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March 12, 2014
(image source) Here’s the truth: I am strong in some ways, weak in others. Big revelation, right? Everyone has prepped for an interview and thought through their strengths and weaknesses, and we’re made painfully aware of them throughout our days. In fact, a question I love to ask people, women specifically, is what’s one thing you love about your personality (character) and body (physical)? But when it comes to our physical weaknesses, sometimes I’m too quick to dismiss them.
- “I’ve never really been flexible – even since I was little!”
- “Yoga’s not enough of a workout for me. I like CrossFit!”
- “Run? Nah. Never been that good at it and there are plenty of other things I can do.”
While there’s no niche to fit into or one type of fitness to practice, I do think it’s important to be a well-rounded athlete/individual when it comes to our physical strengths and weaknesses. Something I’ve been thinking about lately is how I might be able to do pull ups and can head out for a 10 km run even if I haven’t been training or conditioned for it, but I can’t bend my body to save my life!
Yep. That’s as far/high/straight as I can get! I was later told after posting this on Instagram that this is a more advanced move, but I still see so many people come up into wheel that I thought, “Surely with my fitness level I’ll be fine.” Nope! I want to be flexible and able to move without pain and with grace as well as be a strong, fit woman with muscles. Climbing is a great example of a sport that encompasses fitness with grace, flexibility, strength and power. It’s a bit of everything! The best climbers are those who make it look smooth, effortless and easy, and then you get up on that problem and try it and you’re stumped, slip right off, or don’t move with the same ease and strength. I want to get back into my climbing shape (albeit without climbing; we haven’t been consistent in the climbing gym in ages and are so busy right now I’m not sure if it’s the time to start) and focus on the combination of strength + flexibility.
Do you have any good online recommendations for where I can start? I can’t make any of our gym’s yoga classes because I’m training clients at those times, and I know I won’t commit to something outside the gym (at a yoga studio, even if that’s the best option) because of finances and time. BUT I can commit to something at home, and maybe that will light a fire under me to eventually go a studio more than the one-off time.
I’d love to hear your suggestions for me! What’s an area of weakness in the physical sense that you need to focus on? Do you hate lifting and only do cardio? Do you only like outdoor activities but don’t take time to plank or keep your core strong intentionally? Do you work hard but never make it a discipline to stretch?
Live well & be well! I’m off to run to work & then foam roll (part of my discipline!) before teaching class,
March 9, 2014
Happy Sunday evening, guys! What a beautiful weekend we’re just coming off… Although I’m not holding my breath that winter’s over, it felt like spring was here in Calgary all weekend. The sun was out, the temps were up – I think I even heard more birds chirping than usual! I got outside Saturday for a gorgeous run before heading out for a bachelorette party in the evening. (Side note for Calgarians or visitors: Did you know there’s a bowling alley under National?! Yikes – I gotta get out more. It rocked!) Before I ran, I tried out my X2Performance supplement and was curious to see if it really worked as I don’t have much experience using supplements of any kind. Recently I was asked to join #teamX2 as a brand ambassador for X2PERFORMANCE as part of a limited time, paid sponsorship, and I was eager to give it a shot after reading about it’s natural makeup and benefits (and alluding to it in last Friday’s post):
Timing: I took it about 30 minutes before my planned run, on an empty stomach as per the directions, but it ended up being about 1 hr 15 min before I got out the door for my run.
Effect: I’m not sure if it was the gorgeous sun and warm temperature that gave me a bounce in my step, but I bounded out of the house, eager to move and felt like I was flying the first few miles. I settled into a rhythm and slowed down some over the 8.5 miles, but still felt awesome! I knew I had some energy and endurance gains because I had only eaten breakfast that morning (2 small GF pancakes, and egg and half a banana) at about 10 am and it was 2:30 pm when I left. I know…bad runner. At any rate, although I could tell I was hungry (and realized I left fuel at home after I got out the door), I still finished the run no problem!
Physical Feelings: I experienced no ill effects, upset stomach or uneasiness during or post-exercise and while I felt like the drink amped me up, I had no jittery feelings. I’m looking forward to trying the rest of my sample and reporting more to you guys as a member of #teamX2! 1 sample test tube down, 3 to go! Disclosure: I received samples of X2PERFORMANCE as part of a paid campaign. While I was compensated, all opinions are 100% mine and I am not obligated to share a positive review. “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.”
If you’d like to try out a sample yourself, head over to X2PERFORMANCE and check them out! I’d love to hear your feedback too.
Besides going for a fun run, what’s another great thing to do on the weekend? Go out to eat! Mikey and I are making it a goal to go out more…which sounds funny, but we rarely get out and try new places. So we took advantage of joining in The Big Taste – a week of foodie restaurants creating set menus at great prices to try out their food! Check out the link above for more details and participating restaurants! We ate at Market, where their:
…fresh ingredient philosophy starts in our kitchen, where we bake our own breads daily, cure our own meats, do our own butchering, make our own cheese and grow our own herbs, micro greens and select vegetables. MARKET is the first restaurant in Calgary to use an internal home garden, the Urban Cultivator, where we can grow more than 16 different varieties of heirloom seeds year round. We change our menu regularly so we can cook in harmony with the changing seasons and ensure the freshest and best tasting ingredients possible.
Pretty cool, right? The food was great! I had the kale ceasar salad with the fried chicken sandwich on soft ciabatta bread while Mikey had the winter squash soup with the bison burger. Both meals came with very homemade, fresh fries, a spiced ketchup and we washed it down with a French press coffee, black (for me) and root beer soda made on site (for Mikey). There were 2 baby apple turnovers each as dessert, and we each brought food home for another meal! It’s been a wonderful rest day full of relaxing, strolling around town, church (although admittedly a bit late with the time change) and now we’re off to a $5 movie at the cheap theater – “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.” It’s an action fun movie – don’t expect any kind of review for this one, just meeting some friends out to close off the weekend!
Tried any supplements you swear by?
Any fun events going on in your town?
Who else is excited for lighter, longer days?!
Live well & be well, and catch you guys on the flip side,
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,