balance, giving, perspective

Holiday Smoliday

img_5920

This holiday season has looked a bit different than years past and different than I planned in my mind, but peaceful all at the same time.

This month I spent time on gratitude. I wrote hand written notes to those who made an impact on me. I shared some sweet Starbucks treats as an added bonus and it made me feel so happy to see the smiles for those who didn’t know they were coming.

I received as well. I met some girlfriends for an annual exchange event. It was a blast and I received some treasured keepsakes. A pickle ornament. Random but special. A notebook. A super secret notebook to pencil my ideas and visions. A bracelet. An intention bracelet that reminds me to love others unconditionally.  Stickers. Seems simple enough but they were motivating stickers. Power stickers to use as momentary reminders to take action. The infamous tank top. A bold statement given on a shirt to see if I have the brass to wear it in public. The answer is yes! My gal pals know me so well. They are also part of my inspiration. I continue to evolve as they support my goals and dreams.

I made my annual donations at Goodwill, coats to the homeless, books to kids and made some other charitable donations to warm my soul. Giving will always be part of my holiday season.

I spent some time rekindling with family and friends near and far. Sometimes when you only have the ability to make a call it’s still is better than no call at all. Technology offers the flexibility of FaceTime or Skype as well.

I cleared some clutter on the home front. Shifted some furniture and mindsets. I made some shifts personally and professionally to be aligned for the new year and all the crazy that 2019 has waiting for me.  Put up a new vision board to help focus on moving forward with vim and vigor. As part of this process I took some time to invest in myself as well. Nothing major, just aligning of key resources to support what’s ahead.

In order to be a strong leader, one must take slivers of time when they present themselves as opportunities to recharge your batteries. This could be in the form of pampering, it could be in the form of extra rest, some time alone, some time thinking, or maybe even a shopping spree. I won’t tell all my secrets here but I will stress the importance of self care. Self care is often overlooked and can cause stress for some.

I also emphasize the ability to give up control to gain control. Sometimes you battle so hard without seeing results, requiring you to let go in order forge ahead. This could be translated to business, personal or even relationships. Letting go can be hard but can be a necessity to reach the ultimate outcome you want or need.

The above leads me to risk. Every day one is faced with risk taking. Some take a cautious approach while others stare it down with optimism. I look at risk with ambition and optimism. I trust the process. I look ahead knowing what the worst could be, but smile at the thought of what can be.

As 2019 approaches for you, be fearless. Connect or reconnect with a loved one. Try something new that you have been putting off for whatever reason. Step out of your comfort zone and invest in YOU. The power of YOU is something you control!

I leave you with one of my cards from a vision board I use. It may help with any ups and downs you face in 2019.

More rants and blurbs to come in 2019 along with cool new projects on the horizon. #kt247

 

fitness and nutrition

A few recent (small) victories for Chick 2

As I’ve probably mentioned in one way or another, my gym progress may look different than many CrossFit athletes.  I started CrossFit about 16 months ago as an uncoordinated, imbalanced stranger to my body.  I am not far from that start in some ways, but I continue to push forward.  Here are a few little proud moments from the past few weeks.

I jumped up on three 45-pound plates. This is maybe 8 inches off the ground. Previously, I had only jumped about 5 inches so this feels like a big deal.  My Achilles has given me problems on and off which has derailed jumping for a while but I am back to working on it.  Losing weight is also a huge help in getting higher off the ground. Soon I’ll be jumping on a 12-inch box.

This week, I did a kipping swinging knee raise as a start at transitioning from hanging knee raises to toes to bar. Awkward and tests my grip, but a good challenge.

I used thirty pound dumbbells in to do alternating dumbbell snatches in a WOD.  My previous gym didn’t have all the increments so I now feel like I might get to the Rx 35#s sometime!

Not every attempt is successful, of course.

I attempted a double under and have the slap mark on my ankle to show for it.  Not pretty, but failure is a start.

Today I did backwards lunges with dumbbells off a 6-inch platform.  This was a total fail since lunges are a challenging movement for me on flat ground with no weights.  I eventually did backward lunges with dumbbells on flat ground in the daily WOD.

I may not be doing movements as prescribed.  But, I’m still inching along toward them.  My path is long, but I am moving in a good direction.

