fitness and nutrition

Recovery Around the World

One of my favorite self-made workouts. One of my only self-made workouts. A workout I do with a group of friends to compile miles for our 2020 goals project.

Usually on a weekend. Always early, before the day starts for most. And if we are lucky some of us get to squeeze in breakfast after.

This weekend was 15 miles but I added one on the end for 16 total.

The earlier version of this was about 11-12 miles and it crept up a bit for an added challenge. It takes some time but when you are with friends it doesn’t seem like work at all. That to me is the best kind of workout.

This workout also feels good on your body after. It’s sounds weird but it’s refreshing. From the shoulder work to simple adding in of pushups and sit-ups. I expect to do some version of this workout throughout the year just to get some miles in with a twist and some secondary work.

See a cheetah sighting via leggings in the Sunday Funday pic. Hats off to livesore for a fun print and a super comfy legging. I’m pretty picky about my workout clothes but these get the job done.

Next time you think lazy Sunday drop for 10 pushups and 15 sit-ups. You might surprise yourself!

Staying fit is a choice, but it requires hard work, dedication and a group of likeminded people in your circle of friends to stay the course.

fitness and nutrition, health

Early Morning Madness

I have a routine in the morning. I get up and get my fitness on. It’s repetitive. It’s draining. It’s even torture on some days.

No matter what I try my hardest to keep my routines routine. Sticking to a routine can be challenging when it’s extra cold or pouring down rain in the morning. That’s why you need to make a habit of keeping your morning routines routine. Why? It starts my day off right. If I can push through a tough workout first thing it sets me in motion for a successful day especially since most days I have go sideways or completely upside down.

My mind fires on all cylinders after a good physical push. Even after a competition or race my mind is fresh. No toxicity or negative vibes. I don’t have energy to waste on these. My eating stays on track for the day because my body requires good fuel to replenish what I depleted. There are just so many benefits to a good morning start of exercise.

However, I can have a busy schedule that prohibits me from starting fresh in my routine and regimented style. Do I freak out? Yes of course, but then I bend and flex to make it work.

Maybe today I need to workout at home modified to body weight exercises. I can make this work and so can you. Maybe I need go for a short run/walk while a kid is at practice. Weather can affect this option but it’s viable most days. Maybe I can do some yoga for active recovery. I even hit the gym once in a while at night.

Adding a night workout can be taxing if you wake up and do it again in the morning but there is never a gain for sitting still. Actually the more sedentary you are the worse off you will be down the road.

Recently, I received a link to an interesting podcast and I was able to give it a listen today. It was good and it mirrored my active lifestyle and compliments my journaling and blogging persona. It was interesting to reflect on the podcast and solidify this post.

Journaling, exercising, starting fresh all help tame your mind. When life is full of curve balls, we all need ways to cope. If you are struggling try a morning refresh or reset. Start a new routine.

Maybe you can start small. Morning meditation is a simple and easy way to start your day. Making your bed so you can go to bed fresh is another option. Spending 5 minutes writing down ideas could be another. Many options are available. Challenge yourself.

This month I have definitely posted a few times about mindsets. Keep following along to see where I drop mind tidbits in my blog posts.

healthy hacks

Refresh, Recharge, Repeat

​​This is my triple threat for 2020. How do I refresh, recharge and repeat?
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​​I set out with 10 massage sessions at a spa within a mega-gym. Said gym has a pool, hot tub, sauna, spa, healthy eating arena, and all the gym equipment you could ever want to use.
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​​If you pay for a service at the spa you are entitled to use of the facility for the day. I’m specifically not naming the mega-gym because I love this feature as I am a non-member. Now that $100 massage has a lot more value. I also bought a block of massages in volume thus lowering my cost to less than $80.
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​​I make sure to get in some cardio, get my deep tissue massage, head to the pool for a swim then into the sauna as many times as I can. Over and over again from cold to hot. It’s amazingly refreshing.
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​​This type of day is more of an active recovery session for me but it’s full of many benefits. If you have a facility near you that offers a similar option, take advantage!
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​​I will spread my 10 visits over the year to give me the right amount of recovery from massage that works within my budget and time constraints.
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​​In this scenario I unplug from technology as well for about 4 hours. It’s a great opportunity to recharge. Obviously this works for me. This is the repeat feature. Also if my investment is $80 for the massage but I spend four hours at the facility I am definitely getting my money’s worth.
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​​Just another healthy hack for you in 2020 from 2 Chicks and a Pen. Recovery is part of staying healthy. Me time to reset my mind is equally beneficial. Don’t forget to flip your recharge switch.

celebrations, fitness and nutrition

Festivus Games Was No Joke

Well, this comp was a little different about 5 minutes after I signed up! Then, when I got to the competition site the crazy level stepped up a bit….the competition was 90% outside. Holy smokes.

Looking back, I somehow stacked 1/2 marathon training, a 45 day bicep/tricep challenge, a physical residence move, a big trip to see family and life on top of comp training and my regular CrossFit and adult life.

