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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,
January 31, 2014
Fridays call for short workouts and short blog posts…am I right? Short but sweet – to the point in both the workout and blogging realm. With that in mind, I wanted to share a workout I did yesterday as an idea from one of the other trainers at my gym (thanks, V!) that I LOVED! She said it’d be right up my ally and she.was.right! Give this a go if you’re looking for a quick burn and a short dose of high intensity!
I used a 30 lb bar (in retrospect, I could have gone heavier to challenge myself, but 100 reps sounded intimidating and I decided to try it out first) and this workout took me 5 minutes. My first minute gave me 30 reps, then I did my obligatory 5 burpees; minute two got me up to 55 thrusters, followed by 5 burpees; the rounds that followed were 70, 83 and 100, meaning I got through the workout with 20 burpees before time was up and I reached my 100 thrusters. I loved it!
Here’s a great little drawing of a thruster:
I used a bar but you can use dumbbells or kettle bells too! I had some more time and felt fired up, so I finished my spot training some areas I don’t always: abs (front, obliques) and my shoulders. Felt good to focus on some specific muscle groups despite loving the total body workout structure most of the time. I did sets of 5 burpees in between every exercise I performed and got my total up to 100 for the day, getting me 700 more burpees away from 1,000 by February 28th! Just a few burpees everyday and you’ll rack up more than you realize! I mixed up the end of my burpees with some medicine balls and had fun being creative!
If you’re looking for more content today, I am so happy and thankful to be guest-posting over on Carla’s blog today. The topic? Embracing Change… I’d love to hear your thoughts over there as well. (Thanks for inviting me to share from my experiences, Carla!)
And with that, I’m off to train some clients and have a great weekend! Anyone up to anything fun or exiting? Pretty quiet for me this weekend but always appreciate a few days to myself with my husband, our community, going to church, getting out into the mountains and NOT in the gym! …we’ll see what this weekend holds.
Live well & be well, friends!