I got back from San Fran a few days ago and am still processing and decompressing all the experiences HB and I had on our SF trip. Of course there was mostly family time which is what’s important. My two little 3 month old nieces are just the cutest, sweetest babies in the world. I was in heaven holding them, helping feed them and just being around them as each day brought new discoveries of life. And babies smell so sweet — It was very hard to leave because I know the next time I see either of them, they will have grown and no longer be these little bundles of wonder. I loved seeing them interact with HB as well – helping foster a connection between them is really important to me and it was something that I missed out on growing up. Amelia, my three year old niece, was in awe of HB and followed her around like a groupie. It was so awesome…
The weather was amazing for walking all over San Fran -which in truth is one of my favorite things to do. I just love taking in the sights. Every where you look is like a postcard, at least near the marina. I think on Monday alone, we walked over 9+ miles and although my feet were aching, I didn’t mind a bit. We went down to the Ferry building, picked up some Blue Bottle Coffee – If you get a chance to try their coffee, DO. They roast their own beans and seriously, it’s the best. Then we walked down Market street to do some shopping and then walked all the way to the Wharf to enjoy some Ghiradeli ice cream and then walked on home.
During our trip we also went to Chinatown, into Oakland to attend a BBQ, shopped at Fort Mason Farmer’s Market, and just hung out. It was a perfect little get away for HB and I — no stress, great family, babies and awesome surroundings. I feel re-energized and ready to move forward…
I worked out on Weds morning and then yesterday, went to a Flow Yoga class – which is kicking my ass. Holy cow is yoga tough. I can already feel progress in my shoulders and overall flexibility and my body doesn’t hurt as much during regular CrossFit – so those are all wins in my book.
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The quote above really applies to someone like Pharrell - he’s making a difference in people’s lives. Watch the video below and you will see how awesome he is. It seems to me that many people who make it in their field of choice lose that perspective of appreciation. To see someone as talented and famous as he is right now really understand the impact he can have is refreshing and touching.
- Back Squats
- Pushups/Pull ups
- 3m Ladder
- db lunges
- db renegade rows
- –1 min rest–
- 5m Ladder
- slam balls
- crab walks
- –1 min rest–
- 3m Ladder
- db lunges
- db renegade rows
Getting your haircut is a great way to boost your mood – and today I did just that. I also needed to get it done before I head out to San Fran to spend time with my brothers’ families and unwind. So much has happened since the last trip I have taken — it will be good to reset again.
I took a rest day today mainly because my shoulder is still bothering me. Yesterday’s yoga class was focused on shoulder strength and it seemed to aggravate whatever is going on. I was woken up around 330A with radiating shoulder pain on both sides. I got up and drank a big glass of water with Natural Calm added thinking it may be dehydration/low magnesium but I still couldn’t go back to sleep until around 5A – so I decided it was best to sleep in and really rest my shoulders today.
I will head to yoga tomorrow morning since what I am thinking is happening are shoulder impingement issues. “Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common cause of shoulder pain. It occurs when there is impingement of tendons or bursa in the shoulder from bones of the shoulder. Overhead activity of the shoulder, especially repeated activity, is a risk factor for shoulder impingement syndrome. “
I am hoping that the combo of yoga and specific mobility exercises will help improve my overall flexibility because at this point I am having issues lifting my arms over head. I may go and see a doctor as well when I get back from my SF trip –just to make sure that it is indeed what I think it is. The internet is a blessing and curse when it comes to looking up symptoms and making an inexperienced diagnosis. At least that’s the lecture my pal Wil gave me today…
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- Fitness: Why is My Shoulder Painful?
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Weekends come and go way too fast. I know I say that every stinkin’ Monday but it’s true. My mom was in town to see the kids and that meant lots of eating out and off routine. It’s worth it but it can wreak havoc with my system. I totally went way off the deep end with my eating and had too much dairy. My eczema on my hands is back in full force –burning and itching. I need to remember how uncomfortable I am at this moment when I go and reach for ice cream. My memory seems to fail me at the moment of decision.