New coaches have helped me see where I have become complacent in my progress.  They are encouraging me to push forward and, because I’m accepting new challenges, I am not pushing back.  Instead, I am giving it a shot and going after it.

fitness and nutrition

Water Weight?

I started a little competition at my box in the month of December. Eating clean for 25 of the 31 days of the month.

Pretty easy for me since I already count macros but this challenge has some interesting accountability points that I thought would give me another layer of accountability this month. Here I am with the challenge to combat This holiday month that is full of many temptations. #Decembergoals

Enter water: drink a full glass with every meal on day one!
Drink 6 glasses of water today. Ha, this was easy as it was the same day as my competition.
Drink 8 glasses of water.
Drink 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink…on New Year’s Eve #evil

But I decided to set out a glass each day and fill it up at meals and make it a priority to drink my water. I then made it a point to bring water to the gym which I normally don’t do but I can now chug said water after the workout. Then I changed out my Sparkling Ice drinks for regular water. This is major for me!

Before starting the macro movement I struggled with water. Ice drinks got me through the first six months, no joke. And right about now I was getting sick of the Ice drinks or favorite flavors so now I am making the move to just plain old water. This is a miracle in my mind of some sort, but a lesson learned. You can overcome anything you set your mind to. Seriously, start small and test the theory. You can and you should!

And now that I am embracing water I have to deal with water at restaurants. I have a hard time drinking nasty tap water and sometimes that’s what you get. Sigh! Anyone have any suggestions? Send me a message or post. I’d love to hear about some trick to get over this small hurdle.

Scale report: I think the first week the water intake increased my scale but it could just be a coincidence. However I did feel like I went to the bathroom every minute on the minute. #realworldissues

Before I wrap up this blog I wanted to share a mid-week update. I have been in a YASSO mood. As in YASSO desserts. They have an amazing array of flavors but then they taunt us with their holiday treats just like Starbucks does! This time I fancied the sugar cookie flavor and it didn’t disappoint. If you are looking for a little pick me up snack, give the YASSO bars a try.

I can. I will. I am. Those are my action lines for 2019. No more I can’t. I won’t. I shouldn’t. Out with the negative in with the positive. All this stems from a silly water challenge. Funny how life flows. Glad to share my life views with you all over the 🌍.

fitness and nutrition

Behavior

Oddly enough, I said at the end of my 12 weeks of posting on fitness and nutrition that I would take a break from posting weekly. Shocker, here I am again!

It almost seemed like I needed to take a break mentally but then I realized I was in a routine. I modified my behavior to include writing/blogging into my week for 12 weeks. What an irony? But then again it’s no different than establishing a fitness or nutrition routine.

You have to commit to your goals, set a plan of action and then follow through. When you do all that you are essentially creating a routine, a habit, and ultimately your behavior is modified.

So here I am blogging again and it’s just Monday. The start of the week. I have a hefty to-do list today but thankfully I started my day at 6:30am surrounded by people who make me feel strong and confident. I start most days this way at the gym, my box or home away from home.

I also get to exchange communications with my nutrition coach on Mondays which is always amazing in itself. It’s a positive and reflective interaction that provides an outside look at my eating habits from the previous week. It lets me realign and adjust where needed for the upcoming week. The lessons I learn here can be applied to other areas of my life making this coaching experience extremely valuable. For this encouragement I will give a shout out to my coach, the wonderful Jodi Bainbridge of Stronger U. #sherocks

If you think about what I wrote above about feeling strong at the gym, I mirror that by being strong in nutrition and it’s almost comical that the company I chose to work with on nutrition is called Stronger U. Odd but interesting little tidbit. If you have been looking for change I would encourage anyone to check out this program. It is pretty unique and I don’t get paid for any endorsements, This is honest. Stronger U is life changing for many and I don’t have to inflate that, I can see it through testimonials. #strongeru

What I think I rediscovered over the Thanksgiving break is that progress isn’t immediate. It happens over time. It’s a moving target. Whether you are focusing on weight changes, nutrition changes, or business changes they happen over time.

When you get a new job you are not the best employee on day one you have potential, and if you work hard and master your role you become an asset to your organization. If you start your own business venture you don’t become an overnight hit, it takes time. If you go to school to get a degree, you graduate in time. Why because it’s a process and not everyone have the same timeline or the same path. That is what makes us all special.

