When was the last time you actually spent time creating something? For me, it had been a very long while. This weekend I met up with a few of my girlfriends and we attended a painting class at Painting with a Twist. The idea is you get a group of friends together and get a step-by-step instruction with an experienced local artist. Everyone paints the same painting -but what I loved about the result was each of our masterpieces was completely different. We all see things differently.
When I finished my painting, I was filled with such a sense of pride and when I walked in the door at home, my son didn’t believe I actually painted it! And I keep sharing pics of it to my friends because –well I think it’s so awesome and I DID IT! It also got me thinking about things we can all do to feed our souls, make us happier and satisfy our desire to see something through.
According to 50 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Self-Esteem, doing something creative can help improve your self esteem and can help improve depression. What I realized as well is that most of us don’t make anything regularly. We buy and consume. The moral of the message is get out there and make something -Paint, design landscaping, craft, knit, sketch, sew, build- if you want to feel better!
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Everyone knows that person who leads with their tales of how life has done them wrong. You meet them, say hello –and within the second or third sentence, they have already begun to over share and you are left feeling a bit awkward. Or the person you’ve known that is the Eeyore of the world. Everything is Hard…(say that in the Eeyore voice). My advice to handle them — keep them at arm’s length and don’t let them dull your sparkle. If that’s not possible, then refer to my brother’s advice, given years ago to me: Treat them like a visiting ambassador in your home.
Whenever I start to lose my shit over someone, I try to put that saying into practice and realize the interaction, visit will soon be over.
Yesterday, I met up with two of my dearest friends. One of the greatest things my fitness journey has brought into my life is the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Lani and Liz are two of those people I met almost three years ago at CrossFit. We will not see each other for a while and go have lunch and pick up right where we left off. They make me laugh, help me see life with a different perspective and definitely ‘get’ me.
I sometimes ‘worry’ about the fact that many of my friends are quite a bit younger than me. When you are so active in the fitness community, I think you attract a younger group of people into your life. I don’t feel my age and I don’t think I look my age, so it only makes sense that many of the people I hang out with are younger. I don’t necessarily see age when I am with others — although there are definitely times when it becomes abundantly clear I am from a different era.
I think everyone should have some group of friends who are younger – It keeps you on your toes and offers you a fresher perspective on life experiences. It’s when you start to dress like you are their age and/or stop relating to your husband or friends your age that there is an issue.
I like to think I am their older sister –and they certainly don’t make me feel like there is something wrong -it’s just more of a self awareness I have about my circle of friends lately.
Day 2 of sharing things I am thankful for:
- I’m thankful for my brothers and sisters. We are all different yet so much the same, have each other’s backs no matter the case, and are happy and healthy human beings.
- I’m thankful for good friends who understand and ‘get’ my passionate personality.
- I’m thankful for good music. A good beat can uplift me any time of the day.
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Boxing – not my most productive session. I didn’t sleep well last night and have had a headache on and off since yesterday which obviously affects my morning workout.
Scott planned a last minute family road trip to Williamsburg to celebrate the Fourth of July. Fireworks watching in Colonial Williamsburg – what could be more appropriate? The hurricane brought cooler temps which made it a perfect weekend for site seeing and spending time outdoors. We spent our last day at Busch Gardens Theme park. Anyone who knows me well, knows I am not a huge fan of parks like that. It’s too crowded, people forget their manners and to me, it’s the biggest display of gluttony on Earth. We managed to find a place in the Ireland section that had healthy salads, which is what I ate for lunch but I was probably one of the few in the entire park that actually chose the healthy option. Every time I go somewhere toursity, it’s a shocking reminder how obese and out of control people are. It makes me angry and sad at the same time. I see obese parents raising kids who are already battling obesity. They will have a harder battle to fight as they grow up already dealing with it.
Obesity is such a serious health issue. I found some Shocking Facts Behind Obesity Infographic that will surely open your eyes to how it affects all of us! Whenever I hear about accepting our bodies – I want to clarify it to be more about kindness, respect and worth. Being overweight affects your health and for your benefit and others – that’s not OK!
As we are in full summer mode, many of us will be exercising and/or attending events to benefit worthy causes. I’m all for giving back, but you have to do your research before you just give. You need to make sure the money you are donating is really going towards the causes you wish to support. We all found out the hard way about the Susan G Komen organization and the millions of dollars going to pay salaries and not helping find a cure for breast cancer. With that in mind, I came across information about the Wounded Warrior Project: Wounded Warriors Project A Legal Scam. If you do support this organization, I ask that you inform yourself on how they operate. Based on this report, they definitely have some inflated salaries and other sketchy operational cost which ultimately means less of the money donated goes to the wounded vets they serve.
