General Reflections

Mother Nature Isn’t Done With Us Yet

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Snow in VA SNOW is what greeted me when I woke up this morning. SNOW is what happened mid-March – mere weeks before spring. SNOW is what made me cranky today. School was cancelled, gym was closed, and it’s cold. I am so over winter – it’s overstayed its welcome. I am all for seasons but it’s time for this one to move on. I need more sunlight, more outdoor activities, more warmer temps. Who is with me??

Next Sunday is Team Hoagie’s Heroes annual 5K Scope it Out Race to help raise awareness and money for Colon Cancer. Colon cancer is curable if detected early and there is no reason why we shouldn’t detect it early. Go to Chris4Life and find out more info about colon cancer, its signs and symptoms and other ways to be in the know. The colonoscopy is nothing compared to what you have to go through if you actually do have colon cancer – trust me. I had to witness Scotty’s diagnosis and treatment and it ain’t something you want to go through.

Now, let’s talk about the impending season change…

With spring is coming – or at least I am assuming it will be here soon, it’s a great time to reevaluate your goals. Many of us make a list of things we want to do at the beginning of the year and rarely check in with them to see how they are progressing. Spring means you can be more active outside, get some more Vitamin D, socialize with friends that you rarely saw during the winter. Do me and yourself a favor, take a few minutes in the evening this week and write down a few things you want to accomplish this season. Don’t jot down too many – just a few things that you have been meaning to do, or really want to do and work towards completing them or making progress towards their completion. It’s a great feeling to be able to feel the momentum that is created when you are moving towards goals you set for yourself.

Here’s a post I wrote earlier this year about Focusing on the process, not necessarily the goal that might offer some help:

Read This

Get Inspired

Ignore People Who Do CrappY Things to You

Kindness Matters

Science of Kindness – Increase Your Health

Video: Coca Cola: Security Cameras

Love More. Worry Less.

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It’s my rest day today –hip hop hooray!

Keurig Last night, I came across this blog post: How K-Cups Might Damage Your Metabolism, Reproductive Health, and Cause Cancer. I love my Keurig and use it often but the info in the post has me questioning this common kitchen tool.

very little is known about the longterm effects of consuming these substances in low doses day in, day out for years and years.

Let’s be honest though – we don’t need research to tell us that it’s probably not good for us long term.  The issue for me is what my friend Adam commented to me when I shared this link: “I say keep using the Keurig. Something tells me only massive amounts could really affect you. It’s great to be mindful of what goes in but all this stuff floating around online is typically glorified, taken out of context, and causes unnecessary hysteria. Why not do what you can (like you do) and forget worrying about every microgram that goes in. I’m sure if you keep that up you’ll have a long, healthy, happy life.”

What say you all? I do see his point – just about everything we do now a days has some hazardous implication. Did you see the smog in China? Heck they shouldn’t even breathe anymore without wearing a protective mask. All of this info can cause a lot of stress and hysteria. I told someone the other day that if I took every supplement people have recommended I take – there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day. Do what you can, with what you have – do your homework and weight the risks to make a decision based on what’s best for you. Period.

Read This

love more worry less quote

Be Inspired

Oregon Man Proposes to High School Sweetheart Three Years After Being Paralyzed

 

Kindness Matters

Perspective Changes Everything

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It' All About PerspectiveLet’s talk about Perspective for today.  How you see the world is in your hands and can make all the difference in you life. People who can really  change the world for the good, like the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr did, filter their day with hope, resilience and passion. Imagine waking up each and every day with a purpose? How awesome would that be?

You may be tired, worn out, beat down but each day you wake up with a choice – You can choose to see the world as a grey, dismal place that we all have to endure or you can decide up and at ‘em, thankful for each and every glorious day you have to enjoy.

I went to a memorial service this weekend for my friends’ Dad who died earlier in the week. It was a very sad event but what really touched me was that they chose to honor who he was by sharing stories, laughs and lessons with those of us who came to pay our respects. It was a very heart warming, poignant service. There were tears, but it was really a service full of love, inspiration and family. The family saw the situation with a filter that allowed them to appreciate who their father, husband, friend was -not focused on the loss.

I hope we can all learn from them – they are sad and shocked, but it is a part of life and  the could have chosen to focus on the sadness or make the choice to focus on the great things that their dad did and the lives he touched. It’s all about perspective!

