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March 6, 2014
Hey guys! How’s your week been? Have you been getting work done like a boss (or ARE you a boss)? Have you been crushing your workouts in the gym (or braving the cold temps to do it outside)? Have you been meal prepping in the kitchen and drinking water? I’ve been doing pretty well on all fronts (although I don’t claim to be perfect and don’t want to be! I really do live by the moderation rule) and saw this cat strutting down Instagram and HAD to turn it into a little meme:
SO cute! And yep, I’ve been doing my thang all week. From workouts of my own to classes, from getting through those cold days and being semi-productive at home (come on, “Survivor” just started back up!), it’s been a pretty good week so far. But doing or achieving or ticking things off a list doesn’t make it good, it’s the people in my life and the grace of God that makes it good.
In light of Monday’s post, I wanted to share a verse my mother-in-law shared with me that has given me good perspective and comfort this week, found in Psalm 32:8:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
No matter what, God has us. And I had a great conversation with my mom encouraging this very truth in her and my dad’s lives presently as well as how she has learned to respond to every situation: God will provide.
Speaking of moms, I’m so grateful for mine – in Calgary and at home in California! My mom sent me a care package and it arrived today:
Crazy colored Sketchers shoes, striped workout pants (hard to see above), 2 v-neck T’s, a sports bra that puts my old ones to shame (how’d you know, mom?!), a “Nana-Saver” for when you only eat half a banana and a lemon/lime hand juicer (the kind you squeeze) which I’ll use every morning! I was so happy and thankful to receive these goods – some great finds from TJ Maxx and some generosity from my mom. Aren’t care packages awesome? I need to send some out to friends and family more often.
I got one other package and I can’t wait to give it a trial run: it’s a supplement from X2Performance that helps increase energy, enhance endurance and improve recovery. They are actually the official sports supplement of Ironman US series and I love that their product is safe and natural.
Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have full days, including teaching (and doing with everyone) classes and squeezing my own workouts in before I get my first break. I can’t wait to try this supplement, which essentially helps generate ATP production and increase energy, stamina and recovery on those days as well as weekend long runs and eventually trail runs! I’m so ready for some spring/summertime outdoor adventures, but for now this will help with our
never-ending winter adventures!
Here’s a great video (with an equally great and dramatic voice; love it!) that highlights the elements of the supplement:
…More on this after I’ve tried it a few times!
Along with talk about sports nutrition, here’s a great article by Precision Nutrition about the latest research behind “nutrient timing…” Definitely worth a read if you’re always worried about getting your protein shake in right after your workout or if you have always proclaimed from the rooftops the benefits of breakfast vs no breakfast…
And to go along with it, how about a workout? I did this fun TRX/KB combo workout with my class yesterday and it had them feeling fit all over!
Choose an angle that challenges you for the TRX moves (all on the left of the image above) and a KB that is tough to complete the 45 sec worth of movement. You’ll probably have a few KB options (for the deadlifts and swings, for example, you can go heavier than the one arm squat + press).
Two moves you might not know based on the words above:
Ab rollout video:
and alternating lunge + press out here (what the woman on the right is doing):
Let me know if you give it a go! And with that, I’m off to do a few things around the house, finish sipping my coffee and get ready to kill it in the day ahead.
March 3, 2014
When Mikey and I (and the help of many people!) led our first kayaking trip down the Owhyee River in 2009, we knew we wanted to talk about some of the themes we’d experienced during our own cancer journey (which was still very fresh). Right away some of the themes that surfaced were apparent to us, including the idea of uncertainty. We tagged two themes together, actually, and the questions and circle conversation that day centered around fear & uncertainty – so often they go together.
Isn’t there a lot of uncertainty in life? And many times when we’re faced with uncertain circumstances, outcomes or possibilities we experience fear. Not that I’ve never been fearful, but my future is secure and my happiness, my joy, my life’s direction is not dictated by my current circumstances; my future is secure in Jesus. That TOTALLY changes things! But, have I experienced uncertainty before? You bet.
I grew up with lots of uncertainty in my family financially, although I wasn’t always very aware of it. As I got older, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to afford things like university and then my books for the semester. There are some loans to this day, but God always provided – for my family and for myself.
Then there was cancer. Married, enjoying life in Washington as outdoor adventure guides and then BOOM! Uncertainty and change with cancer. We got through that hurdle, learned so much and watched God use it to change the direction of mine and Mikey’s lives.
Then there was Peacefield. Post-cancer we thought some of the big surprises in our lives were over (which is, admittedly, naive at 24 and 26 years old, respectively). The change of what didn’t happen with Peacefield (I encourage you to read about the would-be retreat center that was given to us and then taken back if you’re interested here) knocked us off our feet. It felt like the rug was pulled out from under us again. Blindsided, even though all the lights had been green about this life change up to that point. We had even been interviewed by our university about this incredible upcoming change – before it was suddenly taken away. “The only thing constant in life is change” sure is true, isn’t it?