I am seriously in need of motivation lately. There is nothing inherently wrong with my life but for some reason, I can’t find the inspiration and mojo that I normally have to get shit done. It’s been really frustrating. I am hoping it was a symptom of the Winter blahs and it will start to lift in the weeks to come. I’m also about to head to San Fran with HB, so I am also hopeful that this trip, to a sunnier spot will boost my spirits.
Now, let’s talk about artificial light…
Did you know that there are a bunch of theories that artificial light is one of the causes of sleep issues? And one of the biggest culprits in the last ten years or so of sleep issues is the use of electronics. How many people out there use their iPad, laptop, or tablet before they go to bed? I bet that a ton of people would raise their hand! Many of those same people suffer from insomnia or sleep that is less than ideal. Research has shown that blue wavelength light emitted from our electronics can interfere with our circadian rhythm function.
Circadian Rhythms are “physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.”
What can you do to prevent artificial light from wrecking your slumber? Use amber glasses. Do you remember those Blue Blocker infomercials from way back when? Well, now we know what they are good for! You wear them for a few hours before bedtime – letting go of your ego because you will look odd- and continue on with your normal routine reading from your tablet etc — and it is supposed to help prevent the blue light from affecting you. Here’s a link to some inexpensive Amber glasses that can fit over regular glasses for those of us who are visually challenged/four eyed! I’m going to order a pair and will report back on its effectiveness.
- Amber Glasses -Solar Shield Fits-Over Sunglasses [Affiliate Link]
Curious to learn more about it? Blocking Blue Light Helps Sleep
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- Wall Balls
- Slam Balls
I had one heck of a Yoga headache after yesterday’s class, so I looked it up and it’s a common malady after a hot yoga class when you are a beginner. I made sure to drink a lot of water afterwards but couldn’t seem to break it. After a few sessions, it seems to not happen anymore so let’s hope that’s the case with me. The yoga is working – my workout on Weds and today felt better. My body wasn’t as stiff and sore and I am starting to feel renewed once again! We also had a nice surprise this morning: we got to run outside. We have been cooped up for way too long this winter, so even though I am not a fan of running, it was nice to feel the cool breeze as I did the best I could.
Scotty and I are coaching Nate’s flag football team this season. I don’t know a ton about football but I know how to motivate kids (at least I think i do!). Last night was our first practice and although most of the kids are brand new to the sport, they are a good group of boys that really want to learn. There is something about being outside and spending time mentoring/coaching kids in the community that really makes you feel like you are making a difference. I am sure that the kids in this league aren’t the average kid in America, since they live in one of the richest counties. It’s our way of giving back and hopefully making an impact in their lives. Hopefully we can win some games too!
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Honey Maid: Love We made a commercial about what makes families, family. And we received a lot of comments. See what we did with them.
Bench @ 105#
- 400m run
- 21 KB Swings
- 12 Pull Ups (I did ring rows)
My internet connection has been out all day so that’s why I am delayed in posting today!! My apologies!
I think the winter haze has finally left the DC area – today is supposed to get into the 60′s and I see the rays of the sun shining down. I need the darkness of winter to go away -it has affected me quite a bit this year. I think with me working from home combined with the blahness of winter and some crazy weather patterns thrown in the mix, I am not on top of my game. Mentally or physically. I am counting on spring to shuttle in some renewed energy and spirit for me — come on Spring!!
It’s the FIRST of APRIL!! Hard to believe that March is already done – I am two weeks away from my annual HB and I trip to San Fran and will meet both of my little nieces, Abigail and Simon, for the first time. Amelia, my three year old niece better be ready too. Hannah is so excited and I love watching her hang out with family. You can tell she just feels at home. I always say that there really is something about being around family – you can go for long periods of time without seeing them – but when you get back together, you feel at home.
As I mentioned, I have added some yoga to my workout repertoire to help with my mobility. My sister does it as well and were were talking about how tight our hips are and which poses we like. She mentioned that your hip flexors tend to be a place where you hold a lot of emotions. Have you ever had a super intense workout that brought you to tears? Not tears of physical pain, but bubbled up emotions and stress and you start to cry? I had never heard that before so I looked it up and sure enough found some info on it. I think this quote really captures what’s going on when we finally feel the release — our bodies are forcing the emotions up so we are forced to deal with them.
