adventure, dare to be different

B is for Burlesque

Today was a new adventure with friends. An introduction to Burlesque dancing. A fun way to get in a little fitness and channel one’s inner dancing queen.

We had boas, gloves and dressed in all black. The first 4 steps seemed easy enough. Then another four. And another four. Would I remember them all? We practiced each segment a few times. Added music. Strung the steps together, until it formed a dance.

Such a fun process. Lots of giggles and plenty of firsts for each girl in the class. The instructor was fun and mixed in well with the group. The music helped the flow of linking the steps or at least it did for me.

We even had an ad lib portion at the end to express yourself any way you like. That ended up being pretty interesting. When the evening began I had no expectation. I was set to embrace the opportunity. It was worth it. I would recommend this adventure to both males/females. Anyone can learn burlesque. Let me say that again or louder for anyone reading this. You can do burlesque. It is for every shape, size, gender person. You just need to embrace the movements.

When you need something fun to do, something out of the ordinary, look for a dance class. Maybe you are more conservative and would like to start with ballroom. Maybe you are more of a hip hop kind of person. Whatever your fancy, take a lesson. See how you fare. 

If you never try, you will never now how much fun you can have. Life is about living. Remember to step outside of your comfort zone to try new things. I for sure never thought I’d be honing my skills as a burlesque dancer, let alone writing a blog about it.

We might have even thrown on a wig or two to add some flair to the big show. Ah, wonder what my next adventure post will entail…

 Until next time.

fitness and nutrition

The Days After

As a follow up to my experience post, I figured I would document the soreness I alluded to at the end of the post. The aches and pains are real the day after the big competition. That’s how you know you pushed your limits. When muscles hurt that you didn’t know were firing during your adrenaline-rushed day.

You may see a stiffness erupting late in the day you compete. This is just the beginning. Then you rest the night and wake up with everything tight. You need to move to loosen your body even though you feel like you should stay in bed all day. For first timers this is a whole new level of sore.

Remember we had teen athletes in our group. They would say they were in shape yet one struggled to lift their arm over her head while the other said my legs are anchors when I run. I would say their bodies would bounce back quicker than mine at age almost 50 but maybe I have built up a higher pain tolerance with age.

As you loosen you feel better but simple things like bending over, sitting on the toilet or reaching for something can really push your limits. Again it’s a new level of achy tightness. A good night’s sleep again will help tremendously. The texts from other athletes read: I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I’m only at 50% but I moved today. I’m still sore. Communication is key in the recovery process as well to see how your gym mates are doing or to share in the woes or to make sure nothing major is surfacing.

2nd full day post-comp you normally have areas that have improved tremendously but may have lingering soreness. For me it was my quads. They improved a ton but in/out of the car was an effort. A deeper squat of any sorts showed my soreness. I leveraged Aleve at some points as well as essential oils and my quads liked the repair gel in the photo below. 

As an athlete recovery is important. Movement is also important. I didn’t skip activities rather I scaled them back during my recovery to speed up my healing overall. Or that was the plan anyway.

Today I will play tennis and see how my body fares. Specifically my quads. Yesterday the motion of the bike erg was refreshing and achy all in one but I still got it done. I may have written about recovery in the past however each comp has varied workouts thus the recovery varies, meaning my soreness may be disbursed over different areas of my body.

I am still thankful for my experience despite the soreness. I’d do it again and again as well. Have a great day and think of me as I’m recovering.

dare to be different

2020 Wind Down

Yup, I’m planning my wind down to the shit show year of 2020. Just taking a look at what areas I can finish strong in and what I actually chipped away at during the blah year of the pandemic.

When I look at my goals. I can say I will hit my goals of more than 2,020 burpees, 2,020 miles, 2,020 sit-ups, 2,020 pushups and so many other other fitness-related goals. This wasn’t easy because I took time off from the gym in the middle of the pandemic and it was tough getting back on board with routines. I’m still not as fit as I was prior to March 2020 but I still got on my goals.

I worked on my emotional strength this this year for sure. Supporting many during difficult times and battling hard while I lost loved ones in 2020. This year has been one for the record books in this area.

Change. Really remaining optimistic amidst change in our world. Many changes I planned and many I had no control over. It’s been a heck of a year and I’m sure there is more change lurking around the corner before 12/31. Bend. Flex. Pivot. Adapt. The words of wisdom for 2020.

Bring on 2021. It has to be better than 2020. And guess what? I have huge plans for 2021-2022. I’m approaching the big 5-0. That means lots of milestones to meet leading up to my 50th year and then the celebration of actually being 50 for that whole year. That’s 24 months of this, that and more. Can’t wait!

Approaching 50. Feeling 23. Looking 38. Celebrating being me!

This means you get a front row seat in my shit show. Not the crap year of 2020. My becoming 50 and me living it up while 50. Buckle up. The plans are in motion. 

family, fitness and nutrition, friendship

Grind It Out

The showdown took place today. A competitive event. A grind session of sorts. A last-minute change-your-weekend-plans type of gathering. Of course, sometimes the best ideas and memories are made on short or no notice. I mean you really can’t guarantee fun, it just happens when I have a bad idea. Like this one, of course. 

Really, it was just a local CrossFit competition but there were friends that were teammates and competitors. That’s kind of the thrill of the event. The more. The merrier. The crazier.  There was even family competing against family. Talk about a shit storm and I didn’t even mention the judging. Those judges that you know who no rep you for your error and you get mad about it. They are just doing the job they volunteered for.