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Each morning when I wake up and get ready to hit my workout, I take a minute or two and look through a collection of inspiring quotes on my computer that I have saved throughout the years. It may seem odd but it helps me set my intentions for the day and just makes me feel better. It’s similar to people reading a daily prayer or meditation…
This past weekend my 25th high school reunion was held back in my hometown. It was so weird seeing pics from the event. I didn’t for even one minute think about going though. My high school years were some of the loneliest, hardest years of my life. The town I grew up in was fairly small, which meant that most of the kids I had known since kindergarten. So any chance of re-imagining yourself or fitting in if you didn’t already – was very difficult. It was very clique-y and I wasn’t in any. I remember feeling very alone and miserable for most of it. I don’t believe in living in the past or even revisiting a past that didn’t bring joy and comfort which is the main reason that I didn’t even consider going. Just thinking about not going brought back some of the lonely memories if that gives you any idea how my experience was.
I would rather focus on creating a better me and sharing my time with the great people in my life now. When you get out in the real world –those high school people don’t really matter anymore. Many of them I don’t even remember… I just didn’t really click with a lot of people which I find the case even today. I know a ton of people, but I wouldn’t consider but a handful to be good friends and I like it that way. I am trying to teach my kiddos that lesson — having more friends doesn’t necessarily equate to having a few who have your back.
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Bon Jovi surprises an 8 year old boy diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors. Mario Carpino is so brave. Despite his own fight, Mario held a Lemonade Stand today to raise money for other kids. His one wish was to have Bon Jovi come. OMG- he did. Mario was stunned.
Power Boxing with Alex
The past month or so have been odd — my son’s friend’s father died over the holidays and this week, my coach, Randy, at Highbar had to leave abruptly on Monday – unfortunately his father passed away in his sleep sometime during the night. Life happens and you never know what’s next.
I was talking to Randy this morning and he was sharing with me how in the span of a few short days – he is forever changed. He was talking about spiritually. I am not a particularly spiritual person myself, but when I look back at the time when we found out my husband was sick – weeks/months before, there were things happening in our lives that were setting our family up physically, spiritually and mentally with resources, people and information that we would need on our journey. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but there are things that I see clear as day now. Why did those pieces come into play? It is something I still find comfort in – proof that there is some sort of divine plan in play. Things will be ok and what happens is meant to happen and meant to be. Good or bad – we should learn from it, become better for it, and live our lives with the lessons in practice.
I think it has helped me recently with the change in my career and changing CrossFit gyms this past spring. Continuing to tell myself that things happen for a reason and I will indeed be OK. If things I am doing cause me a lot of struggle – I need to take a look and evaluate it. Maybe I am supposed to struggle and learn – maybe it’s just the wrong path for me. Always look again…
My daughter Hannah gets this whole concept — and I love when she reminds me how much happier I am after a big change. It’s a gift that kids have — we seem to lose it growing up — to see things as they really are. No filter to cloud it up. It is what it is to them -no interpretation, no bias.
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Music to Your Ears
I’ve been listening to this mushy song by John Legend lately. You can tell whomever he wrote it for –is loved.
I saw this quote this morning and it is perfect for the new year:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” — Neil Gaiman
I think this quote says it all — Make Mistakes. My last job was all about pointing out when you made mistakes – you weren’t allowed to. Looking back now – that was a clear cut issue with them. You have to give people the freedom and the comfort level to go ahead and make mistakes. The issue is when you don’t learn from them and make the same ones over and over again. That’s a sign that you are the issue!
I am running a 5K tomorrow morning with a great group of Highbar CrossFit athletes – I’m crazy but need to start running to get ready for the Scope it Out 5K again this fall. I am not a fan of running, and need to start the year working on things that need my attention!
I’m also going to be starting a Nutrition Challenge so I can rid myself of the extra weight I have put on since this fall. I am starting to feel uncomfortable in my own skin and that’s a clear sign that I need to start paying attention and doing the work to get my nutrition back on track. It’s never too late to focus!
My friend Cheryl was in town from Florida – she and I met at Highbar and did a WOD together. Cheryl is my Jersey girl — I love her spirit and her sense of humor. It was great to see her and she is still super fit and doing amazing things — Ironman and triathlons races.