“Our feelings are stuck in our bodies because our minds don’t want to deal with them.”
- Video: Yoga Hip Opener Poses and Stretches That Release Emotion
- 4 Hip Opener Stretches to Release Stress and Emotion (+ video)
- Emotions In Motion
The lesson learned is that if you are under a lot of stress, and are really physically tight – try some hip opening exercises and YOGA to help unleash the baggage.
Try Something New
Kore Krav Maga is offering a 4 week course starting April 26th. Kra Maga is a great mental and physical workout that can ultimately save your life if you ever need it… What’s not to love??
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Here we are — well into March. In fact, you could say that we are nearing the end of March. Spring is in the air and what happens? Snow. We got snow and it snowed all darn day. This year’s winter has been really odd in Northern VA. I have lived here since 1996 and don’t remember it ever being so extreme — spring like one day, super frigid cold the next, snow and ice, and more and a lot of snow. Mother Nature needs to be put on some mood stabilizers for sure!
I was all prepared to get up this morning and head off for my usual workout but you know what? I am feeling somewhat burned out. My shoulders are smoked and I just don’t have the usual enthusiasm. To me, this is a clear sign that I need to scale back for a while. I may be overdoing it and not doing enough recovery work. This weekend was very intense physically for me and it may have finally made me realize that I needed to rest extra. So yesterday and today – I did some stretching and lacrosse ball smashing but that’s it. Hopefully my mojo will be back for tomorrow’s workout. I need my CrossFit!
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What a crazy, busy wonderful weekend I had. Friday evening, I met up with some of the awesome people from Highbar CrossFit for a social happy hour/dinner. It’s always fun to be able to talk and hang out outside of the gym because if our coaches had our way, we would always be laser focused on the workout. And I know, I know – it’s important but I also like chatting away.
Scott and I didn’t stay out too late because I had to get up early and go to the Bob Takano Weightlifting Clinic at Highbar. Bob Takano is a hall of fame lifting coach who has coached some really impressive athletes. He’s the kind of coach that based on his experience, he can just look at you and know instantly where your faults lie and how to advise to fix. Whether you can fix it or not, well that’s another issue. He’s also the kind of guy that is very blunt in his approach – doesn’t really sugar coat his message, so I am glad I have a thick skin in general. One of the points he talked through was the idea of an athlete and a more recreational athlete, who is just looking to get fit. That’s been the topic of debate in the CrossFit circles for a while. I got the impression that Coach Takano could give a crap about all of that controversy. He loves what he does and if there are new communities who want to learn more about weightlifting, he will be happy to oblige.
I learned quite about technique and I realized how long it has been since I have done any Oly Lifting. My form was totally off and some of my general faults prevent me from making some progress. For example, my posture sucks. I have Kyphosis - which is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture. I have mentioned my posture issues before and they have been around since before kindergarten. I look at old pics and wish that someone had insisted I sit up properly! Just look at my Kindergarten school pic below. I know I was cute and had flair, but man, my shoulders were all hunched in even then. SIT UP STRAIGHT YOUNGER STEPHANIE!!!
What do I need to do to address my back issue? Coach Takano told me to focus on doing a lot of Overhead Squats. So, I am going to start doing that and add in some mobility work to help combat any more effects that may arise down the line. It also looks horrible –when I see pics that I have not posed for, I look schlumpy and fat. And if I can do something to prevent me from looking frumpy, I am going to do it! A quick Google search produced a bunch of results on how to heal the hunchback. Here are a few from some sites that I respect:
- How to Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility
- Kyphosis & Shoulder Mobility: Practical Correction
- Simple Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises Everyone Can Perform
There is always some work to do and I love it! And I was super tired and sore from 6 hours of weightlifting and slept super well Saturday night.
Scope it Out 5K
A good night’s sleep was seriously welcome because I had to get up early and head into DC to run the Annual Scope it Out 5K for Colon Cancer Awareness! This is the 4th year I have run it and we always have a ton of fun. We run the race and then head out to eat brunch and partake in bloody marys and/or mimosas. Hannah Bea ran it again this year too – and I was so proud of her for finishing it along with her daddy! Five years cancer free is a serious reason to celebrate!
