fitness and nutrition, friendship, Uncategorized

Challenge Finale

The middle of the challenge hit and I made it over 50,000 meters. I was excited. 62,000 or a little more to more realistic. I wasn’t the top in my group at this time, but I was being consistent and that was my purpose go this challenge. The picture below shows me celebrating with a ruck in in very cold weather while stretching my aching shoulders.

The next holiday week was going to be different. Out of town for travel. Extremely cold temperatures, but I was purposeful in choosing activities that I could track my efforts on fitness while trying new things like snow shoeing and snow biking. Both firsts for me but both were trackable. 

I used the bike erg. The rower. The air runner. The assault bike. The ski erg. I even filled a ruck with 30 pounds of weight to lug around for my activity credit. I didn’t discriminate on the methods I used but I completed the most on the bike erg and the assault bike by a long shot. I’m glad I have a gym that has a variety of equipment to use while tracking 100,000 meters. Otherwise I might go insane.

I grew more tolerant of the bike erg. I adjusted to longer times in the bike saddles. I regained my desire to put in extra work a second time a day even if just 20 minutes of cardio. I walked more with purpose. I enjoyed completing activities outside even in the cold temps. This is something I have been missing for a good while now. Glad to be back in the mode of moving and pushing myself even in extreme conditions.

The picture above shows the stacking of 30 pounds in the backpack to begin the ruck. Based on my body weight, the 30 pounds was the requirement. It’s harder than one would think when you are trying to achieve distance. All in all it helped me prepare for my physical and mental days ahead.

As I wrap up the month and the year of 2022, I can say I logged over 100,000 meters in addition to other workouts like crossfit and tennis. I am proud of myself. I am excited to make this an annual challenge as well. I’m glad I had friends to do this with. All in all this was a great experience and I’m looking forward to my next challenge already. No matter what it is.

This challenge taught me rain, snow and cold weather are not excuses to get your fitness in. There are always options if you just make your fitness a priority.

fitness and nutrition

Dirty Work

Summer time is a time of change.

Schedules change. Daylight times change. Eating habits change and more. I try to just ride the wave and embrace it all.

This summer has also brought a change in my workouts. Street Parking launched the Summer Grind / Dirty Work series program for the summer. These workouts focus on odd objects like sandbags, heavy weighted balls, sleds, rucksacks and battle ropes. I’ve been using my sandbag pretty consistently for about a year and I love throwing that thing around. Otherwise, working with these pieces of equipment is mostly new to me. In a time where I’ve felt pretty restless (and even a little bored) with my workout routine, this has been an energizing change.

Something different, something new. Something to learn.

Rucking gets me outside more. D-ball workouts let me slam new things down. For some reason, I feel like a badass when I do sled pushes. Different muscles are sore. Different senses are awakened. Different skills used.

It’s funny how little changes can actually help me stay consistent. Something new can keep me coming back every single day, but with renewed energy. Plus, Street Parking has me chasing all the virtual badges. I’ve been a gold-star chaser since I was a little kid. Some things never change!

What’s new in your routines? Any little changes breathing life into your healthy habits? If not, what can get you inspired to move? Hiking somewhere new? A new sport or game with friends? What small changes can make a difference in your big picture?

balance

Life being Lifey

Life is being extra lifey these days. War, weather, mental stresses, financial hardships, on and on and on. It’s everywhere. My work life, my personal life, family friends colleagues acquaintances are all full of it. People are messy in their best times. Now, their messiness is more like a shambles that spills out and spreads all over.

Assume people will get sick, have issues and set backs and not be able to execute. Assume extra tasks, jobs, and responsibilities are coming as a result of the balls that others will drop. It’s just how things are right now. How can I thrive, survive, persist, stay sane in light of these times?

Here’s how I am hanging on for this bumpy ride:

Eat well. There are certain things I don’t farm out to anyone. Nutrition is number one. I own every step of that process from planning it to shopping for it to cooking it to packing it up. I don’t like being off plan and I don’t always make great decisions when it’s left to the last minute, whatever I can get my hands on. I know that eating well makes me feel better and do better. End of story.

Exercise first thing in the morning. The only possible exception is Sundays. Exercise helps me manage stress and gives me a sense of accomplishment and strength right off the bat. Extra boost if I see my friends and get the social sweat aspect of life first thing as well, but this isn’t always possible. Movement always is!

Stay ahead on things, knowing curveballs are coming. Busy season is about to kick up. When I have an idle moment, I try to think about what task I can push one step (or more steps) forward. Throw the laundry in. Clean something. Stock the pantry with two instead of one. Hopefully, when deadlines come or something is needed, I am ready instead of behind the eight ball trying to juggle and patch things together. Being ahead on what I can eases my stress.

