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

fitness and nutrition

All that ASS!

Ass, buttocks, gluteus maximus, rear end, booty, butt and so on. We all have one or some version of one. The title seemed fitting as we will hear about my big ass and how my ass story has evolved over the past several years. Now that I think about it, I could have titled this blog differently but maybe you wouldn’t have been drawn to read it. Is the suspense killing you yet?

My ass used to be a bookshelf or so I called it. It seemed to have a ledge of some sort. (I will spare you a pic of this). One that could hold up a book if I leaned the proper way. I may be exaggerating a little but not much. My kids used to sing “baby’s got back” in the car and openly called it my jam. The lines of emphasis were her butt is just so big I can’t believe it’s so round it’s like out there…

I also coach lacrosse and parents sometimes catch my backside in photos when coaching their kids (again, I’ll spare you the pic). OMG that back side a few years back was like the side of a barn…again, maybe a slight exaggeration but one my loving and adoring family would point out. Was it out of love or other motivation? I don’t know but it’s in the past. It is just part of my story. I should have a new jam to symbolize my strength and new curvy backside! An anthem of sorts.

As my story unfolds, I can now say I’m a health freak, a workout-crazed woman, a food-weighing lunatic, a macro-mastering Mom, but guess what? It’s what I’m doing so others, including my family, will just have to deal with it. The new year is here and it’s time for new goals, new challenges and new dreams. I am ready for it all!

Each day we start over and reset. We each have the ability to have a good or bad day. We have the ability to eat healthy or not. We can choose to exercise or not. We each make those choices each day. As I found my inner spirit and what makes me launch forward each day with positivity, I celebrate each and every day and laugh with those I surround myself with. I make a conscious effort to remove negative influences from my life whether it be a friend who sucks the life out of me (not really a friend) or a food that just makes me sleepy (like cakes filled with carbs) or toxic work environments. When one can find the life balance that excludes or keeps these nuisances at bay, progress is easier to attain.

What changes can you make in 2019 to realign your quality of life?

Fast forward to now, today and I’m rocking the booty in my mind. Heck if I compare to my past buttocks size it’s definitely factual to state I’m rocking the booty, but others may have their own opinion. I have had my ass spanked more than once, in public, yes, by others who check its firmness jokingly, lovingly, or in a humorous way. That is cool, I guess or it doesn’t bother me. (I am flattered by the attention, I suppose) but for the purposes of this blog, we are going to see my ass through my eyes as it represents progress with my coach and my fit journey thus far.

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All those squats going up down, up, down, up, down. You get the song reference right? Lunges for days that make you feel the pain in your glutes the next day. So many reps that getting up from the toilet is a major struggle. Pelvic thrust in the early am when the gym guys think you are practicing sex moves or that’s where their mind goes. Anyway they are all worth it in the end when you put on that new pair of jeans and you can see your hard work via definition in the tight ass that you now proudly prance around with. Yes I said it. Prance, strut, flaunt. If you work for it be proud of your progress and show it. It also helps when you bump into people you haven’t seen in a while and they say “wow, you look amaze.” That does wonders for the motivation bucket! #bootygains

This week’s blog is dedicated to all those working on stepping up their ass game and all those who motivated me during my fit journey this far. Everyone needs a David (yeah, David), Geovanna (best butt in town), Mount (get lower he says), John (keep pushing), Noy (Tabatha who?), Vic, Lexie, Stefan & Kelsey (power couple), Tasha, Sarah, Tommy Morris (Mr. Faded Glory himself), Shane (getting dainty), Nick and so many more I forgot to note here. One squat at a time. One pistol at a time. One lunge at a time. One macro at a time.  You can improve your ass game if you commit to the process.

You don’t need a Brazilian butt lift, ladies or gents, to get results. You just need some sweat, some time, some effort and some motivation. Maybe even a kick in the ass from a workout buddy, coach or dear friend. A new pair of jeans is a great place to start for motivation of course. Don’t wait get that ass moving now.

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As I close out this post I sigh deeply knowing this month marks the 3-year benchmark of my health and fitness journey so far. Midlife crisis to some. Inspiration to others. Peaceful hustle to me. I have accomplished so much yet have so much further to go. Buckle up folks, you are in my story. Fab at 50 here we come!

This is what my last 3 years of fitness looked like:

2016 – 24/7 workout place with a friend 3-5 days a week then we added some fun 5ks. The Foam Glow Run, the Bubble Run and the Color Run. The add-on 5ks were to step out of my comfort zone and no, I didn’t run them all 100%, but I finished.

2017 – I was going to CrossFit after finishing up a bootcamp the previous fall. I competed in my first CrossFit open and that was when I could really see how I did against others in my age group across various strength and stamina workouts. I upgraded my runs to challenge me as well. I completed a Tough Mudder, Terrain Race and ran a 10k. What was amazing about the 10k was I hadn’t done that race since 1997 or 20 years prior. Talk about a milestone and recommitment to fitness.