Here’s a link to the complete photo gallery: 2014 Scope it Out 5K. I finished in the top 25% which was suprising since I have been strugging with my running lately. It wasn’t an impressive performance – doing a 10 minute mile, but I finished alongside my pal Lani and didn’t have an asthma attack, so it was a win in my book!
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There’s still time to join us on Team Hoagie’s Heroes to run this Sunday’s Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life! For more details and to register visitwww.scopeitout5k.com.
It’s a great Spring race and it’s for a great cause that’s near and dear to my family – This past summer marked Scott Hoaglund‘s Five Year Cancer Free Anniversary!! Do it for the silver fox!
Last week I had an experience that reminded me how important it is to know your audience. I made a joke to someone who I did not know well and it didn’t go over in the way I intended. It’s not important what the joke was or anything, just that I was floored that what I had said had not sat so well with her. It was a throw away comment that I didn’t even think twice about and something I have said before to different people. And although I was surprised that it bothered someone, I apologized once it was brought to my attention because at the end of the day — Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy? I choose happy.
It also was a good reminder for me to be more aware of people I meet and not automatically assume they will ‘get’ me. And not everyone approaches situations thinking that the person involved had the best of intentions. It definitely is a hard thing to do and takes practice. I felt like the other person automatically assumed it was a regular occurrence and I needed to be schooled and called to heel – oh well. When you know better, you do better.
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One of my friends at Highbar is a chiropractor and he has been noticing my asthma attacks lately. Last week he suggested trying out some essential oils -specifically one by DoTerra called Breathe.
doTERRA Breathe Essential Oil Blend – Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, expectorant, cell and tissue repair, asthma relief; using Breathe can give relief from colds, bronchitis, sore throats, sinusitis, coughs and respiratory congestion. Decongests sinus passages, combats lung infections and relieves allergy symptoms.
I am pretty open to trying more natural methods to address common maladies and discomforts, so I ordered it and started using it last night before I went to bed. I used a few drops and rubbed it on my chest. Immediately you can smell the eucalyptus – and I did feel as if it was helping me breathe easier. Sort of like using Vicks Vaporub all over your body when you are really congested. I will keep you posted on whether or not it is helping, so stay tuned!
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545p class yesterday:
bb front squats
6a class this AM
burpee slam balls
Although losing an hour in the spring is tough, I feel more energized and in the mood to organize. I have committed to going through closets in the next month and getting them situated. Let’s hope this energy is a sign that my winter blues are drifting away.
I am still having asthma fits during my workouts and it’s frustrating the heck out of me! Imagine being fit and having your lungs seize up every time you do something cardio based — so much that you have coughing fits and you can’t catch your breath but yet still have more to do. We did shuttle runs today and sure enough I was frustrated –I did complete them but it’s really frustrating to know I am working out as hard as I can but am still limited.
I did pretty well refocusing my nutrition yesterday and feel better already. I feel sorry for people who don’t realize how food affects them and just think it’s environmental allergies. A friend of mine told me yesterday that his wife has always had a runny nose and gave up dairy and guess what? No more runny nose! And funny timing to tell me that because I ran across this post from Holistic Dad:
Constant runny nose and sinus infection sufferers should find relief reducing these foods to elimination while adding more of the raw, nutrient packed foods that cut inflammation and mucus.
And it included this graphic: If you are constantly stuffy or congested, try eliminating the foods listed below that create mucus for 7-12 days and I bet you will notice a marked improvement. Although I do realize that the foods on the “no” list are the foods that are ‘yummy’. Ice cream is one of my all time favorite things in the world — As my daughter says “I wish the bad foods were good for us, and the good foods were bad for us”, but that ain’t so…
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There is something really special about this short video that brought 20 people in and paired them up and asked that they kiss each other. Watch it and try not to smile…
- Ring Rows – My hands hurt with my calluses so I opted to do ring rows instead of pull ups.
- Push ups
- Shuttle Runs