What was I thinking? I probably wasn’t thinking until I hit the WODs hard the 2 weeks prior to the event. At that point my body was already sluggish from a physical move and my arms were burning on the daily from the other bicep/tricep challenge and then heck most days my legs were like we don’t need any additional miles today!

Of course there was outfit planning. Tanks and booty shorts. This may be the most fun part of competing because my crazy partner agreed to change outfits four times. Really she had no choice but it’s part of the experience and what sets us apart from others. We beat to our own drum or anthem in many ways. Class act I tell ya!

One week to go and I rip my hand bad. How did that impact the event? Came down with a cold as well a week before so breathing wasn’t 100%. Complaints or excuses? Time to press on and put in work. This is a self note that I am sharing.

The last seven days were focused on eating well, sleeping well and staying healthy. I wasn’t perfect but I made an attempt. Rest being most important since my body is aging.

Last practice session on our weakness was a good showing. Compared to day one it was tremendous growth. Now to wait and see how the big day goes.

Comp day. It starts with the dreadful alarm at 5am, food prep, and carpool ride at 6am. Oh and let me tell you about the ride:

One passenger snoring in the back who wouldn’t share the back seat. Yup, that’s my partner!

One driver kind enough to volunteer to drive knowing the drive home will suck bad. Thank you, CW.

And then me. The sleepy one mesmerized by the cool new truck I was in. Air flowing through the seats and a massaging seat. Yup, just what I needed and I gladly staked my claim for that seat on the way home!

Then the wait for heat one at 9:50am. The morning aches and stiffness were among the bunch as we waited, joked and stretched together. We all prepped differently yet we all did it together.

That’s a lot of idle time for nervous jitters that lead to multiple potty breaks. Fun times all around meeting neighbors in tent city and taking pics as we wait. A group of friends are competing so we will have a blast tailgating and cheering each other on. Of course we are still competing so it’s not all rainbows and lollipops for those in the same division.

Did I mention our team name this time around? 2 Tatted Bitches – ha! Offensive to some but perfect to us! Check out the cool shirts we got compliments of Chick 2’s designing skills. Oh, how the announcer fumbled purposely all day on that name. However, if we made the podium he said he would say the full name prominently. And he did just that!

WOD 1 – my favorite. The deadlift ladder. Easy peasy 205 pounds. We accumulated 75 bonus points with our extra efforts in less than a minute. Took 3rd in this WOD. Feeling good but the worst is yet to come. And the pic below shows one of the good faces. There were many more crazy faces to come.

WOD 2 a and b=death! Add extreme heat outdoors, direct sun and and and….WOD was outside, 90+ degrees and I don’t usually workout outside in direct sunlight. It gave me a new respect for other athletes who compete outside on a regular basis. Body weight movements AKA devil press (named appropriately), weighted box step overs, reverse lunges weighted and a partner row. Part A we scored 4th but Part B was 8th….my no reps for not locking my arms out cost us big time. I was not happy with my judge. Well, we could have given up but this is the time where we kicked it up a notch or attempted to.

WOD 3 – Outside again with a forecast raining wallballs and snatches. Get low, get low, get low…that’s all I would hear for what seemed like an hour. My legs were shot but somehow I was going to have to squat 45 times with a 14-pound wall ball going up down up down. I wanted to puke in the heat was a gross understatement. My practice rounds were timed and my partner was suppose to hold me accountable for a personal best despite the environmental conditions. She did but I wasted breath saying “stop yelling at me.” Big mistake but I made it through by the grace of God. Our time was not our best but we squeezed out 3rd solely with our heart and desire to make up for the WOD before.

WOD 4 – the synchro WOD that I had been dreading since sign up. Not really sure how to explain this other than heavy and weird object being tossed around like a ping pong ball over and over and over again. But it was not a ping pong ball. It was a heavy anchor that bumped and bruised your body and your ego with each movement. It was brutal. And I was focused on this part of the workout making me totally forget about the 100 buy in of knees-to-chest movements. Oh crap! Suck it up buttercup because we had to place high in this round to get on that podium. Thankfully my partner killed this movement and made up for my shortcoming and we were on fire with the synchro piece. Over 100 reps of pure grit and we pulled out 2nd in the event.

It was bittersweet. A podium finish of 3rd. Hard work pays off. Good partner chemistry paid off. Supportive gym mates were the icing on the cake. Not to mention our honorary tatted bitch who donned our shirt and branded herself with Katashi just for us. Was a great friend.

We’re walking away from this event with a medal but it’s not the medal that’s most memorable. It’s the journey. The journey of training that’s years in the making. The fellowship along the way. The learning process of developing skills. The coaching you receive along the way. The commitment required to grind another day when your mind tells you to quit. Mental toughness, tenacity, determination, are all words that come to mind.

