.keep going, get going.

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Listen, life gets hard. Even if you are comfortable, and have enough (money, time, food…), Circumstance rears its ugly head. Someone is thrown into your path who just effs your ish UP. An expected bill wipes out what you’ve managed to save. An injury sidelines your kickass fitness routine. Life happens. We cannot, as much as we may try, control everything. Le sigh.

Circumstance can slow us down, it can shake us up. Yet if we allow it, Circumstance can also teach us. It shine a light on the muck we need to work on. It’s not always nice, btw, sometimes it’s a motherf*cker, but, uh, those are the really, really good lessons, right? Right. The one thing, however, that we cannot allow Circumstance to do, is to shut us down. We cannot, will not, let it stop us. Like a shark, we must keep moving forward to stay afloat. We can acknowledge our emotions, but we must not wallow. Head up, buttercup.

AA was on to something with their whole “One Day at a Time” mantra. Sometimes when we’re in the sh*t of it, looking too far ahead is only going to sink us further. Take a deep breath and tackle today. Stay present. No scenarios. No what-ifs. No rehashing. Today is the day you are living. It’s the day you have in front of you. Live it, love it, don’t give up on it. What are the small, mindful, actions you can take today that will contribute to your success? A good sweat sesh? A chat with a friend? Takeaway so that you can relax on the couch and not worry about dishes? Name it, see it, do it.  You got this.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

Posted in fitness, Mindfulness, morning musing | Tagged | 3 Comments

.monday motivation: go be amazing.

Today

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On Mondays and Fridays I lead my students in a short meditation. My hope is to cultivate this habit within them so that as they get older they are better equipped to deal with stress and social pressures. I figure if I start banging on about mindfulness at an early age, maybe something will stick right? Today I asked them, at the end of their meditation, to set an intention for the week. Something to accomplish or work toward. I asked them to visualize their success in their minds’ eye, and to return to that vision throughout the week.

So today, let us all do the same thing. What is your intention for the week? What goal can you get for yourself that will help you to be your higher self, and/or keep you on the path of healthy happy living? We start Week 2 of our Winter Nutrition Challenge this week and I feel really good going into a new week of clean eats and the gym. I used last week as a transition week from holiday debauchery into more mindful eating and decreased wine intake. And it was successful. I did not eat totally cleanly, but nor did I stress about it. Letting go of needing to be “perfect” or uber disciplined, I feel more relaxed, on track and ready to clean it up even further this week.

When I participated in the Summer Nutrition Challenge, I went full-throttle. It was awesome, but it was not sustainable. I had a lot of free time as I hadn’t started school yet, and was able to focus all my energy on meals and exercise. Now that I have more demands on my time, I am taking this challenge slower. My goal this time around is to create more sustainable habits that will ensure long-term success and more deeply rooted lifestyle choices. Changing our habits, our tastes, our reactions, our coping mechanisms: it all takes time and it all takes energy. But it is possible.

This week, what small tweaks will you make to establish solid foundations? Rather than be overwhelmed at the prospect of no booze for the next 6 weeks or a lifetime without pizza (haha, yeah right.) focus on this week. How can you make choices this week that will assist you in reaching your goals? Visualize yourself drinking that extra glass of water. See yourself killing it at the gym. Close your eyes and envision your ideal week. You have the power to make it happen. Take a deep breath and get to work. The world needs your awesomeness.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

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.eff yeah friday: weekend motivation.

Warning* * *

Eff yeah Friday! Happy almost weekend, friends! It is gray and raw here in New York, and it has been a week of extreme cold and winter blues. Outside my window the Hudson river is legit frozen. Brrr. It is easy to get real bummed out real fast when it’s so gloomy and miserable out. However, I’m here to tell you there is a cure. And, you know what’s coming: Exercise!

Yep. For realz. Get your sweat on. It’s tough to motivate when this weather is prime snuggle time, but it is so so important to remember how we feel after the job is done. This weekend the weather here on the East Coast is supposed to break a bit, so capitalize on it. Take a brisk walk. Hit up a new class. Do some squats whilst your coffee is brewing.

Getting those endorphins going and accomplishing something good for yourself will fight those winter blues. And, then, when Spring starts to peek through the murk, you’ll be stoked to show off those guns and ready to play in the park. Sweat out Seasonal Affective Disorder. Inhale greatness. Exhale grumpiness. I promise you, if you get your body moving, you’ll be less concerned about the gloom and start to feel rad.

Remember, 2014 is yours for the taking. As we go into our first weekend truly removed from holiday celebrating, let’s be mindful to treat our bodies well. We deserve real, clean food, water and movement. Remember those resolutions, remember the goals and have a kick ass weekend. To all those CFG Nutrition Challengers embarking on our first weekend of the challenge: You got this.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

* * *

  • Yesterday’s WOD
    50-40-30-20-10: Wallballs, double-unders, sit-ups
  • Results
    — 25:03 w/10 lbs. wallball and triple singles since I’ve yet to get double-unders. Exciting workout for me (even though I’m getting sorer by the minute today) since it’s the first one since my knee injury that I’ve really done some squatting. No pain today, so yay!