Sundays. Sundays are my reset and ready-for-the-week day. I try to protect this if at all possible. It is often the only day I start with an extended coffee time at home. I write. I pull out clothes for the week. I make lists. I try really hard not to drive anywhere further away than 10-15 minutes unless it is a soul-serving adventure. Looking ahead on the calendar, keeping Sundays “sacred” will get harder and harder as fall’s busy-ness kicks in. Even as I write this, my Saturday and Sunday has flipped for this weekend. But I still try to keep one day with fewer commitments. Go-go-go all the time wears me out.

Notice nature. Get out and immerse myself in nature as often as possible, even for a few minutes a day. Flower farming has been amazing for this. I have a couple of hours a week in our field, just cutting flowers, watching bees and butterflies, soaking up the fresh air. I keep our flowers with me at work and home so I see them many times a day. They always make me take a small mental pause and smile.

What could I add? I need to write more often. I need to stretch. I need to meditate. These fall too low on the to-do list right now and I know each of them would help. This paragraph is a challenge to myself!

These last few weeks have been a lot, at times bordering on “too much, I can’t handle it, get me out of here.” There have been times I’ve considered drinking alcohol, which I don’t do. I’ve considered massive carb-and-cheese-laden meals of things I don’t typically eat. These things float through my mind, I notice them, then remind myself what works for me.

“Self care” has been a buzzword over the last couple of years. It comes with these challenging times. Life being lifey just beats many of us down and we need to take care of ourselves. I am a firm believer that you can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning you have to keep yourself cared for before you can care for others. Self care looks different for everyone. For some, it means doing whatever you want, regardless of the craving and what it costs. For me, self care does not mean self indulgence. Sometimes it means reminding myself what my goals are and what makes me feel healthy. A cocktail isn’t self care for me. Or a piece of chocolate cake. Might feel good for a moment, but then I’m left dealing with the fallout from my own impulsiveness.

In the end, I can only try to control my own decisions, my time, and my attention. I have to redirect myself when the decisions others make upset me. Boundaries are ok to set and adhere to. I only have to explain myself to those select few people who warrant it. But for most people, “no” can absolutely be a complete sentence.

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.

change

The Next Chapter

As I began to put this post together the month of August was fast approaching. A turning point. A new chapter for many stories in my life.

A new school year. A fresh start for my youngest but sort of a restart to high school post-pandemic. So many emotions around a this particular subject after the past year and a half. New computer to get ready for the scheduled digital days and a proactive plan for any sporadic shutdowns. Imaginary pom poms for all the moments I want to cheer loud and proud for….but of course when you have a teen you would know that isn’t cool. To make myself feel good, I’ll use my imaginary poms!

Year 2 as a farmer begins without hesitation. Year one was fun. Full of learning, adventures and many firsts. Visions and dreams collided. Hard work was done. So much planning for now and the future. Broke the piggy bank a few times but you have to spend something if you want to build something. Off I go to leverage the earth to see what it will allow me to produce on the farm. I’ll say a few prayers and engage a few resources along the way. Forward progress on the farm is what farm life is about. And of course I want to tell everyone about it. Check out the last batch of flowers from the farm. They are absolutely gorgeous. See for yourself. #3splitzfarm

A new fitness regimen. August 1st marks a new venture for me. A slight step away from CrossFit, the sport I have enjoyed for many years. Taking a little break to do some customized programming to see how my body reacts. Maybe tone a bit. Maybe strengthen different muscle groups. Going to take 6 months to see how I do. I figure I have a 50/50 chance of being successful during this time. A coin toss basically. Will I decide I miss my sport? Will I miss my specific routine? Will I like my new environment? Will I train hard enough away from the constantly varied workouts of CrossFitting 5-6 days a week? Many unknowns for sure. One thing I know for sure is I’m responsible for my progress thus I need to kick my own ass at times.

I am sure I will share updates on my next chapters. Obviously, my life story has more than three chapters. This is just the three that I decided to highlight in this post. Those who know me know change is really the only constant in my life. While many fear change, I embrace change.
New year on the farm. 365 days of growth ahead. New school year for the youngest. 365 days of what should be amazing memory making opportunities. New fitness year. Half the year I will try something new. The other half will be planned based on my first half performance. The beauty of mapping your world. hundred points customizable by me, for me. 

Change fuels my soul. Change of reasons or seasons in a nutshell. Both reasons and seasons keep me chasing my dreams. Many won’t understand how change makes me tick harder faster stronger. Adaptation. Sitting in status quo anything is not my style. Onward. Upward. Forward. My choice is always bold never old.