Today’s post is for those who watch the clock or desire instant gratification in every aspect of life. Take a breath, enjoy the ride to whatever destination you are heading to. You may meet cool people, learn new things, and grow as a person along the way. Trust the process. Enjoy the journey. The journey is unique to you and it’s one that others can’t take away from you.

Another fun fact about me: I used a countdown clock to reach a specific goal recently. It was a countdown clock that was started over 1.5 years ago. This clock told me if I hustled and worked hard and chipped away for the duration I would accomplish big things. I set benchmarks along the way to give me celebration points. Mini-milestones that I shook my head at each time saying “I did it, I really did.” This clock was a gift from a dear friend but provided lots of encouragement as I plugged away at my goal(s). The hashtag #rearview symbolized letting go of the old and embracing the new. As I near the end of the countdown I figured I would share this tool with you in case it influences others to try this method.

As for me, once it runs out I will reset the clock. Most likely for three years this time while I catalog and chart a new path for myself. I will just need a new hashtag for the new duration. #namemyhashtagpeople Drop me a note and you can be part of my next story!

As I recap the rear view (not my butt, people) of my fitness journey, I am approaching the three-year mark of committing to a regular fitness regimen. I didn’t start at CrossFit on day one but I found a passion in CrossFit about 8 months into my journey when I embraced change. Along the way I hit milestones and created new goals to attain. My body is being sculpted over time as is my mind and my can do attitude. I’m embracing new tools along the way that are new parts of my personal maintenance plan. Remember the past or rear view doesn’t dictate your journey or your happiness, rather it’s part of your story. The memories, the lessons learned, the pictures taken, the people you meet along the way all play an pivotal role in your journey. Embrace YOUR path.

Until next time. And when will next time be? I am not sure as I am not watching the clock right now. I’m looking ahead to see what is on the horizon for me as 2019 approaches…

fitness and nutrition, perspective

Going the Extra Mile

It’s a phrase we hear often…someone who “goes the extra mile.”  But what does it really mean?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase for the past few days.  I went to the gym on the day after Thanksgiving.  There wasn’t a workout at the times I could make it.  So, I took advantage of the open gym and walked in between classes. My goal was 10,000 meters.  My legs were screaming sore after a long Thanksgiving Day workout so I started by hopping on the bike erg and did a pretty quick 5,000 meters.

Then, moved over to the rower for a somewhat slower 3,000 meters.

Finally, I faced down the dreaded ski erg and did 2,000 meters, split in half.  (Ski is much more challenging for me!) I had stretched in between, so I was feeling pretty good and sweaty by this point.  I had a few minutes left before I had reached my hour-at-the-gym benchmark, but I had already met my 10,000 meter goal.  What to do?

Enter the Assault bike.

And on that, I just decided to do skip meters and do a mile. And as I rode, I got to thinking about the extra mile…which is what brings me to this post.

To go the extra mile is to go beyond what is required.  What is expected.  The minimum.  As my kids say (or used to say, since once I understand this kind of thing it is definitely past its moment) you can be basic or you can be extra…regular or over the top, I guess.

There are areas of life where I want to work harder to go the extra mile.  Friendship. Family. Fitness / Nutrition.  Those are probably the big three for me right now. Ones I want to work on.

How can I go the extra mile?

-Send a note or out-of-the-blue text to a friend who may need a pick-me-up (and couldn’t we all?)

-Remember to get all the things my family needs as I shop / do errands, etc.

-Check in with family and friends more often

-Make time for meaningful conversations and traditions as the holidays arrive

-Commit to both staying consistent and challenging myself as I workout

-Get serious about nutrition; buckle down (instead of backing down) in the face of challenges

-Give in unexpected ways: time, care, gifts, resources

I am not going to lie.  There are many areas of life where I am struggling to meet basic expectations.  But, at the same time, I feel a deep level of fulfillment when I exceed what I and others expect of me.  Over the next day or two I’ll be planning and making moves to get these things in motion.  Even just this list with a daily checkoff can be a step toward accountability and progress.

So, readers, how are YOU going to go the extra mile in the next month or two? How can you extend kindness, comfort, or even badassness to make your life and the lives of those around you a little more over-the-top-amazing? Tell us in the comments.

Here’s a glimpse of the sunrise that surprised me mid workout that morning, a brief break in a week of dreary rain. Be the unexpected, the surprising light for others and yourself.

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 10 or Weak 10?

It’s been a 10-week roller coaster ride already? Where does the time go?