 

Workout

Strength: Working on my cleans
WOD
ETMOTM (every two mins on the two min)
1P Wall Balls
Chin Ups
Jumping Lunges

Recommended Reading

The first two are blog posts that I wrote recently for Envision, a local company that offers enrichment courses for students:

Think About Your Social Legacy

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Rekindle your Inner Spirit - LiveFitandSore.comI’ve been really reflective the past month or so – thinking about life, my own place in the universe, how I relate to others, and the frailty of life in general. Not sure why all of the sudden – maybe because some change in my own life or seeing friends lose someone close to them.

Yesterday, I came across a post that once again displayed how short life is and how it can change in the blink of an eye. The reason I am sharing is to really drive home the idea that you need to make every moment count. Don’t hold on to anger. Don’t be stopped by fear. Stop and smell the roses. Focus on creating the life you want.

Everything We Leave Behind - Amanda was living her life, using Twitter once in a while, and then found out she was very ill with a brain tumor. Her tweets capture her life –all the way to the end. This compilation is a poignant snapshot of a life — and she didn’t even realize that she left a legacy. It really makes you think about your own social legacy after you pass — and what it says about you.

Life really is precious and short — take advantage of the time you have.

Workout

Strength: Bench
WOD: Death by…
KB
10m sprints
–if you complete under 10 rounds>40 burpees
–if you complete under 15 rounds>20 burpees
–if you complete under 20 rounds>1 burpee

Recommended Reading

Music to your Ears

Pharrell “Happy”

Life Happens So Always Look Again

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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.

Always Look Again - LiveFitandSore.comI 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.

Workout

Rest Day!

Recommended Reading

 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.

Happy New Year: Make Mistakes All Year Long

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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!

Cheryl and Stephanie Hoaglund 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 readyMake Better MIstakes Tomorrow 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!

17th Annual REHAU Rotary Resolution Race

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.

Recommended Reading

Workout

Bench 1×4 115#
WOD
3 Rounds
1 minute each station/10 sec transition time

  • Slam Ball Throws
  • Row
  • 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…

You are confined by the walls you create yourself

George Clooney Lives His Life, So Should You

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I was reading an interview with George Clooney in Esquire magazine this weekend and he said something that has stayed with me about how media and the Internet have exploded into our lives – changing it for the good and some of it for the bad.

george-clooneyThe president came here and there were some people who wanted to meet him. And the president and I are talking to them and they’re holding their smartphone cameras up like this. And I’m holding my hand out trying to shake their hand, and they’re like, ‘Smile.’ And I said to the president, I said, ‘You know, the oddest thing about what’s happening right now is that we’ve stopped living our lives and we’re just recording them.’ ”

I realize that I don’t know Mr Clooney, but he seems like a pretty level headed guy and hasn’t let fame completely cloud his perspective. He reminds me of the days before the Internet – things seemed simpler and there wasn’t so much noise in everyone’s life. And damn, he’s great to look at.

I am probably more guilty of recording my life than many because of what I do for a living…but lately I have been trying to actually live in the moment – not rush to take a picture or document the moment.  Yes, it’s awesome to have pics but it’s more important to live with and create the memories with people you care about.

Recommended Reading

“if you are facing a period of overconsumption and inactivity” — also known as the holidays — “a daily bout of exercise will prevent many of the negative changes, at least in the short term,” 

Kindness Matters

  • Where Is the Love?
  • Giving Tuesday  What is #GivingTuesday?  We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back.  On Tuesday December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.

RIP Strongman Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins - Strongman RIPLast week, strongman Mike Jenkins died in his sleep. I met Mike at the Strongman Trainer’s course this past spring. He was an imposing figure–but so nice and gentle. I really enjoyed getting to talk to him and learning from his experience.

Although I only met him that one time – I remember how kind and remarkable he was. My thoughts go out to his family as they learn to move on with their new normal.

Strong man Mike Jenkins dies in his sleep at age 31

Say Yes to the Rest

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Pat-Sherwood-QuoteLast night, while contemplating whether to take my rest day to today I read this from a Facebook page I read Lift Run Bang and it quickly helped me make my decision. Yes to the Rest!

“Rest” has become such an ugly word in the training paradigm now.