 

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.just remember.

When things get dicey, when there’s birthday cake in the break room, when take-out seems more convenient:

Best

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

Posted in fitness, Paleo, Winter Nutrition Challenge | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

.new year, new you.

NewYear

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Title of the post is nice and self-helpy innit? It’s true though. Here we are in a moment in which we have never been. We have never before experienced Tuesday January 7, 2014 and never will again. In the uniqueness of this day, of this year, there is beauty and there is space. There is space to create things you have never created before. Try things you have never tried. There is a whole big year of virgin terrain before us that is ours for the taking and for the making.

It is quite easy to get stuck in routines and thus put ourselves in boxes. We subscribe to these understandings of self that are possibly outdated and possibly no longer who we are. Without taking the time to check-in and reevaluate, we carry around these preconceived notions of ourselves that have a tendency to hinder true change. For most of my 20s I stayed out late, and mainlined bacon cheeseburgers and bourbon. I was this dyed-black hair rock and roll chick who could drink whiskey with the best of them. Because people viewed me in a certain way, I in turn saw myself that way. When, in January of 2010, I had come to a moment when I craved lifestyle change, letting go of how I saw myself was in fact harder than letting go of the habits. It was, and sometimes still is, difficult to see myself in a new (and healthier) light.

Whilst these changes were good for me, I did get some resistance from some family and friends who had a hard time changing their perception of me. I can see now where this resistance comes from: when we make drastic changes in our lives we throw a light on changes that others around us could possibly be making, but are not. When we break out of the box, when we mix sh*t up, people get scared. Complacency is easy. Daring to change, daring to be dynamic takes chutzpah. It takes cojones. And, you know what? It’s worth it.

Here is a new year. What will you do that has never been? What changes will you make to create a life you’ve never had? Shake. It. Up. Don’t allow stagnant thinking or the complacency of others to stall you — to stop you from trying something you’ve never done, or making a change that your soul is crying out for. This year is yours. Grab it and own it.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

Posted in CrossFit, fitness, morning musing, Paleo, Winter Nutrition Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

.happy new year/winter nutrition challenge.

HigherSelf

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Happy 2014, friends! I hope the start of the new year finds you well and happy and healthy. It hasn’t been easy for me to keep up with blogging with my new work commitments and my continuing commitments to my dissertation, however, I was encouraged recently by a number of friends to start posting again. So, happily, here I am! I will do my best to post more regularly in 2014. There you go: first resolution.

As you could’ve probably guessed, I love the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. Any chance to look inward, renew, set goals, make a plan: I’m in. Sure New Year’s Resolutions can be cliche, and the gym is way packed in January, but who cares. Every moment is a chance to resolve to be a better you, so why not now. Use the actual transition of the year to your advantage. It is a wonderful time to let go of what did not serve you in 2013, and bring forward into 2014 only that which will empower you.

Whatever your feeling on resolutions, there is one resolution/goal that I urge us all to adopt for 2014: Be Your Higher Self. Whatever that means to you. Perhaps who you envision as the best and most awesome version of yourself doesn’t smoke. Maybe that person responds to emails in a more timely manner. Or your higher self runs 3 miles every morning. Each of us wants something different for our lives, but no matter. Honor yourself, your unique goals and honor the best version of that person.

I’ve never felt physically and mentally better than I did this past August when I was participating in my gym’s summer nutrition challenge. It has been a struggle for me to maintain those habits amidst a new job and new commitments, and admittedly I went to hell with myself over the holidays. Oops. What I’ve come to realize over the past few weeks, however, is that whilst it is hard, it is necessary for me to recommit to and maintain the habits I began cultivating over the summer. The best version of me is someone who eats cleanly (and for me that is paleo), exercises around 5 times a week, and lays off the sauce. When I am focused on these goals, I feel most confident and most prepared to kick ass in my professional and personal life. For some of us diet and exercise are not directly tied to our happiness or confidence. However, the past few months have taught me that for me, they are. Now that I know this I can  serve myself best in 2014 by honoring those nutrition and exercise commitments — having seen both sides of the lifestyle coin, if you will.