And we find ourselves at a crossroads of sorts again. Mikey is still working on his thesis, I am continuing as a personal trainer, but we’re looking ahead and realizing that change is coming. We want to be mindful and prayerful about our next steps as we think about stepping out more full time with our non-profit, Survive & Thrive Cancer Programs (new website still under construction!). There’s also more work available in the cancer center as well as the idea of trying to start a family. Who knows where we’ll go from here?! It’s exciting, but it also means stepping out of our comfort zone. But you know what? Uncertainty is okay!
Uncertainty, although it’s rarely comfortable, means that change is happening. It means that life is moving in a direction, and that’s exciting! It doesn’t mean everything’s clear or will necessarily fall into place, but it does mean there will be movement. And you all know how I feel about movement (I LOVE it!).
These thoughts are all circulating throughout my mind today because we had our Survive & Thrive “Real Deal Bonspiel!” over the weekend – our annual fundraiser. It was an amazing day complete with fun, great food, honest conversations and lots of curling.
the competition more fierce this year (people are getting better!) and we were able to share our thoughts on what’s possibly coming up in the near future for Survive & Thrive. I love thinking about where God might take us! And yet there’s definitely some uncertainty that we’re walking into…but He has us.
And you know what? If we jump into this or just take it part-time, or move in a different direction entirely, God will lead us and we’ll move forward into whatever he has for us. On another note, we raised more money than any other year for our fundraiser! What a blessing and we are in a better position to help survivors come on trips this summer! So much more to share…just not quite in the place of a decision to let it all out. I love thinking about life and where we want to be and where God might lead.
How do you view big life changes? If you’re stressed, what is your first response? And who do you put your trust in when it comes to your life decisions? Your intuition? family? fate? a higher power? I’d love to hear.
Tell me a bit about your weekend! Besides the event and lots of thinking, it wasn’t too exciting – although we did play some games with friends Sunday night – it was freezing all weekend!
It’s a good one! Let me know if you go for it, and remember that IF you lift heavy enough, 5 rounds is PLENTY… and you can swap the pull ups for any kind of inverted row (TRX or body row under a bar or table), work on negatives (jump up and slooowwwllly lower yourself down each time), or turn these into chin ups (underhand grip). This workout works on your grip, boosts that heart rate (#liftweightsfaster) and gives you good opportunities to practice your hinge hips and big muscle movers.
And with that…I’m out! Have a great night and good rest of your week, friends. A few giveaway coming up (had some packages arrive recently) – pretty excited about that.
Live well & be well,
February 23, 2014
Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Ours was good…a real mix of work, friends, downtime at home and time out together.
No, we did not get up at 5 am to watch the Canadian Men’s Hockey team win gold…but we did go to our friend’s house at 8 am on Sunday to watch it. Still pretty early for a weekend to be out and about if not in the mountains! Did you know they changed the laws in Canada for 1 day, allowing bars to serve alcohol that early in the morning? You gotta admit, Canadian or not, that a country changing it’s regulations for a hockey game (and yes, the bars WERE full at 5 am and people were cheering Canada on, beer in hand), is pretty sweet. …even if they did beat the US. Such is life!
In other news on the weekend front, I was pretty sedentary. Don’t get me wrong, a rest day is awesome (and important!), but after moving my long run (9 miles) to Friday morning and our cross country skiing plans changing Saturday, I was left with a new cold front that had blown in, my run done and a weekend ahead of me.
I hibernated. Didn’t even do a single burpee! And had one of those weekends were I ate most everything in sight. While those weekends don’t throw me anymore because I normally am better about being balanced and enjoying what Jill Coleman refers to as “intermittent sampling,” you still never feel great after a weekend like that, so I’m feeling kind of so-so today. Oh well – it’s a new day tomorrow and a new decision for my next snack or meal, so I can move forward knowing there’s a week of great possibilities ahead!
I mentioned we got some work done this weekend, as we often do since we run Survive & Thrive Expeditions and do speaking engagements (more so Mikey than me) from time to time. Part of that included prepping for a tele-health conference that airs at different hospitals which is taking place this Wednesday midday and prep for a new launch that I wanted to tell you about today.