I attribute this, at least partially, to the “don’t be a pussy” ridiculousness I see hurled out by people who have no life outside of the gym. 

When in doubt, taking an extra day of rest isn’t going to do anything in terms of setting you back. And in more cases than not, the extra rest will in fact benefit you significantly. 

The problem is, we are a society of excess, and so many adhere to the belief that if 3 days a week bring great results, then 6 days a week will bring double great results. However, there will always be a point of diminishing returns with anything and everything in regards to excess. 

The variables involved in rest, are unique to every individual, and where they are in their training life. 

When I was 18 I could train hard as fuck, 6 days a week. In my late 20′s, with kids, a wife, and a real job, it went to 4 or so. Now I find that at 38, three days a week seems about optimal. Sometimes I can do 4 or 5 days a week for a while, however I eventually settle back into three days a week, because I always feel like I need the extra rest. 

What most people do is, they feel as though they are letting themselves down if they don’t train, or that for some reason they will regress or fall behind if they miss a workout. 

Please, get that out of your head. Skipping a night because you feel beat to shit is not going to put you behind, or cause regression. Do a better job of listening to your body. Especially after very tough training sessions, and you’ll be rewarded for it. 

If you need time off, take it. The weights will still be there waiting to resume battle after you’re well rested.

Here’s some great information about over-training that highlights why rest is so darn important. I usually take a week straight off every quarter that coincides with a vacation and I usually take two rest days a week at minimum regularly.

Have you tried De-Loading? Many times, adding a de-load week to your training will actually help you come back stronger! Hard to believe, but it’s true!

The Deload Week: What It Is, How to Do it, and Why It Might Help You Get Stronger

A deload week is a “take it easy” week. It’s a break from training hard and training often, and scheduling a deload week is often how hard-charging athletes and weight lifters (a notorious bunch who never want to take a break) force themselves to recover from their pursuits. Exercise, you see, especially effective, intense, hard exercise, requires that we recover. It’s just like any injury, wound, illness, or stressor faced by our body.

 

Be Kind: It Can Make All the Difference

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AmazingIt’s Friday and it’s going to be an amazing day. The weather is perfect, my workout is done and I have a busy weekend planned with the family. All good things which makes me really happy.

I was listening to the radio this morning on the way to workout and they were talking about the normal bar — what do most people feel and think about things based on a study that was recently done. I don’t put much stock into stuff like that but I did find one point interesting –that most people who took this survey are generally happy with their lives. Life is not all excitement and thrills — there are ups and downs — and based on Happy, that documentary I mentioned the other day, I think it has nothing to do with money, status or location.

I heard some sad news yesterday that goes to show you — that someone can look amazing to everyone but underneath the looks, they can be a troubled, fragile person. Someone at a different local CrossFit gym committed suicide this week. My husband asked me if I knew the person and at first, I said No. He sent me her picture and it dawned on me –I did meet her. She was in the Oly Trainer’s course I attend last spring –and the reason I remember her so well was because I remember thinking about how amazing she looked — strong, tall, blonde, had a toned CrossFit shape and was pretty. I said to myself, I wish I looked like that. I distinctly remember saying that stuff about her. And then I hear that news – it’s so very sad to know that someone was hurting that much that they felt dying was the only way out of their pain.

I have had very low points in my own life and know the pain I was in, so I can only imagine the magnitude of pain she was in. It really reminds you how fragile we all are. The quote “Be Kind for Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle” is so true. The outward appearance can’t be trusted. No one is perfect and we all have crap going on in our lives that will challenge us to our core, so keep that in mind, the next time you see someone that seems rattled.

Technology is becoming as normal to us all as brushing our teeth and it’s causing some of us to become de-sensitized to people’s feelings. I am finding people are just being meaner online – it’s like an open invitation to disregard common respect. It’s not a good thing, keeping your humanity and sense of compassion for other’s plights is what keeps us all functioning and progressing. We lose that – we lose everything.

My thoughts are with her family and friends as they make sense of it all. Very very sad.

Strength
5×5 Shoulder Press 68#

WOD
‘Helen’
400m run
21 KB Swings
12 Pull Ups
Time: 5:51

Not my greatest performance this morning. I couldn’t catch my breath, started wheezing and took a few too many breaks. It’s frustrating to me — because the last few weeks, I am finishing last! I know it’s not a competition, but I don’t like to finish last. I ordered a Breathing Exerciser. I have read about it and it is supposed to help boost my respiratory performance if I use it regularly. I had one a while back but lost it and found it did work — so time to tackle this obstacle.

