inspire

Let’s Talk Music

Nobody But You just released by Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani is hot off the press and I am totally a fan!

First, I love Gwen Stefani. She is hot, sassy and full of badassery. Blake I am not a huge fan of, but paired with Gwen they seem to make a dynamic duo. Can’t wait to see if more collaborations appear.

Give the song a listen. It has a cool vibe and the lyrics pack a punch. I think anyone lucky enough to be living a love story for the first time or second or third time might find it hits an emotional chord.

Watching a video clip is inspiring as well. I see a little Hollaback Girl in the car scene with a dopey-eyed Blake looking on. Her flair attracts him. You can see it. Fun to watch the puppy love for both of them.

Just a random offbeat post for you. Music soothes the soul.

fitness and nutrition, friendship

Mileage Madness

Just updating the world on my 2020 mileage challenge. So far, so good.

At the end of 2 full weeks I logged 147 miles or 8% of the 2,020 miles. Doesn’t seem like much but it is all extra work. The miles are in addition to my normal daily training. I fit them in where I can.

I arrive early some days for a couple of miles. I stay late when I can for a few more. I add some longer stretches at home when my schedule allows. I’m getting it done and so are my friends.

I have 3 races booked so far for 2020. A 15k in February, a 10k in May and a mud run in October. Just a fun way to get some miles away from the ordinary training locations.

Variety definitely helps keep the task at hand easier. One friend is splitting up her miles by category. 10% by rower, 10% run, 10% ski erg and so on. Why? For one, it’s harder. A mile on the rower or the ski erg take longer. Each may even seem more taxing than bike, but in small doses it’s not too bad.

Enter a group text message early Saturday morning with a 7-mile variety workout of sorts for a group challenge. It looked challenging yet I wanted to put in 11 miles that day so I adjusted the numbers to get me to 11 miles collectively. I said it’s not much more time. Hmmmm…

The above workout was now a reality. It took a while. Over an hour but it was manageable and I wasn’t exhausted after. Maybe my extra miles are helping me build endurance. I had a friend doing the work with me which always help to keep one moving.

I shared my update with the 2020 group and *boom* some brilliant member suggests we do it AGAIN tomorrow. Sunday. 5am. Who in their right mind wants to do that on a Sunday? The one day I can actually sleep in. WHAT? Have you lost your ever loving mind?

And people say I’m the head of the Bad Idea Club! Well, in this instance I said “wait, I’ll be there.” Why? Because I’m just as crazy as the others on the group chain.

It’s 4:30 am. It’s cold. I’m still tired. It’s laundry day so my favorite gym clothes are dirty. Do I even want to do this? I check to make sure my pals are up and moving because it would be a sick joke to wake me up this early for nothing. And I’m secretly hoping nobody replies! I sigh as two chirps got my phone.

It’s Kim and Mindy who are clearly up and ready to go go go. Guess I got to get going too. Off we go again to rack up another 11 miles, or 11 miles, 60 pushups and 90 sit-ups to be exact. Will I have a better finish time? I doubt it. It’s at 5am and I will barely be awake. Now I have to figure out who I can get to drag themselves out of bed so we can be miserable together. Picture proof below.

6 souls rose in the 4 am hour to meet at the gym for a 5 am start. Over an hour of hard work. Running in the dark and cold. Cheering each other on. We even had a cheerleader there snapping pictures.

Bike, ski, row, run, push up then sit up over and over again. We did it!

Off to work the nurse goes. Off to the grocery store three others go as it’s meal prep day. One rushes out before the hubs wakes up and one just vanishes into the darkness.

Another day. Another 11 miles. A little closer to the end goal. A whole lot of fitness. A great time with wonderful women I call friends. Fitness can actually be fun if you make it fun with friends.

perspective

Soaking Up the Rays

It seems like it’s been raining for days and days. The days turn into weeks. The yard is muddy. There are puddles in the distance from every window.

Rain, rain go away. Come back another day. The childhood song plays in my head over and over again. The dog doesn’t want to go outside to play. The sky is grey. The wind is howling. The days seem long.

Is it napping season? Well, it seems like nap time comes with the rain days. Can the weather really impact your day? I think so. And when it rains over and over again the rut seems to get bigger.

Finally the sun peeks through the clouds. A small glimmer of hope. The grass starts to dry. The wind dies down. The dog gets to play in the yard. Stress level is down. Energy is abundant. I sit on the back porch to soak up the rays of sunshine.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Another childhood song full of memories pops into my head. The squirrels are running through the trees, rattling the branches. The puppy is attempting to chase endlessly. The birds are chirping away.

How today that song has so much meaning. My dad is ill. He is in the hospital. As I soak up the rays sunbathing I find the song soothing. I reflect on the memories of the good times. I feel the warmth of the sun. I feel the companionship of my dog as she lay along side me.

It’s not a spring day. Rather it’s a winter day in which I was able to feel the warmth during stressful times or worry. The weather indeed impacted my day, my mood, my environment. I’m soaking it all in.

Porch sitting. Sun bathing. Relaxing and reflecting. 1 hour today. No technology. Just a break from the ordinary. It wasn’t planned. It was whimsical. It became magical.

The sunshine made my day. The heat gave me reminders. The calmness that came with it all was heavenly. Sometimes we just need to slow our roll and enjoy life’s little gifts.

As my dear friend would say:

Looks like you enjoyed a sweet slice of life today. Or maybe it would be you found the magic in the mundane today. No wait, I think it’s the effervescence in everyday that came to light.

Enjoy today. Take a deep breath. You never know when it will be your last.

fitness and nutrition, friendship, perspective

What I Learned from Coming In Last

“It’s not a big deal to me how we do, as long as we’re not last.”

These words came from one of my amazing teammates at a recent competition. I nodded in agreement, and I’ve said them, too.

Flashback to my very first 5k “race.”  Run Your Cookies Off – a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts.  I was probably 80 or 100 pounds heavier than I am now, maybe more.  I had no idea what I was doing. I was a slow walker / jogger as I approached the start line in terror.  But as long as I am not last I’m ok, I thought.

I wasn’t last that day, but I was close.  I could see the last person behind me by maybe 30 yards most of the time.  I kept looking over my shoulder, fighting to stay ahead. I gasped and choked as I stumbled across the finish line, maybe 5th to last out of a few hundred runners.  But, not last.

Fast forward eight years or so to only a few weeks ago, the line comes into my head again. A CrossFit competition.  Looking around at some of the fitter people I’ve seen in recent memory, our direct competitors. Some twenty or more years younger.  But, we will be fine as long as we are not last.

After the first workout, we were second to last.  So, not last – a win!  And then, after that, for the rest of the day, workout after workout, it happened. We. Were. Last.

Yup, I was finally on the other side of the “as long as we’re not…”

And I looked at my teammates, two fierce, fit, incredible women, working their ever-loving asses off.  All three of us had been sick that week, with some of that sickness lingering on competition day.  All three of us were super nervous.  But we showed up, and we brought our best. And we cheered for each other.  And we pushed as hard as we could, pushed beyond what we thought we could do.  We pulled together and fought like heck for every rep, every lift, every jump and burpee and pushup and calorie.

And with all our fight, all our heart, all our effort, we still came in last.  (We actually tied for last with some of our good friends who made up another rockin’ team from our box, which made it all the more sweet.)

So, you may ask, what are the after effects of coming in last? Honestly, not much different than coming in higher on the board.

I’m proud of my teammates, as I should be.  One rocked her first competition ever, conquering move after move, challenge after challenge.  The other overcame huge obstacles to PR her snatch not just once but 5 times that day.  5 times!!!  I still smile when I pull out my team shirt and shorts.  We had a great and memorable day for our squad.  Weeks later, no one remembers what place we came in.

I’ve held onto a line I heard once many years back when I was just starting to get my health together.  It still serves me on crappy running days, and those inevitable afternoons when I just would rather not go to the gym at all:

As long as you show up…”you’re lapping everyone on the couch.”

No matter what place we finished in, we showed up. There are many who are less fit, and even many who are more fit, who didn’t have the guts or the gumption to just show up, put themselves out there, and see how they measure up.

There’s an old saying that nice guys finish last…now I also see that good people, people who work hard, train hard, and put forth tons of effort still do finish last sometimes. In fact, that effort may represent a huge personal triumph no matter what the leaderboard says. One that should be applauded.  Still, for better or worse, it’s just one day. One memorable day full of proud moments.

The real after effects of coming in last are what we choose to do moving forward. What matters most is what comes next. Nothing stops us from continuing to train and get better and cheer for each other. We’re already signed up for more races, more challenges, more adventures. Who knows where we will turn up next?

 

 

 

coaching

Life as a Coach

Being a coach is an amazing opportunity to impact others. A life coach. A sports coach. A business coach. They all have their own opportunities to impact others.

