fitness and nutrition

Stick it in Your Ears

A couple of months ago I moved from a CrossFit box to a more conventional gym. Many things haven’t changed that much…I still do many of the same movements. I still sweat there most days. I see friends and connect with them there. But there are definite changes as well. More options for machines and movements (but figuring out how to “work in” on a machine is new.) Coming and going without a set class time requires a different kind of discipline. And then there’s the music.

Music is huge for me when I workout. At CrossFit the music was generally ok. I found it funny that different coaches chose different music styles at times. The class I attended had many “older” athletes and attentive coaches seemed to work with that in their music choices.

These days the music isn’t as loud. My new gym has several spots where the music is far away. I sometimes end up chatting instead of singing or dancing along when I’m with my gym gals.

Then there is the rare time I am alone at the gym. AirPods make their appearance. I’ve noticed that pretty much everyone who is flying solo at the gym has headphones in of some kind.

So here’s a new game I like to play…I wonder what they are listening to? This is basically an exercise in stereotypes, I guess. Bro sesh? Jock rock? Girl power tunes? I laugh as I try to size people and their musical tastes up. Once in a while I’ll see people dance a little, shimmy the shoulders or shuffle the feet. Hm. A guy shadow boxing between sets made me wonder if he was pumping up to the theme from Rocky. Then to amuse myself I’ll imagine someone benching with huge biceps listening to opera or country or even theme songs from little kids shows.

At times I wonder if people are wondering what I’m listening to. Would any of them guess?

As I reflect, it’s one of the different things and sometimes hard things about the new setup, when people are all in their own little worlds, listening to their own thing, on their own paths. I like having my own tunes on solo runs or bike rides but at the gym I like having shared experiences and music along with it. I’m thankful this solo song time doesn’t happen too often.

fitness and nutrition

Six Pounds

How much exactly does six pounds weigh?

Is six pounds of fat the same as six pounds of stress? 

Does eating six pounds of ice cream mean you will weigh six more pounds on the scale?

How many inches off your body is six pounds?

Is it worth it to abstain from alcohol to remove six pounds from your body?

Is it worth it to avoid pizza to keep six extra pounds off your body?

The questions above are really just a few of the many questions many people ask of themselves when they are monitoring their food intake to ultimately live healthier. For each person there are variables and of course obstacles. No two people will ever have the same journey of six pounds.

Whether the six pounds go on or off there was a story behind the why. It could be hard work or it could be grief and more. Variables. Journeys. Stories. Ups. Downs.

Everything in between. What is your story? Do you have six extra pounds that you would like to lose? Did you lose six pounds and now have sags where you don’t want them?

Is six pounds even worth writing about? Losing weight takes effort by the individual but may require a community for support. Gaining weight is normally about choices and environmental conditions. It could also be related to many other things.

What does six pounds represent emotionally? Can that six pounds weigh more like twenty to the person carrying the weight? What about a person with an eating disorder? One who struggles to maintain weight? What does a six pound loss weigh emotionally for this person?

Non-scale victory. NSV is a term I’ve seen before. Your victory may be another’s loss. Different journeys. Different stories. Physical and emotional weight. How do the differ or are they the same?

Just a post to ponder today.

fitness and nutrition, healthy hacks

Ahoy There!

Ahoy there! Chips Ahoy! flavored protein from Ghost is simply amazing. This might actually be my most favorite protein of all time and I really don’t even like most protein powders. 

For starters, most days I struggle to fuel my body with its needed protein level. I know I’m not alone either. Many struggle in this area but it’s a critical piece of my recovery and meal planning. In order to hit my defined goals, I have to use protein to supplement meals. Specialty flavors or hiding protein in something like orange juice helps me a lot.

I’ve added protein to shakes. I’ve added protein to coffee. I’ve purchased salted caramel to watermelon to vanilla and so on. Some taste better than others that’s for sure. I’ve shared protein samples with friends to test out new flavors so I don’t end up with a tub of blah protein. Sometimes I’m lucky sometimes I’m not.

Today I feel like I hit the jackpot. I feel like I’m having cookies and milk but I’m really just having protein and water. It’s a fair compromise since I smell chocolate chips and it even had some grit to its texture. Served over ice makes it smooth.

Just thought I’d write a quick blog about this protein hack in case it can help somebody manage their macros or just offer a new spin on Chips Ahoy! and milk. A much healthier option for sure.
As I sign off, I’m wishing you a happy and healthy day. Hats off to chips ahoy protein makers.

celebrations, fitness and nutrition

Today Was That Day

Today I didn’t want to get up and workout. I looked at the planned workout for the day and it was a Debbie Downer. Just didn’t want to rip off the covers off to rise and grind on this day.


Enter the accountability system. The group check in text at the wee hours of the morning to see who is going to workout today. You see if there are enough of you in the group missing one won’t matter on most days. Unless it’s a summer day and one is on vacation. One is at a work meeting. One is on a scheduled day of rest and so on. If you are the one left you need to pull your shit together and get moving. Big sigh for me. It was my unlucky day.

It was me who was needed this day. I so didn’t want the accountability buddy job. I wanted to hit snooze 10 more times and have a big breakfast when I finally got up. Fate said otherwise. Off I went.