So, what better way to kick off the year than with a nutrition challenge! Hooray! Now I’ll be doing this with my gym, but even if you aren’t CrossFitter or local, you can also participate. Our guidelines:

  • Pick a style of eating cleanly that works for you (Paleo, Zone, Primal…): the bottom line is cut out the crap, the sugar and the processed food. Eat close to the earth.
  • No booze. Or, at least scale back from all that holiday revelling.
  • Sleep! 6-8 hours a night. You need it. Help yourself out.
  • Hydrate, hydrate. Drink that water. Aim for around 80-100 ounces a day, more if you work out. Water is magical. If you don’t already love it, learn to.
  • Get moving! Don’t waste your the awesomeness that is your body. Exercise. Take the stairs. Touch your toes.
  • 6 weeks. An awesome time frame. Our last challenge was 4 weeks, which was great, but I truly believe 6 weeks will do wonders for creating sustainable habits and practices; truly rooted lifestyle changes.

To all the folks participating in the CrossFit Greenpoint Winter Nutrition Challenge: kick ass. Take names. Eat clean. Train dirty. Be your highest self.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

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.monday motivation: I climbed a rope!.

limits

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VICTORY! Last Thursday night, my friends, I completed my first ever rope climb. From gym floor to gym ceiling I squeaked my way up 16 feet of rope. Going into the workout I knew I’d practice, but I never imagined I actually make significant progress up the rope. Rope climbs have always been something I’ve looked at as a future fitness goal — something that I would eventually do, but just seemed too damn daunting in the present.

At one point, when I was almost at the top I got distracted from the task at hand, thinking, “Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m actually going to get to the top.” I had to tell myself to re-focus lest I lose grip on my goal, or, uh, the rope. But, I did it! I got to the top and made it back down in one piece. Nothing like hearing people call out support from below, and those celebratory high-fives and fist-bumps afterward. I was sailing on endorphins for days, telling anyone who would listen about my rope climb. And, that pride remains. Obvs. Here I am days later still bangin’ on about it.

The point? Think big. Believe that you can get to the top of that rope or you can run that marathon. Wake up and tell yourself that you’re going to write the next great American novel. When we think small or we scale back our dreams, we sell ourselves short. You may not PR the first race out. You may need to write a few drafts. No matter. Keep at it and keep that dream big. Keep it in your sights. You are infinite and you are limitless. If you allow yourself to be. Happy Monday. Go kick ass.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

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  • Thursday’s WOD
    — 5 rounds, 1 minute at each station: Rope climbs + Box Jumps + Rowing
  • Results
    — My knee acted up after my rope climbing attempts and victory so instead of the prescribed wod, I did: 5 Rds of ring rows, sit-ups and push-ups
  • Friday’s Workout
    — Plain old gym workout: 25 minutes, doing intervals, on the elliptical and then 3 rounds of 15 kb swings (13#), 15 sit-ups and 10 burpees.
Posted in CrossFit, morning musing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

.stop hedging.

DoOrDoNotDo

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I realized the other day that I’m a hedger. When it comes to making definitive statements regarding planning, I rarely commit. For example if someone asks me if I’ll be at the gym tomorrow night, I’ll say “I’m planning on it” rather than “Yes.” Part of this is a superstitious “god willing” hang-up, but part of it is me thinking, “Well what if something comes up.”

There are times when, yes, something comes up: a meeting runs late, your car breaks down, someone gets sick, etc., etc. But for the most part, I’d say that our lives keep fairly routine. Chaotic, but routine chaos. When I realized I have a tendency to hedge I resolved to stop doing so. Wishy-washy doesn’t lead to success. Boldness does. So, last night when my friend asked if she’d see me at the gym on Thursday, I felt the “That’s my plan” answer bubbling up, but I took the second to override myself and say, “Yes. I’ll see you Thursday.” Admittedly, I felt a bit of anxiety as the words left my mouth, the “what ifs” demanding to be heard in the background. But, I told them to stuff it.

Fear of commitment is not a new concept to any of us. I mean, dating in your 30s is a primer course. Whether we are the ones who are afraid to commit, or we’ve been on the receiving end of this paralyzing emotion, we know that what results is Nothing. Inaction. Nada. Fear of commitment means you miss out. Some relationships work. Some don’t. Some workouts are awesome. Some make you nauseous and want to cry. All are experiences. All teach you something. So when we hedge, and we only dip one toe in we run the risk of missing out on awesome.

Getting to the gym, eating healthily, writing that novel, learning how to play guitar, whatever it may be, your chances of success are so much more greatly improved when you commit. When you see the gym as a concrete 7-8pm in your daily planner, or you schedule a block of time in your Google calendar for prepping meals for the week, you will be that much more likely to honor those commitments. Hedging will only lead to inefficiency and sort of getting things done. Stop planning. Start doing. Say Yes.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

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  • Monday’s WOD
    — Back squat: 1 Rep Max
    — Tabata: Barbell squats + Push Presses
  • Results
    — 108# back squat (new PR! yay!)
  • Tuesday’s WOD
    — Practice Turkish Get-ups
    — 4 RFT: 800m run + 5 wall walks + 10 burpees + 15 sit-ups
  • Results
    — So Turkish Get-ups are pretty fun. I used a 13 lbs. kettle bell and managed to complete a few on my right side. Left side is a different story…
    — This was kind of disjointed because my knee is acting up, but I’m in good hands at CFG. Coaches Mike and Rich were super attentive and helpful in figuring out modifications. In the end I did work on the bike in place of the run, and box hand-stand push-ups instead of the wall walks.
Posted in CrossFit, Mindfulness, morning musing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

.finding the time.