I have had the luxury of coaching kids in varying age groups and sports, staff members, and those who need life management support or motivation. No matter what coaching project I am working on, I love about 98% of the process.

I enjoying winning games, but I like losing as well. Teaching others how to recover from a loss can be a challenge, but it’s life. We will never win everything in life so losing is a valuable tool for kids and adults to learn or relearn.

I enjoying coaching people personally and professionally. I love seeing them hit goals, make strides with confidence and succeed at what they are working toward achieving. Coaching provides me with as much new inspiration as I expect the folks receive under my coaching programs.

What’s the 2% I don’t like?

It boils down to those that are classified as uncoachable. It could be a team member at work who can’t see their own flaws and refuses to make adjustments to foster team or individual growth. It could be the player who doesn’t respect the coach’s authority. Or my favorite is those who think they can do the coaching from the sidelines. It could be a parent coaching from the sideline at a game. It could be the parent jockeying for play time for their amazing child prior to a game. It could even be your colleague at work who is coaching you in a false direction for their own personal gain. Or maybe your boss is coaching you downward by devaluing your efforts and contributions. This one gets me all the time but it happens!

The two percent is never my favorite but it will never dictate my actions. As a coach I am expected to lead. Lead by example. Lead with integrity. Lead with confidence. I don’t second guess my coaching ever. That doesn’t mean I have never been questioned either. It just means I am confident in what I do and the end results.

Many may want to coach but few will actually commit the time, the preparation and the consistency required to coach long-term. Coaching at the youth level is normally an unpaid gig. With that being said, the adults who bring kids to games and practice seem to think they are in the big leagues. That is an irony for sure.

When I say big leagues people start looking for college scholarships at about 6th grade. This is insane as most 6th graders are trying to remember to brush their teeth before school, not think about where they want to go for college. In addition, a lot can happen from 6th grade to 12th. In sports for example, injury or burn out is possible. This pressuring at a young age should be cautioned.

Then you shift to the workplace. Coaching should be a daily occurrence but many managers lack the ability to coach, give guidance and support their counterparts. This doesn’t normally end well. Lack of time. Lack of experience. Inability to see others needs. All are reasons I hear why coaching is lacking in business.

In a workplace, most employees crave feedback. Most want kudos for good work but some actually want to know how they can improve. In a healthy work environment you see strong leaders with tenured staff when feedback is prominent.

On the flip side, gossipy workplaces and poor production can occur when communication is weak and praise is limited. This often happens in smaller workplaces with limited human resources. These are the toughest coaching scenarios for me to take on and results are not always guaranteed.

My favorite coaching happens at the volunteer level with youth in my community. I have a pure opportunity to impact the lives of tomorrow’s leaders. I have watched elementary students turn into middle school leaders. I have watched middle school athletes turn into college recruits. I have seen high schoolers turn into coaches. The list goes on and my cup runs over with pride.

My next favorite group is young adults. The 18-26 age range. The know-it-all’s to the I-am-beginning-to-adult group. I have many that fall into this category. Some have turned into entrepreneurs while others are in leadership roles under a firm. This group is inspiring in a whole different way. I get to see them evolve in today’s world which is so very different than when I was their age. The growth that occurs here is fast and extremely fun to watch.

The adults. This is the group that can be complicated. Life wears you down and I help pick up the pieces. So many end up in different stages. This is the most challenging yet exciting to conquer. We are all set in our ways. We can have bad habits. We can lack structure and drive. We can be impacted by negative thoughts or online posts. When I coach I have to find out how each person ticks to customize a solution to suit their needs.

It’s a life puzzle. I love to solve puzzles and that’s why I choose to coach. If you know anyone looking for a personal guide, virtually or in-person, send them my way. Custom coaching options fit into any lifestyle and budget.

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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….

celebrations, fitness and nutrition

3-year Anniversary

It’s hard to believe I’ve stuck with CrossFit for three years now. Three long years, but three of the best years. I c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e-d my CrossFiterversary this week. Whoo hoo!

Not only did I get in shape, I got stronger. Physically, mentally and emotionally, all of which are transferable skill sets. Ironically, I repeated my first CrossFit Open WOD, 17.1, this week. What a great way to visualize my progress. This time around I did box jumps instead of step-ups. This time I used 35# weights instead of 20#. This time I did more reps overall. Hard work does pay off. It’s not at all overnight success!