2018 – This was the year I would stretch even higher. I would visit other CrossFit boxes when I traveled to see if I could fit in outside of my comfort zone. I did my 2nd CrossFit open and worked hard to improve my personal ranking overall in my age group and complete more movements than I could the year before. I ran the same 10k again but focused on trimming my time which I did by over 10 minutes.

My most exciting challenge of 2018 was competing in CrossFit competitions. One at my local box, one as a three girl trio, one as a dynamic duo with my workout buddy and then finished out the year with a squad competition with five fit people from two different boxes that I met over the years. Each team member has been important to my growth and development and this was a time to celebrate progress in a fun and dynamic way. I am so thankful for each of them and stoked I got to create a big memories with my badass squad to finish out 2018.

And finally, I focused on my nutrition and macro counting to get my weight in tune with my fitness. This was definitely a battle but I have learned to love water and learned I don’t need pizza and my chips in my life on the daily. I can be content with a high protein yogurt or chocolate covered nut instead. Life is all about choices and so is nutrition. It takes patience and commitment to stay the course.

2019 will have new goals for me to embrace. I am hopeful you all can get after your goals list and be a goal getter just like me. Next book title was firmed up as this blog post hits the internet. Big news. Big year. Big goals ahead. 2019 here I come!

More scribbles and rants to come from me in 2019. #kt247 #2chx #1095days

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balance, giving, perspective

Holiday Smoliday

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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, 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.

dare to be different

Changes for Chick 2

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In a recent post, KT shared her thoughts about change. In fact, if you look closely, change and growth is a theme in many of the things KT writes. She embraces change as a part of life, welcomes it as a path to new challenges and achievements, even seeks and manufactures it to keep herself growing. It is a quality I admire (especially since I do not share it.)

In yet another of the 867 ways that the 2 Chicks are opposites (that we have discovered so far), change is something that makes me very nervous.  I worry about it, try to avoid it, pretend it’s not there, and usually resist it with every bit of my being.  What’s sad is that, even at age 44, I act as if change is avoidable – like I can do something to stop it. I’ve wasted a lot of precious energy trying to keep change at arm’s length. So what’s been happening lately is surprising.

Although I haven’t announced it widely, big changes have been happening in my family. There have been job shifts, school shifts, routine shifts, goal shifts.  Some of these were invited, some were forced upon us by circumstance.  We are all still trying to find our footing as things continue to change and develop.

By way of example, I changed my job (on purpose!) this year.  This is HUGE for me, as someone who avoids change.  But, I needed to make this happen for several reasons, so I set a goal, did the work, and one of the several positions I applied for panned out. (Not surprisingly, it was KT who helped me through the process of getting it done. She is truly a #goalgetter and generously shares her approach!)  Although I still have the same job title, it is a completely different community and school dynamic.  I am trying to keep up, but it is a lot to take in.

Then there are the “domino effect” differences.  The biggest of these is trying to fit in my workouts after school. I can’t attend CrossFit classes at 5:30 am anymore, which has been an adjustment.  I miss my morning gym friends and the stress relief that starting the day with a good sweat brings.  But, I’m getting there at other times as often as I can and making it work. And there are all kinds of other changes that came from my job shift as well.

I’ve been watching the way the changes throughout my family have been playing out.  Even on a good day, with good support, change can be taxing for some.  As I encourage everyone to be patient and take care of themselves while taking each day as it comes, I try to remember to do all those things myself as well.

It can be hard, though.  If I scroll through facebook or instagram, it seems like everyone is always happy, always on vacation, always upgrading their houses, always successful, always champions.  I know my kids see this, too.  It’s rare that people post the hard stuff, the mundane, the oil changes, doing dishes, folding laundry, managing illness, aches, and pains, doing paperwork, struggling with homework, waiting in line, dealing with boring commutes, enduring frustrating people and all the other the day-to-day junk that can take up most of our time.  Of course, we all have those things, but we often keep them behind the scenes (myself included). We may share them with friends, but not always on a big platform. It’s easy to be sucked in to thinking we are the only ones with work or troubles or time we wish could be better spent.

We also rarely see all the work that goes in to transformation.  Instead, we see the end result, the success, not the sweat, the sacrifice, the tears, the drills, the hours of practice, the falls, the U-turns, the frustration, the days when it didn’t seem like anything good was going to come of all the effort.  When you just see the result, it always seems easier than it actually was.

As I was sitting on the back porch writing and thinking about this, trying to make some sense of it for today, a butterfly floated by, blissful as can be on the breeze.  I thought about all the change that butterfly had been through in life.  And so much of that change is done out of view, in the muck and mush and ugly, miraculous work of transformation.

We get no view, there is no applause for this process of change.  The caterpillar goes into hiding, on some internal cue, all along doing the mysterious, innate work it was meant to do.  When it comes time, it emerges, dries its wings, unfolds those beauties, and takes flight.

For me, Sunday is a day of errands and preparation.  Shopping for the food, cleaning the house, packing the lunches, doing the workout, folding the laundry.  Maybe not what many would see as an instagrammable day, but one that sets me up for a week with less stress so I can focus on pushing myself further on the path in my work while also supporting my family and friends in theirs.

It’s also a day of writing and thinking and reconnecting with my vision of my future, and the next steps it will take for me to get there. I’ve carved out that time, so I still take a personal step toward who I am becoming.  No one else can make that time for me (another lesson from my friend KT!)  I have to do it, even if it is just a couple of hours. Other things will go undone, and I’ve learned to be ok with that (but I haven’t always been that way!)

Unlike the butterfly, I’m giving you an inside glimpse into one messy Sunday afternoon moment of my transformation. It may not be pretty. There are groceries all over the counters, floors that need mopping, emails that need answering, kids that need encouraging.  Today and every day, there are loose ends and mushy parts.  There are red herrings and rabbit trails. There are things I will sharpen or learn to do better as I practice and continue to evolve.

Through all of it, I know I am changing.  It may not be a straight path and it may not be quick, but I am inching forward overall.

And at the end of this path is my launch pad, where I’ll suddenly, inevitably, unfold these beauties, and take flight.

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#2CHX #inspireothers #change #transformation #butterfly #goalgetter #Sunday #mealprep #Crossfit #embracechange

 

 

giving

Paying it Forward, Chick 2 Style

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Travel is such an important part of life. It’s a great way to spread your wings. I learn something new wherever I go.

This summer, I’ve had opportunities to visit a number of different cities.  I traveled to family celebrations as well as chased my daughters as they pursue their passion for lacrosse.

Whenever the schedule allows, we try to take time to enjoy the cities we visit.  Sure, we hit the famous spots and that is always fun.  On a recent trip to Nashville, we loved walking in the evenings, listening to lively music spill from the honky tonk windows and rooftops onto Broadway.  We spent time on the beach at a tournament in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, and rode roller coasters for a day at Cedar Point while visiting Cleveland, Ohio.

In addition to the major attractions, there are a few other things I try to do to get a closer sense of a place.  If I can, I shop a local market like Cleveland’s Westside Market. I try to get out into nature by visiting a park. Finally, I make an effort to have a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop.

We just returned from a few days adventuring in Nashville.  During my time there, I stumbled across Caliber Coffee Company.  I liked it so much, I went there two days in a row. Although the coffee was excellent, it was the friendly employees and energy that brought me back for the second time.

As you get to know our brand, you’ll see that the 2 Chicks are serious about giving.  We have given our books to kids in hospitals, food pantries, and low-income schools.  We’ve had support from generous readers and corporate sponsors.  This is just the beginning! We are always looking for new and inventive ways to give.  So, when I saw this board at Caliber and read that it was a way to pay it forward, I had to ask for details.

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Every sleeve clipped to the front and back of this ‘Shot of Grace’ board is a cup of coffee that was bought as a gift that day.  Some sleeves have names of local people on them. You can call or text the person you’re treating and let them know they have a coffee waiting.

But it was the other gifts that interested me even more. These sleeves are less specific. Instead of a certain person, they are made out to someone in need…a single mom…a freshman at the local community college…a newcomer to town…a daycare employee…a first responder…a step parent…a fireman…someone having a bad day. I imagined the smiles these tiny bits of thoughtfulness would bring to someone who needs a lift.

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I immediately thought of the 2 Chicks and our passion for giving. My imagination started spinning…who could I connect with using this opportunity? It didn’t take me long to decide.

I couldn’t resist the chance to encourage someone who may be thinking of telling their story.  The Chicks have found such amazing power in storytelling.  Although I don’t know where it ended up, I hope the coffee brightened someone’s day and encouraged them to share whatever unique and powerful story they have to tell.

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It also made me start to wonder again about new ways the 2 Chicks might connect and share.  I can easily get bogged down in details and logistics, but maybe giving doesn’t have to be as complicated as I think. As I was reminded again only yesterday, paying it forward isn’t only about the the news stories we see about the drive-thru at Chick-fil-a. Even more importantly, it’s the small, sincere acts of caring that are never noticed by the cameras but have an enormous impact nonetheless.

What are some of your favorite ways to pay it forward in your life?  What random acts of kindness bring you the most satisfaction? Let us know in the comments, readers!  Cheers!

-Beth, (aka Chick 2)

#2CHX  #2ChicksGiving #Payitforward #travel #lifelessons #reflection