People often ask why I wake up so early most mornings of the week. Most days, I have clients starting at 5am which means I need to be out of the house by 4:30am. In turn, that means that my alarm is going off at 3am (sorry, Joe) so that I have plenty of time to make a filling and nutritious breakfast, pack plenty of water and snacks for the day, and enjoy a little quiet TV and coffee time.
Some mornings, such as today, I have just enough time to type up a blog post that has been rolling around in my brain lately. So, here we are….
It is that inevitable time of year where we look back and assess the year that was. 2014 had it’s ups and downs as I am sure it did for everyone;
– cancer came and went once again in my family
– I got to travel a little
– I managed to take control of some disordered eating (hello binge!) and all the mental, self abuse that goes along with that
– I began to really focus on meal planning for the week
– In the spring, I finally started doing CrossFit and am so happy that I did! Some days, I leave there so frustrated to the point of tears. Other days, I leave riding a high that only a truly challenging and taxing workout can bring
– As of very recently, I have begun to enjoy running again. The treadmill is less of a ‘have-to’ these days and more of a ‘want-to.’
– 365 days of workouts: not all of them were balls-to-the-walls, beast mode types. I am a big fan of active rest days.
Going into the end of 2014, I began to think whether or not I was going to proclaim yet another empty resolution for the coming year. Yes, I want to pare down the ‘stuff’ that is cluttering up the house. Yes, I would like to create a budget and actually stick to it. Yes, I have endless health and fitness goals.
But these rather broad statements never seem to have any follow through.
I was making small talk with a client this morning. I had asked her if she had made any New Years resolutions — you know, the usual things you ask people this time of year.
I expected her answer to be the typical ‘lose weight’ ‘get healthy’ fare that is in over abundance this time of year.
She surprised me though.
She explained that she does in fact set goals for herself but rather than throw out a statement of how she would rather be this year as opposed to last, she asks herself, “where would I like to be 1 year from now.” She prioritizes a few things that are truly important to her in the coming year and sets smaller, more attainable goals throughout the year to make certain that she is on track.
That got me to thinking….where would I like to be 1 year from now. And in truth, I don’t really have an answer for that. I am not one to have a 5 year plan, to think past the next few weeks, or to ask if there is more that I can be doing to better myself and my situation.
I don’t know if that is laziness or a lack of motivation but it sure can make for living in the rut of the typical day in and day out. Perhaps I don’t set goals for myself because it would be yet another added stress that I don’t necessarily have the time nor the energy to tackle. Perhaps I don’t set goals for myself because I don’t have the direction nor the drive to reach them. Perhaps I don’t set goals because I fear not actually reaching them.
Who really knows.
What I do know, however, is that this notion of “New Year, New You” has never been one that appeals to me. Why, with the stroke of midnight on the 31st of December, does everything change? Why does everything automatically start over? Yes, it is a whimsical and charming notion.
A cleansing of the palate.
A wiping clean of the slate.
But once the all the cleansing and wiping are done, you are still you.
You are still you with all of your scars, your weaknesses, your faults, and your downfalls.
So why then do we get a reset button?
I’m not sure that we do. Rather we need to add on to – no, make adjustments to – the person we already are. We are a work in progress not a 365 day project that goes right back to zero on the 1st of January. We are ever changing, ever adjusting, ever building on the foundation that we have already established for ourselves.
We add to, subtract from, keep at a steady state every hour of every day. It is what makes living all the more interesting.
So New Year, New You? Not for me. Rather a subtly different version of me.
A few tweaks, a few turns of the screw.
An altered way of thinking.
A different way of behaving.
But never not me.
Always me – past, present, and future.
A few days ago a dear friend – always busy, always on the go, always doing more for others than for herself – in a small fit of exasperation, mentioned that she would like just one day to sleep in. She mentioned that she felt bad even saying that knowing that I have to get up stupid early in order to meet with my 5am clients.
For me, though, it is not about sleeping in. Yes I enjoy not having to wake up to an alarm and rolling out of bed whenever I feel like it. More than that, however, I like the days when I wake up and don’t have anywhere to be.
My calendar is clear.
My day is wide open.
It is the best way to start a day.
This morning, however, I woke up to my alarm. Got to work feeding Sadie, letting her out, and then cooking my breakfast. I made myself one cup of coffee in the Keurig and took a few minutes catching up on emails and Facebook.
Then, it was time to start getting ready. Brush the teeth, wash the face — no shower as the plan was to run on the treadmill once the PT session was over.
And then guess what happened.
“ding ding” My phone goes off alerting me to a text message.
Could it be?
Yes it is! My client texting asking to reschedule for later this week.
Now, granted, if I don’t work I don’t get paid, but I really just wanted to stay around the house this morning. I have coffee to drink, a Christmas tree to enjoy, an amazingly soft and cozy blanket to lounge under, and an episode of The Biggest Loser to catch up on.
So that’s exactly what I did. I made an entire pot of coffee, cued up the DVR, and got myself settled under my new blanket:
So no, I didn’t get to sleep in today and yes, I still had to wake up to an alarm but I really can’t complain. I’ve got no where to be and that is just fine with me!
I’ve recently set myself up with an Instagram account (runitoutak) ….. I know, I’m always a few years behind the times! I have been posting a lot of pictures of the workouts I have been planning for my Cross Training classes and have been getting a lot of positive response. I wanted to share some of those workouts with you guys, so here are a few.
This first one is one of my favorites to do not only with a big class but with my clients as well:
After the warm up and some strength work, the class did 3 rounds of each circuit. As you can see, each circuit has 3 different exercises and a rest period built in – each of which lasted 30 seconds. Besides the allotted 30 second rest period, there is no rest between exercises. The exercises are performed back to back so pretty much they are doing 1:30 sprint. It’s not so bad the first time through but by rounds 2 and 3, people really are sweating and puffing. I love it!
This next one is a pretty standard rep scheme:
The warm up is made up of two exercises with one of those decreasing reps, while the other is increasing in reps. As for the workout, we did 4 different circuits with 3 different rounds of each; the first round is 21 reps of each exercise, then 15 reps, then 9. In between each circuit they were on the treadmills doing 2 rounds of 30 second jog/30 second sprint. It was another great workout!
And here is the last one I have to share for today:
The warmup was Tabata style on the treadmill – 20 seconds sprint/10 seconds rest at the above mentioned inclines. Then the class got to work doing another favorite of mine. EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute so at the top of every minute, they had to complete that exercise with any remaining time in that minute being rest. At the top of the next minute, they were on to the next exercise and so on. They did 3 rounds of each which equaled 9 minute circuits. The class seemed to really like this one!
As always, questions and feedback are welcome. I’d love to hear from you guys!
If you are anything like me, you are in a whirlwind of all things holidays. There is wrapping paper all over the house, a wreath on the door, and Christmas movies playing every chance I get! I am also making mental notes of all the things that I want to bake over the next few weeks. What is it about the holidays that puts me into full Martha Stewart mode? I don’t know but I can’t get enough of it!
Last weekend we set up my parents Christmas tree and last night, Joe and I picked out our own tree and brought it home. We are real tree people….it is all about that Christmas tree smell. Am I right? Our tree has yet to be decorated but it is set up and already the house smells just like Christmas should smell.
Over Thanksgiving, Joe and I were out of town spending it with his family in Texas. This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family (insert your eye rolls here) and it was, in truth, a little hard for me. I am very much into family traditions especially when it comes to the holidays so not watching the Macy’s parade under a blanket while sipping coffee on my recliner or discussing the dog show with my mom were one of the several things that I missed doing.
That being said, it was a very nice Thanksgiving with Joe’s side of the family. The company was warm and inviting, the food was delicious, and I even got to spend some time outdoors without a jacket on (that’s a big deal for this cold-hating Alaskan).I know that Joe misses his family very much so being with them for even a few days was special to him, so therefore important to me.
Though we were visiting family in Texas we stayed on family property, just outside of Texas, in Oklahoma. I am certain that I have mentioned this before, but Joe’s aunt and uncle own 800+ acres of land in Oklahoma with a “cabin” on the property. And by “cabin” I mean 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, amazing deck, wifi and cable, and enough 4 wheelers and land to go exploring every day.
Roughing it, I know.
For me, one of the best parts is that the driveway – from gate to gate – is exactly 1/2 mile which makes it very easy for me to keep track of mileage while I am getting a workout in.
I worked out every day that we were gone (including travel days which can be tricky) and did some variety of running, circuit workouts (I always travel with a jump rope and my handy-dandy gymboss interval timer), and some core mixed in to keep things interesting.
Wait for it……..
It’s time for me to sign off — I have some meal planning to do and I have got to get a battle plan together for this years Christmas shopping….only 15 more days until Christmas . Whuuuuuuttt???
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
I wanted to make a quick pit-stop to share some links to a few articles I recently stumbled across. Take a break in the middle of your hectic day, click on a few links, and enjoy some knowledge gettin’ all up in your brain!
First up, a quick and funny read about 159 year old running advice. Click here for the link!
This next article comes courtesy of my best gal pal, Jillian Michaels. Seeing as how we are totally BFF’s, she shared this article with me (and, let’s be honest, all of her Facebook followers). It is an interesting read regarding some sneaky and often over looked reasons why we are holding onto excess weight. Click here!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have become quite a pro at counting calories, tracking macros….you name it, I’ve done the math. While there is a certain sense of comfort and order that I get out of knowing exactly (give or take) what is going into my body, it really can become an added stress on my life. While I think there is definitely merit in having a basic understanding of calorie content – especially for those who are new to healthy eating – it isn’t something that I would want to do for the rest of my life. This article, though a little technical, gives us some tips on how to ‘lean out’ without having to count or track anything. Click here!
