT247. My blog will be a counterpart to the full story found in one badass book. Some will see three months some will see three years but this is a project that has been building for a lifetime. One must remember that life’s ups and downs can make you want to puke sometimes but most people like a good puke and tell story the day after. I will be banking on that fact as I chronicle my adventures here, there and everywhere.

Random footnote: the penguins in the spotlight pic represent me clicking my feet and tinkering around, thinking about the adventures to be had in the next three years as part of this project and the fun my partner and I will have packaging up this project in the full book version for all to see our dynamic duo style.

Success is generally dependent upon drive and persistence. I have both, but I also have a zest for life and a vim and vigor like no other. Some say it’s all in the Tinkersauce! Whatever the coin phrase is, it’s my story and I am writing about it. It’s all about me.

I will take the extra time, the extra effort to journal along the way. You won’t see everything but you will see what I note as highlights. You might have to buy the book to get the full story.

Get ready for the pictures, the videos, the stories, and so much more. Welcome to my world of storytelling with a twist!

#KT247 #2CHX #1095Days

dare to be different, featured

The Photo Story

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If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know the 2 Chicks have been through some pretty big changes this year.  Physically, professionally, personally, you name it, we changed it. To celebrate these changes and continue creating our big vision for 2019, we recently met for a photo shoot. Here’s a glimpse!

As usual, we got to laughing pretty quickly.

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And then, in classic #2chx style, one of us couldn’t stop laughing, which left the other rolling her eyes…

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And finally, the as-close-to-serious-as-we’re-getting-today moment… Are they angry?  Are they daydreaming? Bored? Do they even know each other? It’s anyone’s guess…

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Yup, that’s a glimpse of just a few of the faces of 2 Chicks and a Pen. Every day is an adventure.  Some days are giggles, some days eye rolls, some days who are you? We just wonder.

Oh yeah…one final surprise from the photo shoot.  Another example of just how different these 2 Chicks are…Who wore it better? Drop your thoughts in the comments! (I’d ask you which one the librarian is, but maybe that’s obvious….?)

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Anyway, big things are coming in 2019 for these 2 Chicks.  Our next chapter will be an exciting one! Keep following us here, on Instagram, and facebook for all the latest updates.

 

dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

It’s A Wrap

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Change is in the air for me, Chick 1. As most are looking at wrapping up holiday gifts, I am looking at unwrapping new opportunities just in time for the new year. Meticulous planning, strategically aligning resources and of course, the fostering of key relationships are all part of the process of building a solid foundation as my dreams become reality.

This process is not new to me. I have been chipping away at my plan while working full time, managing my busy family, and investing in me, each of which can be daunting in itself. Part of my dream includes writing and sharing stories with the world. They may not always be my stories, but as a storyteller I thought it was important to share a piece of me with my blooming audience. I initially set a goal and I worked towards that goal on my own terms and I reworked and adjusted my goals on a frequent basis to align with variables that pop up here and there, basically bending and flexing with what we all call life. This process repeats many times.

As I contemplated when to make the next chess move in my life, environmental challenges gave me an opportunity. This opportunity led me to make a career change at the end of September 2018 that some may say is a mistake or emotional decision. A mistake for some is an opportunity for others and frankly others have opinions and such opinions don’t drive my actions.

For me, my change is 100% about me, my short-term and long-term goals, and objectives. The road I chose is not an easy one and I am well aware of that.  I will have struggles along the way but that won’t dull my shine; rather it will fuel my fire.

Tackling a new challenge at work, at home, or in the gym is something I embrace and commit 100% to all day everyday. I almost love it when somebody says you can’t, you shouldn’t or don’t! In most instances my inner badass will trigger itself and say hmmm…WATCH ME! I write my own stories. I chart my own path. I define my own successes as well as my failures. I don’t wait for a boss to define or quantify my value. I set my own value. Perception vs. reality maybe, but I decide. Each day I look to inspire others along the way in any way I can and I always stay humble. I look to see value in others and share that openly.

This week, I heard my daughter make a statement that will inspire me for years to come. “You are high maintenance,” said one family member to my daughter at Thanksgiving dinner. Her response was not only timely but definitive: “You must be mistaken. I am not high maintenance, I am high quality!” Oh, how I love that girl and her wit. Her ability to respond positively on the spot to comments that could be construed as negative was amazing. Her brilliant mind at work. My prodigy.

Modeling for my daughter is one of my biggest challenges and joys. My risk- taking and leadership style shows her how to be confident and inspiring in her own special way. My strength and perseverance show her how to work hard for what she wants. My individuality teaches her how to be comfortable in her own skin. Watching her grow as a student, an athlete, and friend also fuels my passion to live my journey to success and show others there is no required path that one needs to take to be successful.

As as I have been adjusting to my new normal work/life balance, I have been growing as a person. When one part of your life is going well normally other parts of your life will be influenced and reflect positively. Same goes for surrounding yourself with those who make you work harder and aim higher. As I always say, success breeds success and surrounding yourself with a positive tribe/community is paramount in many ways.

Remember, most won’t accept the challenge of changing their surroundings because of the fear of the unknown. Embracing change takes courage, confidence, and a positive attitude. I know many in my inner circle who struggle with change. I seem to be the exact opposite. I would rather try something new and find I don’t like it rather than not try at all and wonder could I, should I, would I? At some point in one’s life everyone has the opportunity to wake up and smell the roses. But most may miss that opportunity, not me!

The next nail biter took place this week. I changed my gym/box environment. I loved my box, my community, and had great success physically while committing several years to the program. I decided I was ready for a new challenge, a new environment, and a new set of goals. Boom! I moved, just like that. I did a free trial with the intent of moving in January but then it happened. I knew after the first workout this was my new place to grow physically, mentally and potentially emotionally. Without hesitation I made the move. Why put off to January what I could do today? Why wait? If I knew I would progress why delay my start?

In my first few days, I had the courage to conquer new moves that I may have bypassed while in my old gym/comfort zone. How telling is that? I completed not only my first devil press in a WOD, but I did every one of the 80 in that workout. Another day I stretched my ability to complete pistols, multiple times. Finally, I completed a 40-minute grueling workout that tested my ability to push myself and maintain consistency and breath control. Just these few moments solidified my choice to move on. Not to mention I met several new friendly faces, all from different backgrounds and occupations but all living a fit and pure life through CrossFit.

This change also confirmed that the best is yet to come in so many areas of my life. Areas I may not have seen if I didn’t leave my comfortable box. And the box I am referring to is the boundary we set for ourself, not my CrossFit box. We all have a box or set of boundaries of some sort. Some hover at the edge of the box, others find peace dead smack in the middle of the box. Those are not your risk takers.

As I write this blog, I am one week into my new fitness routine and eight weeks into my work/career transition. No day is easy and I am actually juggling more during my transition than I will be come 1/1/19 but I am enjoying the ride I am on. My mind is stimulated and my body is ready for the physical challenge thanks to my daily fitness routine. #ktisonthemove

Stay tuned as I update my change progress in the new year. 2019 is a blank slate for me. What story will I write? What adventures will I tackle? What new friends will I make? #kt2019

Feeling thankful, grateful and positive as I wrap up this Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Thank you for following my blog. I am grateful for all who take the time to comment, like, or message words of encouragement. You are part of my online journey. You are part of my tribe/community. Virtual maybe, but connected nonetheless. When I see my stories reach other countries I just grin ear to ear.

Hugs to all my virtual connections.