No matter which way you look at it, the group was getting their fitness on. No matter who was on each team. Recharging their competition batteries. They were putting Corona and all its cancellations in the back seat. A much needed mindset for me anyways.

99 Problems and a Lift Ain’t One of them

Purple Reign

Cheet Cheat Never Beat

The crazy names above are three of the teams I’m highlighting in this post. My friends and family. We all showed up and we worked our asses for four grueling workouts. See below for proof. Close to 30 teams participated overall. A great turnout with today’s restrictive environment.

We all battled hard to overcome injuries, movement challenges and our minds. Our minds are a powerful tool and I have written about its power and complexities in the past. Today I saw both in action across many people.

The power of I can vs. I can’t. The power of persevering. The power of overcoming self-doubt. The power of taking action when you really don’t want to. I saw personal firsts. Personal bests. Injuries-some temporary, some sidelining and some just irritating. Wherever my fellow athletes fell on the spectrum there was always somebody there to pick them up.

A hug, a high five, a fist pump, a sign, a cheer, a roar, and so much more. This is what CrossFit is about. Community. Challenges. Digging deep. Mental toughness. Pushing yourself beyond your perceived limits. Why doesn’t everyone do it? Because it’s hard. It’s physically hard. Emotionally hard. Mentally draining. All of those factors are magnified in a CrossFit competition! Magnified beyond recognition.

You are physically fatigued. You are mentally weak. You are low on gas in the emotions tank. None of that matters though. You are an athlete. You are competing for a spot on the podium or some other significance. Whatever your reason, you are there competing. Doing your best. No time for excuses. You are on a stage. No matter how big or small the stage, you are in the spotlight as a competitor.

I loved this competition. Not because I won because I didn’t. I watched my daughter compete in her first competition. I watched her achieve things she didn’t think she could. I saw her embrace new relationships and partner through adversity. I saw her cry when she felt defeated. I heard her say at the end of it all that it was fun. I can’t wait for the next one. I’m going to be better next time. How awesome is that? The lessons she learned today will springboard her in many parts of her life and I get a front row seat to watch that growth. Simply amazing!

Whenever I can compete with my kids in a CrossFit competition, race, or business I will jump at the chance. I will put so much to the side to do it. It’s memories like these I will cherish for a lifetime. It’s an opportunity that everyone has. An opportunity many won’t seize. An opportunity I desire. 

My fitness journey is a work in progress. It has been for most of my life and it will be for many more years. In light of the recent passing of notorious RBG, I hope to still be CrossFitting my way when I’m in my 80s. Hats off to some of my competition pals. This photo isn’t all-inclusive but it is a glimpse. All warriors in a way battling their own fitness journey and I’m happy to part of their story as much as they are a part of mine.

My emotional tank is overflowing.

My mind is dancing to an amazing anthem.

My physical aches are temporary and none required a bandaid.

Big win here. Today was a success and then some.

Last minute decisions do indeed make for amazing memories.

fitness and nutrition, healthy hacks

Movement Snacks

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Life is changing quickly these days.

Many of the routines that I thrive on have been either somewhat or completely turned upside down by precautions due to the Coronavirus.

This week, my school district moved to online learning. But, employees in my position still had to come into the school building so I kept my usual schedule of getting up, going to CrossFit (with extra cleaning measures), then heading for work.  This wasn’t a huge deal, but I did notice that at work, I get up and move a whole lot less when students aren’t around.  My calorie activity tracker on my Apple Watch took much longer to reach my daily goal.  The reminder to stand up, which comes on the :50 of the hour if you’ve been sitting the first fifty minutes straight, went off several times during the days.  This never happens!  My job keeps me moving to help students, teach them, and walk throughout the building.

Time for a healthy hack!

So, I started incorporating “movement snacks” into my day.  I was doing inventory tasks in my library while the kids were gone, so every time I finished scanning a shelf, I did 10 hand release pushups.  It was great to break the monotony and get the blood pumping again.  And, it all adds to my goal of 2,020 hand release pushups in 2020!

Today, another change.  I’ll now work fully from home.  My gym is quite far from where I live. It’s much closer to where I work.  That, combined with concerns about health and money (in a family with a small business that will be deeply impacted by all this) means I’ll be at the gym far less frequently.  I do have some home gym equipment, plus I’m training for a triathlon as well.  I’ll be doing different types of workouts, but I plan to continue to wake up early and get moving most days.

I made it to a gym this morning with my daughter then came home to work. After day 1 online I can safely say I need to keep moving not just early but throughout the day to stay mentally and physically strong and fit.  I spent much of today sitting on my butt answering questions and reviewing work. I took a couple of short walks around the yard but I was still mostly sedentary.  I didn’t feel nearly as calm or energetic as I usually do after 8 hours of work…and the irony is that I burned a lot less physical energy!

Objects at rest tend to stay at rest. We all know the rule.

So, tomorrow I’ll get up and take my bike to the park.  It’s already loaded in my car. During work, I’ll experiment with a timer so I stop and move every half hour at least.  Maybe situps.  Maybe the mobility I desperately need to work on. Or the “power jumps” I need to practice to get closer to double unders. Maybe I’ll alternate.  Bite-sized bits of movement spread throughout the day. There are many ways to experiment and keep moving.

Even 10 at a time, everything helps.  How are you continuing to move in this time of change and disruption?

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