As I rolled into week 10, I was exhausted from travel yet pumped for my competition. Adreneline won out for sure on Saturday morning but weakness set in by Sunday. Thank goodness for rest days.

Week 10 was a hot mess for me. I ate well and worked out consistently Monday through Wednesday, then I hit the road for a trip and packed and planned for eating healthy when I had access to my hotel stash.

Enter conference food. Breakfast was meh but lunches were high on carbs as far as choices go…well, high for carbs based on my eating plan. Then, flip to dinner and that’s a dine-on-your-own type of deal, but then you have peer pressure to try the local spots in groups. Enter butter, desserts, extra fat, more fat, extra calories that serve no purpose, and so on.

Fast forward to the scale. It is just not my friend today. Well, is it the scale’s fault or my lack of will power? Whatever the reason, the scale is up by week’s end. I am not a happy camper!

So much reflecting to do. Would have, could have. Should have. But yup, that time has come and gone and just as night turns into day I need to reset and move on. New day. New challenges await. New outlook. Reset. Repeat.

I shopped for groceries and everything fell into the clean eating category. Threw down the “no eating out” message to the fam for the week. See, anything is possible if you adjust your mindset.

On the flip side of the scale debacle, we didn’t finish first nor last in the competition. We finished about middle of the road. We didn’t quit and we endured some hard workouts. We pushed through soreness and we ate lots of bacon which always makes me happy.

We appeared to be one of the more vintage looking teams and that made us smile. Our sparkle-N-snatch shirts were a hit. We met some cute puppies looking to get adopted and we met some amazing people in between heats. Overall, it was an amazing experience.

Boom, there it is! Thunder I tell ya. My buddy Jim inked me as part of his #inktober illustration series. What an honor and privilege and it was just what I needed to reset my mind. A vantage point of me from another that I don’t see daily. A portrait of a strong and healthy badass chick. Yup, that’s me folks. Welcome to my world. Enjoy the glimpse into my world that I share in this blog. It’s only one tiny piece of me but one that is important for me to share.

Some may knock my motivational ways but others embrace it. Whatever category you fall into it’s okay with me. It takes all types to make up the world and I know I am an acquired taste. You might not have had enough of a taste of me to see how I sparkle in this world. Thank you, Jimmy. You put a smile on my face and you are incredibly talented. People please check out his art on instagram @jimgleeson. Of course, I am a little biased since he illustrated my first three books!

Midweek moves on to Halloween and how a little fun can improve your mindset. Wednesday Wisdom is don’t forget to have fun. Check out my Halloween pic from the start of this post. I am wearing my 13-year-old’s uniform so big score for Mom right there and boom! my 5am makeup was on point. Hope you all had some fun this week but didn’t eat too much candy. I skipped the Kit Kats, the Rolos, the dark chocolate, etc. I didn’t miss it.

I’m back to the grind of macro management as we approach the holidays and my travel demands increase on the work front. Discipline, dedication and consistency are the name of the game for me.

More trials and tribulations of KT to come. Keep following along and see where I end up next.

Adios for now.

hustle

It’s All a Blur

img_1924-2

Yup, this week was a blur. That’s all I can say.

Wait! I lied. My week was so jam packed and full of chaos that the week appears like a blur but it was, in fact, amazingly crazy good!

When I say amazingly crazy you might roll your eyes or say that just doesn’t make sense but in my world it makes perfect sense. You see, I run a busy household with three active kids, I run a couple of small businesses, I have a full-time career, I am a workout junkie putting in six days a week, and I write as in this blog or I’m working on my next book series and that doesn’t include all the Mom duties that are not really clearly defined on most days. Crazy busy, right?

The irony of my crazy blurred life is I thrive in the chaos. Some of my best moments, my brilliant ideas or my good fortune come at the most inopportune times. For some that is hard to digest but for others they see the effort I put in when most are not watching. It really is simple if you have too much time your mind is idle and it wanders. I stay so busy that I have no idle time, lending my focus to the tasks at hand which I dominate.

Here is a glimpse at my week’s fitness milestones that I somehow accomplished during my chaotic work/family/life week:

I did my first GHDs. And those glutes and hams were on fire! I was inspired by my gym pal Geovanna.

I ran a mile in less than 10 minutes which is indeed a PR for me….BOOM! I had been working up to this for a long time and I finally made it after my WOD when I was tired so I know I am capable of improving.