When I was studying my face off for my personal training certification, a good portion of the text book talked about goal setting and how to use it to motivate your clients and keep them on track. This article breaks down goal setting from one large goal (‘I want to lose 50 pounds’) into a much smaller, much more manageable daily goal. Check it out. Click here!
Be still my heart! There are few things in this wide world that I love more than peanut butter and as much as I love me some Jif, I know that there are healthier options out there. (Don’t worry Jif, you will always be my number 1). Check out of this article for an easy guide to picking a good and good-for-you peanut butter. Click here!
And to totally pull a 180 on you guys, here is a super cool article about one of the bestest movies of all time!! Click here!!! Do It!!!
Alright peeps, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Feel free to share some articles that you all have found interesting or of merit.
Please note: links included in this post are also credit for the corresponding photos.
It has been forever and a day since I shared a workout with you guys. Mostly because I have been a bit M.I.A. around here but also, I rarely get a chance to put together a workout just for me.
Between the group classes that I teach and CrossFit, I do little else outside of running. I would have to say, that I really do enjoy programming workouts not only for me but for my clients and my classes as well.
Here is a workout that I threw together one weekend and, though challenging, I really loved it. So much so that the next week most of my clients and my cross training classes did a version of it as well!
Without further ado:
Try it out, let me know what you think. It is sure to get you tired and sweaty!
Peace out, girl scout!
I woke up to this scene early one recent morning. Every year, as the temperature drops and the clouds begin to drop low among the mountains heavy with snow, us Alaskan’s just know the inevitable is coming.
Winter hangs heavy on the air until one day you wake up and the beautiful fall colors have been replaced with stark white.
Every year, even though I know it’s coming, I am still a little surprised and saddened by the first snow fall. I am always racked with a smidgen of guilt about not doing enough during our brief, yet amazing summers.
I should have hiked more.
I should have biked more.
I should have run more outside.
I should have spent more time under the sun.
I am not at all a winter person. When not at work, I spend the long winter months holed up in my house complaining about the cold. Joe likes to say that I am in a bad mood for the 7 or so months of winter. I should probably apologize about that one of these days
My biggest regret is always the fact that I didn’t run outdoors as much as I would have liked to. The snow begins to fly and I start verbally kicking myself for the days that I wasted on the treadmill when I could have been out in the fresh air.
This happens every year and every year, when the ground begins to freeze, I proclaim that come summer this year is going to be different!
I am going to hit the pavement, soak up the sun, fill my lungs with clean air. I am going to get back to the time when running was less work and more ‘play.’
I am not going to worry so much about mileage or pace. I am going to listen to my body and run as long or as short as I want. I will stop when I want. Walk breaks will be okay.
Perhaps this is wishful thinking. Perhaps, when it starts to warm up outside, I will continue to plug myself into the treadmill and zombie-run while watching the Today show.
I want to think that this summer is going to be different and with this many months out, I am thinking that it is a possibility.
Now, I just have to wait out the winter, have patience until the snow has all melted away, and get myself back out there.
……I absolutely SUCK at CrossFit!
Let me take a few deep breaths and then I will come back and explain.
And, I’m back.
Ok, before I get into the ranting and raving that is percolating just under the surface, let me be the first to say that I have a love-love relationship with CrossFit. I love the workouts, I love the community, I love watching it on TV, I love talking about it, I love CrossFit.
However, on an almost daily basis I am oh-so-rudely reminded just how terrible I am at it. 9 workouts out of 10, I am the last one to finish — when everyone is high-fiving and writing up their scores, I am still finishing my last round.
When everyone is lifting the prescribed weight, I am struggling hefting a much lighter bar.
My stars, it is so very frustrating.
When I first started going to CrossFit earlier this year, I guess I assumed I was stronger than I really am. I figured I would be able to, for the most part, keep up with the rest of class during not only the WOD but during the strength/oly lifting as well.
Boy was in for a rude awakening!
I thought I was strong but holy hell, these people are amazingly strong athletes and I am in awe of them on a regular basis.
Now I know I shouldn’t be competitive against anyone other than myself — and I try, really really try, not to compare myself to others. But c’mon!! I can’t keep myself from looking around the gym and being a wee bit envious of those that are absolutely killing the WOD.
With all that being said, I can tell I am getting stronger.
I can tell that my endurance has reached a new level.
I can not only see the difference in the mirror but I can feel it with every workout that I tackle.
I am going to continue to struggle my way to the end of every WOD, but with the struggle ultimately comes growth. Come success. Comes a contentment knowing that what now may seem like an impossible feat, will eventually be nothing more than a brief challenge that I know wholeheartedly am ready to face.
It’s all part of the journey, right?