I was pissy on the way to the gym. Then I saw some familiar faces and I forgot I didn’t want to be there. It was pretty simple. Then the workout started and I was like blah, blah, blah. I don’t want to do that I’m not good at it. Boy did I whine a lot.

I did the motions. It wasn’t half as bad as thought. I pushed through and hit a big personal best. I was shocked. After having such a trying time with myself in the morning I had to pinch myself. I did it. I did it again. And again. I laughed but also beamed with pride.

Some days you don’t want to do things but you do them anyway. Life is tough. Many push through tough times. I don’t know what I was really pushing through that morning when I was half asleep but I pushed to my personal best without even flinching. Now the bar is set a bit higher.
Thank goodness for accountability partners. If I wasn’t held accountable I would have just hit snooze.

fitness and nutrition

Taking the Plunge

One of 2020 goals was to complete a triathlon. I registered and started training and then, you guessed it, COVID. Postponed until 2021.

A lot of life changed between mid-2020 and now. Still, I kept that race on my calendar and wondered at times if I should still give it a go. The swim was the weakest of my weak spots and I had not really done anything to train it. I happened to be at a lake the week before the race and swam for 20 minutes without touching bottom. It was slow, but I did it. I also completed a 10K successfully the week before the triathlon was scheduled. With those things in mind, I decided to give it a go.

A triathlon is a strange race. So much different than a show-up-and-lace-up-and-get-running 10K. There’s so much equipment, so many rules (a 24-page rule book!) There’s transitions to think about and plan for. There are referees, penalties, even disqualification. All this made me incredibly nervous. I read, made lists, planned, packed, and off I went. Brought my precious facebook marketplace bike in from my car and tucked it in. I was up half the night wondering if my decades-old helmet would meet the standards. Finally, 5:00 am came.

I double checked my list, had some hotel room coffee and off I went. Transition is such a madhouse. By the time I arrived there were already hundreds of bikes hung from racks. A lady saw me in my confusion, forcefully grabbed my bike and told me where to put my towel and transition setup. Everything was tight. You get about 12 x 18 inches to lay out your running shoes, socks, running belt, clothes, and anything else you need. If your space is too big or you block someone else it’s a penalty. Nerve wracking. Timing chip on my left ankle. Race number in permanent ink on both my biceps. My race age on the back of my leg. Now the long wait to start.

One of the reasons I chose this race was the waterslide start. Yes, you waterslide one at a time into a river then start the swim. This made for about a 30 minute wait after the first person started. But, it is better than the scary start-in-a-pack situations I have read about. There were maybe 50 people behind me. I met a couple of other first-time-tri-ers as we waited. We shared out nerves, our whys, and our training for the race. Finally, it was time for me to jump in and hit the course.

I confess, I can move in the water but I only kinda know how to swim in any systematic stroke. I can’t freestyle so I alternated between a sort of breaststroke and backstroke. People passed me many times as I made my way down the course, passing one buoy then another. Just keep going. I finally got out of the water and made my way to transition, being careful not to get hit by bikes on their way out.

I was one of the last to pick up my bike, so it wasn’t very crazy. The first people were already returning from the 14 mile bike. Helmet on almost first thing (that’s a disqualification if you get on your bike with no helmet.) Shirt, shoes, race belt with energy chews, water bottle, etc. etc. Finally I cross the mount line and I am off.

Bike riding is a peace place for me. Just gliding along. Had some energy blocks and hydration. Tried to keep it around 12 miles an hour which is a good pace for me. Looked around. Thanked police and security. Glide glide glide. I missed having my phone but taking pics would have slowed me down. Playing music or having headphones in is cause for disqualification – this was one of the hardest parts!

Finally, the run. This transition was much simpler. Just hang the bike and helmet, grab a water and go. Seeing people who had already finished was sort of hard but also motivating. Just keep going and it will be me, too.

Well, this second transition was logistically simpler, but physically this transition is rough rough rough. Trading the speed and relative ease of biking for the slow plod of running is a shock to the system. I just had to pace it out and keep going. This was hillier than I had anticipated and I just walked up the hills and didn’t worry over it. I met several people who were just walking the whole 5K. It was an out-and-back so I cheered on every one who was still on the course. I passed my two friends from the start line on my way back to the finish. We were going to do it!

Finally, I came up the hill and saw the finish line, so I broke my rule and jogged in. I jumped and slid down the finish slide and got my medal. After a minute to regroup, I went and waited for my new friends at the finish. I cheered them in. What a great feeling, to be a triathlete!

Did I place? No. Do I care? No. I didn’t specifically train, although I am active…but I was still just thankful to have made it through. Completion was the goal. I cheered for the winners. I gathered my things and slowly made my way back to the car.

I have never smelled as bad after a race as I did after this triathlon. It was a long 4 hour drive to the farm. Everyone who saw me in town and on the road seemed to know what I had done. Was it the medal? The numbers on my arms? (The smell?) Who knows. But lots of congratulations. Lots of reasons to smile and feel accomplished.

I would definitely do another one. I’d even train for it. Maybe even take swimming lessons. I have some people I’d like to do one with so that gives me something to look forward to. It was amazing and strange and memorable all in one. And I’ll always be able to say I have done it.