I leave you with this message: anyone can commit to changing their environment, their attitude and their perspective. Many will talk about it but won’t follow through because the road along the way is full of big hills, speed bumps and life detours. It is not easy. Surround yourself with a tribe that will challenge you, push you, motivate you and ultimately make you see your own potential. It’s really all about you, just like this post is all about me.

I’m not one to gloat per se, but I am one to share my stories with the world to offer hope to others who have a hard time seeing it in themselves in the mirror.

Happy Sunday, y’all. I’m back to training for my 1/2 marathon in 3, 2, 1….

adventure, family

Summa-time Fun, Part 1

“This summa I want to have a wicked fun time!” said the girl in her true Bostonian accent. I want to take on some new adventures that would keep me moving physically while allowing me to grow in other ways. The plan is set. The sizzling summer weather has arrived. Now it’s time to take action.

I have the usual fun in the sun planned for lake days, quick getaways and maybe some time at the neighborhood pool. That’s all good but what can I do that is different? Fun. Adventurous. And of course, memorable.

Zip, zoom, scoot, watch out new driver coming through!

Electric scooter rides in downtown Atlanta is the first of my many adventures this summer. What an amazing time! First I had to learn how to use the Lyft app for scooters to get the juice going on the scooter. That was both cool, interesting, and to me, exciting. Then the ride itself was refreshing with the wind in your face thanks to the scooters having a little pep to them. I did my own balancing act as I zoomed by folks. I may have even done a one-leg move at some point. And maybe, just maybe, I was close to crashing at one time. Clearly that would have been somebody getting in my invisible lane. Before you know it, life is just carefree in the moment. You can breathe in your surroundings. The fresh air, giggles, sunshine, the chitter chatter of passers by, the people watching, and the scenery is just amazing.

On this adventure I visited Ponce City Market area and stumbled across the scooters. It was a total accident because I really wanted to rent a bike that day and take a quick ride to see the graffiti I had heard about. Good thing they didn’t have any bikes because electric scooters sounded more interesting.

Curiosity got me and I had to check it out. I then rode along the Atlanta BeltLine which is full of graffiti and cool architecture. I didn’t want to put it back but I didn’t have much time this day. What a fun adventure I had with my family and surprisingly it wasn’t too expensive to rent the scooters. Looking for something fun to do? Check out the BeltLine in Atlanta, GA.

Teen Tidbit: Scooters are a great teen activity to do with your kids if you are looking for something new and appealing. People always ask me for ideas so here you have it.

Not too long after my scooter escapades I had a kayaking trip planned with friends. Then a torrential downpour hit and the trip was cancelled. Such a let down, but the following weekend was absolutely perfect weather to hit the river. I didn’t have a large friend group on the second weekend, but I did have a plus one. My middle son and I we were off on an excursion. Both of us could kayak but neither of us had experience on the river we set out for. Isn’t that part of the fun?

One hour drive and oh no, the boats are sold out for the day! Are you kidding me? We drove all this way to the middle of nowhere for a big let down.

Sigh! I must have had disappointment written all over my face and the lady said well, we have a smaller boat used for kids that you can go in. It’s easier to maneuver but it’s also tippable. Just my luck. “Will it hold me?” I questioned. Yes. “Will I be able to get back in easily if I tip?” “I don’t know,” she said with a smirk.

Now that I’m feeling super confident (not), my son says let’s just do it. Ummm…okay says the 150-pound athletic fit person who will have no issues jumping back on the kayak after tipping in rapids! Okay, you got me. I’m in. Here goes nothing.

The trip starts with us sliding down a 100 foot hillside covered in burlap in our mini kayaks. It was definitely a dry run…..

I was nervous but the descent was fun and I didn’t even scream. Then the hauling of the kayak to the water and an “aha” moment of okay, we are really doing this! Just me and the boy.

Off we go with no idea how many miles we were traveling or what was ahead of us in the form of rapids or water depth. The GoPro camera was on to capture our memories and we just started paddling into the unknown. The scenery was amazing. We saw beautiful birds and many turtles from small to large. It was just fun to be one with nature.

We had moments of peacefulness as we just floated. We had adrenaline rushes when we neared the rapids. We got our people watching on as much as we got to bird watch. The variety of people was plentiful and the rapids were just enough for me. Some gently rolling rapids while others had dropoffs that made me gasp. I almost tipped 2-3 times but I didn’t. I survived. I didn’t tip. I was so proud of myself. My son and I had a blast. We made some amazing memories and I learned I would want to do this adventure many more times in the future.

Travel Tip: Looking for a day trip check out Broad River Outpost just outside of Athens, GA. I highly recommend this in a large or small group, a couples adventure, teen trip or maybe even a girls day. It’s just good fun.

We may love new things or hate new things but we will never know if we like or dislike anything unless we try them out on our own. It’s that simple. I was glad I tried these two new activities this summer. I had fun. I made memories. I got to tell you all about my adventures.

Wonder what’s next? Guess you’ll need to wait for my Summer Adventures, part 2. Until next time…