I started working with a new nutrition coach after taking a few weeks off on my own. Change can be scary but with the right mindset most can overcome the fear. I’ll post a nutrition follow up in 12 weeks with my results.

I mastered one-leg, alternating-leg, and double unders on the jump rope without any hiccups in transition. This was an amazing way to end the week. My coach wants me to work on this movement and I put in my tabata today as a start. #goalgetter

Just when I thought my workout week couldn’t get any better I opted to go with a friend to her pilates class after my Saturday morning workout that was nothing less than brutal. I didn’t think about it. I just went and did it. My body was fatigued but welcomed the change in movements and pace. After the session was done I can truly say it was amazing. I didn’t love it like I love CrossFit but I enjoyed the change of pace and my body reacted well to the change. #newexperiences

On the family front: this week I got to bond with each kid in their own special way. Each one at a different age, facing different challenges, yet they are all plugging away at their own pace. They are living life. One is in the athlete/boy crazy phase, one is mastering the transition to adulthood/working and one is honing his entrepreneurial skills and planning the future. All looks bright for each today although each has had to overcome obstacles to get where they are right now and if I have taught them anything, they know life will be full of many more obstacles ahead. Teach perseverance vs entitlement. It’s a much needed mindset in today’s competitive world.

Get it done factor: in addition to daily workouts, I unloaded two freight trucks this week to cover for the guys that were on a job site managing a large rollout for one of my companies. This got me a double workout two days this week and some shifty eyes for doing what is perceived as a man’s job. Hmmmm…some people sure do underestimate the power of a woman and I sure do like to point that out when an opportunity appears! #girlswholift #strongmind #strongbody

Girlbossin’ with some hustle flair is one of my favorite traits to share with the world. This is a lesson in small business: you wear many hats. This week I had to wear the manual labor hat and I rocked it, but sometimes it’s the technical hat, the collections hat or whatever else needs to get done.

A glimpse at the professional side this week:

I conducted a large webinar training on regulatory changes, trained an adult group on suicide prevention in person, launched a big project successfully, started working on a large RFP, and balanced all of the other mundane tasks that float across my desk in a regular week. My mental clarity and strong will helped me push through.

As I wind down this post, I will share that hard work pays off. It is pretty simple. When you put consistent effort into something, results follow. This simple equation follows those in business, those in sports, and those on a self-improvement track. It really is simplicity and dedication that helps overcome obstacles. It’s not being lucky. If you want to be lucky play the lottery. I put in work to see results, so I know I earned what comes my way.

Remember, you control your destiny. Only you. You have to be you for you. Nobody is going to make you successful. You are the only one with that capability.

Unfortunately, I see people each week who either whine about working too hard, not getting a raise that they feel is due, or just waiting for direction vs. seizing the moment and opportunities in front of them. I shake my head and move on. Until people see their value and understand how to harness their unique qualities they sit in a comfort zone, one which will never have them testing their limits.

Where do you fit in? Are you a mover and shaker who gets it done each day with self motivation and drive or are you a sit on sidelines and wait for somebody to put you into the action? One who needs to follow a duties list to be productive?

Each of the above has its place in the world, I guess. For me, I play to win each day in whatever game is front of me. Most days the game of life includes a form a chess, some bouncing around like hopscotch, some sprints, some team building or counseling at work and/or home, growth plans, and some kind of math or brain teaser. Every day is full of different challenges and that’s what I enjoy the most.

Just when the fun winds down, the pillow is not far off. Sleep and repeat. And don’t underestimate the sleep aspect. Getting 8 hours of consistent sleep makes the following day easy peasy. Your brain needs time to rest as does your body and spirit.

Not sure where to go in life? Start with a notebook and set some simple goals. Attain those goals and reach for the next new and more lofty goals. If you never hold yourself accountable you will stay in the same boring place in life and most likely feel trapped.

Get up. Get going. Create your path. You will inspire others along the way. And age should never be a barrier. You can start in your teens, twenties, thirties, forties and so on.

If this post helps you find your personal sunshine, drop me a note. I love hearing from my readers near and far.

-KT

#2chx #inspireothers #goalgetter #girlboss #hustle #hustleandmuscle #CrossFit #pilates #newexperiences #health #worklife #professional #family #mindset #productive #weekinthelife