(our weekend work station)
Mikey and I have come to a new phase with Survive & Thrive and are looking to branch out, to change our focus and to rebrand. How does this affect you? Well, for one thing, this blog as we know it, Bonnie Lang Fitness, will be incorporated into the larger scheme of Survive & Thrive Cancer Programs. That means that you’ll still be able to come to this website, but you’ll be redirected to our soon-to-be-fully-combined website. But everything will be the same: my focus will still be fitness, our adventures and musings about life; my writing, reviews and thoughts will still be the same; and I’ll still be passionate to share life with you guys! It will just be in a different location.
More on this later, but as I’ve already changed my Instagram name, I wanted you to know a bit on the why! My Facebook page now has a different URL, so if you follow me there please take note of that when typing it in too. …more to come at the end of the weekend when are changes will be revealed! (website currently under construction)
It’s exciting when you move into a different direction, although a bit scary. In fact, this process has been harder than I thought as I’ve slowly started letting whatever I had of my personal brand of “Bonnie Lang Fitness” go. It’s a big step! But it’s for a bigger purpose and, although we’re not sure what God wants to do with it or us, it’s exciting.
In other news from our week, waffles & wine (not together, although that wouldn’t be too bad!) were consumed with friends,
the days were sunny but cold and I had fun playing with my dreads a bit.
We also enjoyed lunch with Mikey’s parents today after church. So great to chat about life and run ideas by them…and eat good, home cooked meals. And now it’s back to more computer work and presentation prep – oh, and workout prep for the week’s clients and classes and maybe a bit of studying too. Phew! It’s a busy phase of life, and the danger is not allowing yourself to get so overwhelmed that it paralyzes you to do nothing! So…short blocks of time dedicated to tasks working alongside Mikey…I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Any changes coming up in YOUR life? How was your weekend! Give me 1 highlight that stood out to you from it.
Live well & be well, friends!
February 20, 2014
When’s the last time you tried something new? Something that pushed you over the edge of your comfort zone?
I was thinking about this recently as I was training a client who has had some problems with arthritis in her toes and some knee issues as well. She always gets down to the ground the same direction, on the same side of the mat, and it prompted me to ask her why. It’s where she’s most comfortable! That movement pattern has been engrained in her brain and it’s how she functions when she lowers herself down to the ground. I challenged her to switch it up on our second circuit, and without even a reminder from me, she stood on the opposite side of the mat and went down on her left-hand side. I was proud of her! It was less seamless and took more effort, but she made a move to make herself uncomfortable to try something new.
This reminded me of my professor and friend in university (who actually came to our wedding!) who always challenged us to fold our arms the opposite direction as we usually do to make ourselves do something different, something uncomfortable. It’s a small thing, but I think about him whenever I fold my arms and try to switch the position.
(D.P. back right at our wedding with university friends…I think we should have a wedding reunion! You guys rock).
I remember when skiing, and then back country skiing, were so new and foreign to me. I never would have thought it would become part of my lifestyle, but now it’s second nature to me to get gear in a pack, put my skins off, strip them off at the top of a peak or run, get ready to head down with snow whipping around me and high five Mikey at the bottom (even if I don’t look like a great skier still!).
(One of my first trips out, after a few bad turns and I got upset at myself…snapped a crying shot because I knew I’d have some perspective – a good laugh – later.)
(Much more comfortable in the back country now, shown above hiking across Elk Lake.)
Mikey and I get out of our comfort zones every summer on our trips, and yet it’s a zone we’re still familiar with as we know that the strangers before us will become like family in a short week’s time. So in a way it’s not REALLY like getting out of our comfort zones anymore, just like skiing isn’t in the same way it used to be (sometimes sleeping outside in the snow still takes a lot from me…In fact, it’s been a while which means we should toughen up and get back out there!). After a while, your comfort zone begins to grow, and it’s time to expand that zone and now take a further step. It’s been taught to me through classes at Trinity Western University (and that same professor) like this:
It takes effort. It takes intentionality. It takes overcoming fear. Whether it’s something big (getting a new certification, changing careers, going on a blind date) or small (trying yoga for the first time, changing how you fold your arms, trying something new in the gym or kitchen), it’s so key to make ourselves get uncomfortable. I always tell my clients to settle in to exercises or workouts to learn to get comfortable in the uncomfortable. Easy for me to say in my “element,” like the gym or outdoors, but how about volunteering more? Or walking through pain with people? Or going the extra mile to write letters or connect with friends who don’t live in the same city as me?
Why is this important? It leads to growth. To change. To refreshment! “Nothing changes if nothing changes…” Right? So…
Let’s not get complacent. Let’s not settle. Let’s learn to get a little uncomfortable.
just get uncomfortable.
Thoughts on how you practice this? Or don’t and want to start doing so more? It’s like a handstand or becoming a better cook in the kitchen – if we don’t practice, we won’t get better! It’s a continual act of stepping out of our comfort zones and continuing to expand them.
Live well & be well!