Here’s a few things I read last night:

Some good simple tips about eating Paleo. It’s really not that complicated!

CrossFit incorporates a lot of Plyometric work — jumping on boxes, quick drills.. all of it goes into the making of a fit, strong person.

be kind

Perspective

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0695bd51d92911a6314e68a340e68695Yesterday was a tough day I am sure for everyone. I was taken a bit by how emotional I was throughout the day. I’m going through some shit personally and it seemed to be compounded yesterday  - which made for a day of sadness and feeling sorry for myself. I’m mad at myself about it  – because what happened to all that perspective I have on what’s really important?

I had no idea Scott wrote this yesterday, and came across it this morning and it brought tears to my eyes — it really touched me. He doesn’t tend to get very emotional about things –he’s my steady rock. I am in awe of what he wrote — simply speechless.

I Remember…

Whenever I see the numbers 9 and 11, I remember.

Whenever I fly and go through airport security, I remember.

Whenever I drive past the Pentagon, I remember.

Whenever I see the New York City skyline, I remember.

Whenever someone says “Let’s Roll”, I remember.

Whenever I see the letters F.D.N.Y. or N.Y.P.D., I remember.

Whenever I see Giuliani, or hear his name, I remember.

Whenever I see an American flag at half staff, I remember.

Whenever the Department of Homeland Security is mentioned, I remember.

Whenever I hear about a U.S. soldier being killed in action, I remember.

I remember seeing my yet to be born daughter for the first time via sonogram, and how happy I was. I remember the confusion going on in the doctor’s office as we were leaving, but not understanding why.

I remember my boss calling me as I drove to work late, and her telling me to turn around because they were evacuating the campus.

I remember being glued to the television, when the second plane hit the south tower, and I remember watching the footage over and over again until it was permanently etched into my brain.

I remember people hanging out the windows, and then falling/jumping to escape the fire.

I remember the shock of watching the south tower collapse.

I remember “All circuits are busy” when trying to use the phone.

I remember hearing false information about the Pentagon, and the White House.

I remember being scared and helpless when the north tower collapsed.

I remember footage of thousands of people walking out of the city, covered in grey ash.

I remember newscasters switching from talking about and showing the horror, to honoring and showing the heroes.

I remember reading the scroll at the bottom of the screen for hours and days.

I remember breaking down and sobbing in the middle of the night as I thought about all of those lives lost.

I remember mobile surface to air missile launchers deployed around Washington D.C.

I remember David Letterman, coming back on the air and not telling any jokes.

I remember New York City tourism grinding to a halt, and making it a point to show my support by visiting. 

I remember seeing the gaping hole where the Twin Towers stood from the top of the Empire State Building, and the site still smoldering over a month after 9/11.

I remember walking all over the city with my pregnant wife, and having a great time.

I remember Shock and Awe.

I remember ignorant people saying horrible things about Muslims.

I remember having a great sense of Patriotism, and being thankful for the brave men and women who serve in our military.

I remember crazy conspiracy theories.

I remember President Bush standing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln with a banner that read “Mission Accomplished” in 2003.

I remember the U.S. soldiers that were killed in action.

I remember having a conversation with a young coworker about where we were when the planes hit, and he replied in middle school – I remember I am getting older.

I remember how precious life is, and how much I love my family and friends.

I remember that the world was forever changed.

You are damn right I remember……..everyday.

After that – how can I complain about the small annoyances in my life? However, I think it’s the day to day stuff that we focus on that helps us move forward and beyond tragedies. Life does indeed go on – whether we like it or not and we have to pick ourselves up, persevere and do our part to ensure we are making the world a better place day in and day out.  Which is why I am focusing on doing a 21 Day Kindness Challenge – if we all practice kindness, we really can change the world.

mobilityWOD

  • 800m run
  • 5/side Turkish Get-ups 26# KB
  • 400m run
  • 7/side TGUs
  • 200m plate run 15#
  • 15 burpees


Mobility

  • Ankle
  • Hips
  • Shoulders
  • 3min Plank Holds

 

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