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, fitness and nutrition

It’s A Wrap

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Change is in the air for me, Chick 1. As most are looking at wrapping up holiday gifts, I am looking at unwrapping new opportunities just in time for the new year. Meticulous planning, strategically aligning resources and of course, the fostering of key relationships are all part of the process of building a solid foundation as my dreams become reality.

This process is not new to me. I have been chipping away at my plan while working full time, managing my busy family, and investing in me, each of which can be daunting in itself. Part of my dream includes writing and sharing stories with the world. They may not always be my stories, but as a storyteller I thought it was important to share a piece of me with my blooming audience. I initially set a goal and I worked towards that goal on my own terms and I reworked and adjusted my goals on a frequent basis to align with variables that pop up here and there, basically bending and flexing with what we all call life. This process repeats many times.

As I contemplated when to make the next chess move in my life, environmental challenges gave me an opportunity. This opportunity led me to make a career change at the end of September 2018 that some may say is a mistake or emotional decision. A mistake for some is an opportunity for others and frankly others have opinions and such opinions don’t drive my actions.

For me, my change is 100% about me, my short-term and long-term goals, and objectives. The road I chose is not an easy one and I am well aware of that.  I will have struggles along the way but that won’t dull my shine; rather it will fuel my fire.

Tackling a new challenge at work, at home, or in the gym is something I embrace and commit 100% to all day everyday. I almost love it when somebody says you can’t, you shouldn’t or don’t! In most instances my inner badass will trigger itself and say hmmm…WATCH ME! I write my own stories. I chart my own path. I define my own successes as well as my failures. I don’t wait for a boss to define or quantify my value. I set my own value. Perception vs. reality maybe, but I decide. Each day I look to inspire others along the way in any way I can and I always stay humble. I look to see value in others and share that openly.

This week, I heard my daughter make a statement that will inspire me for years to come. “You are high maintenance,” said one family member to my daughter at Thanksgiving dinner. Her response was not only timely but definitive: “You must be mistaken. I am not high maintenance, I am high quality!” Oh, how I love that girl and her wit. Her ability to respond positively on the spot to comments that could be construed as negative was amazing. Her brilliant mind at work. My prodigy.

Modeling for my daughter is one of my biggest challenges and joys. My risk- taking and leadership style shows her how to be confident and inspiring in her own special way. My strength and perseverance show her how to work hard for what she wants. My individuality teaches her how to be comfortable in her own skin. Watching her grow as a student, an athlete, and friend also fuels my passion to live my journey to success and show others there is no required path that one needs to take to be successful.

As as I have been adjusting to my new normal work/life balance, I have been growing as a person. When one part of your life is going well normally other parts of your life will be influenced and reflect positively. Same goes for surrounding yourself with those who make you work harder and aim higher. As I always say, success breeds success and surrounding yourself with a positive tribe/community is paramount in many ways.

Remember, most won’t accept the challenge of changing their surroundings because of the fear of the unknown. Embracing change takes courage, confidence, and a positive attitude. I know many in my inner circle who struggle with change. I seem to be the exact opposite. I would rather try something new and find I don’t like it rather than not try at all and wonder could I, should I, would I? At some point in one’s life everyone has the opportunity to wake up and smell the roses. But most may miss that opportunity, not me!

The next nail biter took place this week. I changed my gym/box environment. I loved my box, my community, and had great success physically while committing several years to the program. I decided I was ready for a new challenge, a new environment, and a new set of goals. Boom! I moved, just like that. I did a free trial with the intent of moving in January but then it happened. I knew after the first workout this was my new place to grow physically, mentally and potentially emotionally. Without hesitation I made the move. Why put off to January what I could do today? Why wait? If I knew I would progress why delay my start?

In my first few days, I had the courage to conquer new moves that I may have bypassed while in my old gym/comfort zone. How telling is that? I completed not only my first devil press in a WOD, but I did every one of the 80 in that workout. Another day I stretched my ability to complete pistols, multiple times. Finally, I completed a 40-minute grueling workout that tested my ability to push myself and maintain consistency and breath control. Just these few moments solidified my choice to move on. Not to mention I met several new friendly faces, all from different backgrounds and occupations but all living a fit and pure life through CrossFit.