Bench 1×4 115#
1 minute each station/10 sec transition time
- Slam Ball Throws
- Wall Balls
- Plate Rotations
- Wall Sits
And finally – Happy New Year to everyone! Life is a crazy journey and I am so blessed to be able to share it with so many amazing people…
There are quite a few things on my mind today –
Yesterday, I posted this pic of me and my friend Kath who has joined our 6a group at Highbar CrossFit. My sister and I were talking and she asked me how long I have been at Highbar CrossFit. She said you were at that other CrossFit gym for a few years and never had the definition in your arms like you have now. Six months of smart programming and great coaching has made a HUGE difference in my progress. You can hear me say that until I am blue in the face, but the proof shows. Those arms are created by strength training and hard work. Now I need to get my eating under control once again and I will be hard to beat.
Happy Birthday to one of my all time favorite CrossFit Chicks ever: Christmas Abbott. If you haven’t checked out her website – ChristmasAbbott.co - head over there. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet — and a badass a the same time.
Now, let’s talk about this stupid Duck Dynasty shit for a minute – I have never watched this show personally and have no idea who Phil Robertson is. My friend Lisbeth Darsh posted this Facebook status yesterday,
So much anger in the FB stream, mostly centered on a backwoods fella who spoke ignorantly. Some folks attack, some folks defend.
I’d rather everybody turn their attention and energy to doing something good, to building something. Love. Family. Fitness. Community. We only have so much time here.
And tell that old fella with the beard he can come to my house. We’d welcome him, just like he was Santa Claus. Hate? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Deadlifts? Yeah, we got time for that. Overhead squats too.
Adding on to that thought – I think people are losing their internal filter and ability to relax and let stupid shit roll off our shoulders. Someone says something ignorant or stupid — it’s not the first time, nor the last. Don’t buy their shit, don’t watch their shows, don’t waste your valuable energy on that shit. Put your focus and energy towards positive things and above all else, be kind and understanding – some people really just don’t know any better.
For a Laugh
Twelve Days of Christmas (sing the song to figure out the sequence of movements)
Yesterday afternoon I found out a friend of mine passed away unexpectedly the evening before– I feel numb and sad for his family. None of us know when our time is up – so don’t waste time leaving things unsaid and actions undone.
Kal was the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He loved his family, always had a kind word and a smile to offer. His biggest pride and joy were his two boys. My heart aches for them and the rest of his family.
Earlier this week I read something from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson about losing someone:
“Losing a loved one jolts our hearts to the core…
It also has a very special way of helping us move forward in life with an even greater perspective.
We hug our loved ones a little tighter. Pray a little stronger. Work a little harder. Smile a little bigger.
Life goes on and memories are forever cherished…”
It’s odd to think that The Rock is someone I am quoting, but there it is. Rest In Peace Kal.
I had lunch with a friend yesterday that I haven’t seen in almost a year and it really helped me recharge. Sometimes you don’t realize you miss someone until you spend time with them again. Sara left the company I worked at up until recently back in February – for many of the same reasons I was unhappy. She took the plunge and just left. Decided to take a risk and jump –and guess what? A Net appeared. It wasn’t necessarily the net she envisioned but part of the reasons she did it was to make some changes in her life. Since February, she learned to relax – not be dictated by a schedule or the clock. Routine free – Freedom. She told me how hard it was for her to embrace this type of freedom at first. Goes to show you even learning to relax and go with the flow is like anything else, it takes practice.
I was really inspired by her yesterday. She has always been a big supporter of me, many times believing in me more than I thought I deserved. And she completely understood where I am mentally right now. Learning how to live this new life career wise without fear. Letting things happen – seeing where the path takes me. I have always lived a life of routine and structure. It is my safe place and now that I don’t have it – it’s so uncomfortable for me. Learning how to be comfortable being uncomfortable is key.
We spent a lot of time yesterday talking about the difficult people we have had to deal with lately and how well or not well we have fared. She said a few things that really resonated with me – that may not make sense to others as I share it but it sure did connect some things for me:
Part of the issue with my last job, I didn’t deal with certain difficult people well and just because I don’t have to deal with them anymore, doesn’t mean that I am done learning whatever lesson they were meant to teach me. Whatever that personality type is, I will run into it again because I haven’t really finished learning the lesson that they were there to teach me. Sounds very ‘out there’ I know, but I do definitely believe that people are put into our lives for reasons. And I definitely need to work on hiding some of my emotions when I am in a professional work situation and learn to accept that not everyone cares as deeply as I do about the work they do. That’s one of the toughest things I have had to understand. Some people are really OK with 80% being good enough. Crazy but true!
I think everyone should reach out to someone they haven’t talked to in a while – it’s amazing how re-energizing it can be!
Today’s workout was 5×5 pull ups and then we did 125 Wall Balls as our met-con. If you stopped at all, you had to do three burpees! It was definitely not one of my favorite workouts. But I got through it and now it’s time for a rest day tomorrow, and lots of good food!
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