This week I also celebrated friendships. One person in particular I met on day one. We didn’t talk really. I was the newbie, he was the veteran. Time passed. Hard work was put in. Trust was built. Now we work out side by side, joke around daily, and pass time on weekends. That’s the community aspect of CrossFit. Good people working hard, building bonds over time. It definitely isn’t a cult. It is just like-minded people grinding together over and over and over. In time relationships bud and they tend to be solid. You see each other at your best and your worst and everything in between.

My lifting skills make doing yard work easy peasy. Need to put out 124 bags of pine mulch at home? No problem. My back can handle the bending, lifting and twisting. My stamina will keep me going and my energy level is that of a thoroughbred race horse.

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My mental gains are hard to quantify but I will share that my daily workouts which test almost every fiber of my body, mind and spirit give me foresight. The ability to see ahead and know mental strength gets you through the hard times. Mental strength can be developed. You can convince your mind you are capable of whatever task needs to be completed.

The community is like no other. Lawyers or doctors by day. Karate instructors or dancers by night. No matter the occupation most sweat the same. Most battle to complete the workouts. Friendship builds. Trusts builds. Comrades emerge. You can’t find that at a local bar or neighborhood for the most part, as one common denominator is missing. The love of fitness/CrossFit and that crazier-than-ever attitude that goes along with the box community.

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Add in some cool coaches, nice equipment, good programming and you get CrossFit Faded Glory. My home base box.

It’s been a journey for me to say the least. I started pushing PVC pipes before bars and dumbbells. Now I will stack those weights on for a heavy snatch or deadlift.

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I had to learn how to get my eating to complement my training. I had to find my routine. The routine that I could make work over and over again. It took time. Keto, paleo, macros, oh my.

I rise early. Before the sun rises. I fuel my soul for the day before my family even thinks about starting their day.

I get the blood pumping early. I laugh. I giggle. I sweat my ass off. I put in extra work. I get dirty. After it all I’m  ready to conquer whatever crazy comes my way in the day.

And trust me most days of my life involve some sort of crazy. Most I can’t type without offending people, but since my life deals with people there is bound to a mess at some point in each day because people are just messy. Emotional messes. Physically messy. And sometimes even all over place with messy attitudes and emotions. Hence my new vocabulary word: human cRapital…

Thank goodness I found CrossFit. The constantly varied workouts and challenges are a perfect fit for me. The crazier the better.

This past year as I reflected I noted inspiration as a key contributor in my journey. This year I was introduced to a gentleman named Jeremy who modifies his CrossFit workouts. He modifies them because he is in a wheelchair. Talk about amazing. He has brute strength, a big smile and a positive attitude. He grinds just like the rest of us. He sweats just like the rest of us. He doesn’t make excuses. He gets it done. I love watching him workout. It’s a true inspiration.

Then you look another direction and you see Big Brandon. The mammoth lifter in the box but with a heart of gold. Willing to spot you, laugh with you and most importantly teach you to get better. There are so many versions of beefcake Brandon in a box.

There are even the couples who sweat together. The aging couple working on their fitness to preserve themselves for their grandchildren. So inspiring they want to make me set a goal of the senior Olympics when I am older.

You could be the girl who waits a year to even step into the box. Thinking you don’t meet the athletic standard or fit. Then you try it and see success. Before you know it you lose 100 pounds and people want to know how.

Crossfit. Routine. Community. Hard work. Discipline. Again, why CrossFit is my thing.

So many stories that I can’t type them all. But the point is you can do CrossFit, too. No matter your shape or your size. You can start your journey and see where your path takes you.

I can’t wait to hit the five-year mark. Looking to stay injury-free and able to compete a few times a year in the sport I adore.

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Get out and get moving. Try a CrossFit class. Most boxes offer a free trial of some sort. CrossFit gyms are all over the world. And a snatch is same in the US as it is in Tokyo. A jerk is also translated the same from country to country.

As I wrap up this post, I almost didn’t post it. I said “three years is no big deal.” One year was a milestone. Two years equaled consistency. Three years was what?

Three years is the sign of true commitment. Committing to me. My health. My fitness. My achievements. My longevity. I can do more now and I know I have become more youthful. As crazy as that sounds I feel vibrant and young. Heck, I even compete with people in their teens and twenties. And in some instances I can keep up. What an accomplishment that is.

Cheers to another year of CrossFit for this fittish chick!

Can you find me in this sweaty handstand sandwich?

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