This change also confirmed that the best is yet to come in so many areas of my life. Areas I may not have seen if I didn’t leave my comfortable box. And the box I am referring to is the boundary we set for ourself, not my CrossFit box. We all have a box or set of boundaries of some sort. Some hover at the edge of the box, others find peace dead smack in the middle of the box. Those are not your risk takers.

As I write this blog, I am one week into my new fitness routine and eight weeks into my work/career transition. No day is easy and I am actually juggling more during my transition than I will be come 1/1/19 but I am enjoying the ride I am on. My mind is stimulated and my body is ready for the physical challenge thanks to my daily fitness routine. #ktisonthemove

Stay tuned as I update my change progress in the new year. 2019 is a blank slate for me. What story will I write? What adventures will I tackle? What new friends will I make? #kt2019

Feeling thankful, grateful and positive as I wrap up this Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Thank you for following my blog. I am grateful for all who take the time to comment, like, or message words of encouragement. You are part of my online journey. You are part of my tribe/community. Virtual maybe, but connected nonetheless. When I see my stories reach other countries I just grin ear to ear.

Hugs to all my virtual connections.

hustle

It’s All a Blur

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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

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

 

 

balance

Bye Bye Summer

Last week was a busy one. Ending summer vacation is usually one week that is crazy for me and many others like me. It’s filled with back-to-school Open Houses, school supply shopping, all tied in with my work juggling act, among the regular chaos of my week.

How do I balance it all? I just do. It is what is expected in my Mom role. Just get it done and hit the restart button the next day. There is no award waiting for me when the kids successfully make it back to school and become well-adjusted, but there is gratification in knowing I did all I could to set them up for success.

My youngest is starting a new school and that comes with new adventures, schedules, teachers, friends, experiences, and so much more. But for a teenager it can also come with stress, anxiety, fear, and a host of other feelings as she wonders how she will fit into her new surroundings.

For now I am focusing on the positives and using this change as a teaching moment to show her how to attract and find good solid friends. The friends who will be by your side when you need them versus those who judge you for being new, dressing differently, or not being the most popular kid on day one.

Will it work? I don’t know but I am going with my gut and encouraging her to be her and let the rest fall in place.

When one can learn to adapt to new environments, new challenges, and be true to herself she will feel empowered to tackle the unknown and be fearless as she grows older.

Fingers crossed as the weekend rolls into the weekdays with new routines, new people, and the shock of being back-to-school for her.

Meanwhile I will be doing a party dance as I get my routine back, my space, my focus and everything else that goes out the window during summer break.

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#byebyesummer #hello7thgrade #2chx #mompower #chicksthatwrite #buildingabadass #stronggirls #fearlessmessage

balance

The Cray Cray Post

It’s been a capital-c CrAAazYyyy week for the 2 Chicks.

Chick 1 has had some teen drama to deal with on the home front. Chick 2 has had teen independence issues of her own this week. Different varieties, still exhausting.

In addition, both Chicks had professional trainings and speaking engagements to manage, on top of running households, parenting our other children, trying to eat healthy, fulfilling our regular work responsibilities, and getting to the gym each day. On most days moms flip roles so frequently that others around can easily take their ability to shift mindsets for granted.

Sometimes, when things get capital-c CrAAazYyyy, people will ask you “who is in your corner?”

We prefer to think in other shapes instead, like circles. We are both lucky to have close inner circles of trusted friends and family who can close in and keep us upright when life is out of balance.  Those circles are filled with people who can connect us with resources, reassure us with their common experiences, or just listen and jump in to do just about anything when needed.  It can also be a web that will catch and support as we find our center again.

This is a mom’s world. A working mom’s world. A community approach to managing life’s daily challenges and this community usually exists behind the scenes of the four walls of our homes.

Of course, as with most thing Chicks, we each have our own twist with our circles.

Chick 1 likes the infinity symbol.  It’s two circles or loops, showing the interconnection of her family, her friends, her co-workers, her mentors, and the loop means the boundaries are limitless.

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Chick 2 sticks with the smaller, more simple circle.  Trust is difficult to give and only a precious few will gain access to her inner circle. It requires deep connection to help her manage her complex world.  But when things go sideways, she is always glad to have those friends to recenter her.

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Maybe your shape is a diamond.  Maybe it’s a pyramid.  Whatever your shape, remember and consider those who make it up carefully.  As we’ve been reminded lately, these central connections play a vital role in keeping our balance – mental, emotional, and social.

#2CHX