HoursinaDay

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Guys, the Time Management monster ate me. Seriously. He gobbled me up and spit me out. I stand before you clothes shredded, ship-wrecked on the shore of my to do list, gasping for air and calling for water.

Ok. Maybe it’s not quite so dramatic. Or is it? Working two jobs (I also teach on the interwebs), writing a dissertation, commuting, blogging, preparing meals, seeing friends, working out — it seems that there are just not enough hours in the day or days in the week. My schedule is like a Rubik’s cube that I’m constantly flipping and clicking into new places to see what works and what doesn’t. Add on top of this a knee injury and the past two weeks have just been plain harried. I cannot even fathom how people add kids into the mix. Keeping myself alive and sane is daunting enough.

The past few weeks I’ve added to the stress in my life by eating convenient comfort food, otherwise known as crap. So now I feel physically gross on top of mentally spent. Fun, right? But, I’m here to tell you that I’m back and I’m taking charge once again. I’ve made some clean eats, got my freezer stocked and am excited to be back on track. And, I’ve been figuring out some other ways to help myself and jury rig my schedule, and ultimately decided to throw a little money at the problem. I joined a gym down the block from work. Since I can’t run right now, access to an elliptical and a pool will be helpful. Also helpful is that the gym opens at 5:30 in the morning so I can go before work.

Evening workouts are a struggle for me. I love CrossFit enough to drag myself there at 7 pm even if I’m tired, but if a meeting runs late or I make a weeknight social plan, I’m out a workout for the day. So it’s been hard because I miss being there consistently and miss feeling like I’m truly making progress. Ima do the best I can, though, and keep trying to get there every chance I can at night.

We have to help ourselves and we have to Rubik’s cube the hell out of that schedule so as to find a way to fit in all the things that matter. Exercise and clean eating truly matter to me, and directly inform my confidence and mood. Whilst it has been a challenge lately, I’ll keep working with it because I know it’s an area of my life that needs to remain a priority. We live in a busy world that demands a lot of us, but decide what you demand of it. Decide what your priorities are and don’t give up tweaking things until you find a way to make it all happen. Mediocrity is easy. I don’t know about you, but I want more than mediocre. I want Awesome. And that, my friends, takes some work.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

Posted in CrossFit, Mindfulness, monday motivation, morning musing, Paleo | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

.motivation monday: fresh start.

NewDay

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MONDAY. Oof. What a busy week or so! Between the trip, having a few awesome friends visiting, a race, and you know work, and stuff, so. much. to do. Yesterday I ran a half marathon and boy am I sore today. It was a good race and I’m happy that I dug in and pushed myself. It was a bit disappointing to miss my goal of a sub 2-hour race, but it’s close and I know I’ll get it soon.

Last week we were upstate being all in nature and it was a great time. The kiddos had so much fun and it was great to see them in a new environment. We all came back Thursday and were totally exhausted, and I’ve been going ever since. It’s been tough lately to stay committed to my health and fitness routines because I’ve been so busy, and thus I’m feeling a bit out of whack. Working full-time, going to school, commuting, trying to still be social — all these things have proven to be a bigger transition than I expected. I’m used to having a much more flexible schedule, and a lot more time that is not budgeted for. And so now things are a little topsy-turvy.

What is important to remember, however, is that every day is a new day and every day is another opportunity to make a change or get back on track. So whilst I may be a little spastic at the moment, what I keep trying to remind myself is that each day is an opportunity for renewal and to take it one day at a time. In order for clean eating and regular exercise to be sustainable, they need to be realistic according to each of our own lifestyles. Since my lifestyle has changed recently I’m in the process of figuring out new routines. And, I have a feeling it’s going to take me this first trimester to really get the kinks hammered out. Which is OK. Each day is an opportunity to be healthy and make good decisions. Today might be good, tomorrow I may struggle, but Wednesday I can get back up and start again. Planning meals and getting to the gym ain’t always easy, but it is absolutely worth it. So keep trying. Today is a new day. Capitalize on it.

Keep on, keepin’ on my friends.

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  • Yesterday’s WOD
    — Staten Island Half Marathon
  • Results
    — 2:01 (SO close to acheiving my goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon.)
  • Today’s WOD
    — Overhead Squats (from the rack): 2 Rep Max
    — Tabata: overhead lunges w/plate + burpees
  • Results
    — 48#
Posted in CrossFit, fitness, monday motivation, morning musing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments