Parenting/Family

The Bonds of Fitness

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Lidia Beer - CrossFit MastersI hit up a boxing class last night and then headed to Ashburn CrossFit this morning to workout with a dear friend I havent seen in over five years. I have written about Lidia previously and what an inspiration and kickass chick she is. It’s one of the greatest things about finding my fitness passion – meeting and bonding with the most amazing people.  Many of them have become very dear to me and even though I don’t see them regularly, they continue to inspire me and motivate me to be better than I was yesterday. I mean – come on now, these are strong, bad ass chicks. If I let myself go to pot after all this time – I think they would kick my ass. Not only are they amazing people – they help keep me accountable. It’s a win that keeps on giving…

As you probably know, I don’t do CrossFit regularly anymore.  The change was brought on partially by burn out. I was not getting the joy or seeing the results I used to from CrossFit. I also felt that my body wasn’t recovering like it used to which was causing me to not have as much fun while I was there. My shoulders weren’t healing either because of the constant stress on them. It’s only been since I stopped completely, have I regained range of motion in my right shoulder.

It is nice to revisit CrossFit every now and again and today it was quite a workout – a chipper.

Ashburn CrossFit In CrossFit, a chipper is usually a combo of 5 to 10 exercises designed to push metabolic conditioning. This morning’s chipper looked like this…

  • 50 Wall Balls (20/14)
  • 40 Push Ups
  • 30 Medball Cleans (20/14)
  • 20 Burpees
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 20 Burpees
  • 30 Medball Cleans
  • 40 Push Ups
  • 50 Wall Balls
    (20 min cap)

I chose to do it with a 10# med ball and finished at 19:37.  Yeah, Ouch. I am  now at work and the soreness is creeping in. It hurts just to walk.  I don’t know why, but it always surprises me at how sore I get when I switch up workouts even though I workout all the time!

I have to admit it was a great way to start my day. A group of strong ladies, a lot of laughs and creating a sweat festival.

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As a final sign off on today’s post – I want to wish my smart, sassy and super adorable niece Amelia a Happy Birthday. I wish I lived closer so I could be in her life more, but here I am living in ‘Grassyland’ (that’s what she calls Virginia bc we have a lot of grass and San Fran does not).

I love her to the moon and back…

Amelia _Birthday

Celebrating Mathias: 2nd Annual Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run!

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Team Mathias

This past December, Mathias Giordano lost his cancer battle. Tomorrow he would have celebrated his 14th birthday. I have not been able to get him out of my thoughts since first hearing about him and what an amazing young man he was from my friend Gwen. Gwen and I, along with her son and HB ran the 5K this morning to remember him and raise money for childhood cancer research.

It was an amazing feeling to start my day with a 5K run to support Team Mathias in the Team Mathias 5K and Family Fun Run 2015y

 

I was so proud of HB. I thought she was going to back out of coming with me early this morning but no. She stayed true to her commitment and did great. This is now the second race we have done together. I can’t even describe how much it fills my heart with so much love and pride that she is open to tackling the races with me.  I think one of the reasons that I continue to be moved by Mathias is my own kiddos are around the same age – and after seeing how hard Scott’s cancer battle was, I can only imagine how much harder it is for those younger.  During the pre-race speeches, I teared up thinking about him and his family. What an amazing example of faith and perseverance.

 

Partnering with the Team Mathias was Be the Match®, a global leader in bone marrow transplantation. They conduct research to improve transplant outcomes provide support and resources for patients, and partner with a global network

My last 5K was in March for Scope it Out Colon Cancer Awareness and my 5K pace was 9:36. This race I finished with a 8:45 minute pace. So I’m pretty pleased with that improvement. Boxing and Cycling are really helping my overall lung capacity for sure.

11301561_10152972810248741_263347669_nChildhood Cancer Statistics – Important Facts

Each year, the parents of approximately 15,700 kids will hear the words “your child has cancer.” Across all ages, ethnic groups and socio-economics, this disease remains the number one cause of death by disease in children. Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just fifty years ago to nearly 90 percent today, for many rare cancers, the survival rate is much lower. Furthermore, the number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years.

  • Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • 12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
  • Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
  • The average age of children diagnosed is six.
  • More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
  • 60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
  • There are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States.
    • That equates to 1 in 530 adults ages 20-39.

Team Mathias 5K
Team Mathias

Stop Sitting on the Sidelines

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One of the reasons that I continue to live healthy and fit is for the example it sets for my kiddos. We do all this stuff so that they are active and healthy growing but many of us let our own health fall by the way side. We have lots of excuses related to not having enough time. I have been really vocal about calling bullshit on that excuse but the past week I noticed something else…

Rebounderz with the Hoaglunds Many times during the week, when I go box – I see parents either drop their kid off to a boxing session or sit on the bench and watch. Same thing happened when I took my kids to Rebounderz. I was the only parent jumping around the trampolines and having fun and getting exercise with my kids.

I don’t understand this at all — why not join your kids in an activity or if you drop them off at soccer practice, why not walk around the fields listening to music? Just MOVE YOUR BODY. You don’t have to go at it hard like some of us do but instead of sitting their on the sidelines watching your kid during a boxing session – put on a pair of gloves and join them. Not only are you helping yourself, you are spending time with them and setting a great example.  So, stop sitting on the sidelines.  Life is too short, kids grow up way too fast and you are allowed to make time for yourself! Who knows – you may even find it’s fun!

Here are some related parenting and kids fitness resources to talk about with your kids:

Rewind the Future

Is Dairy Causing Your Eczema?

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The Connection Between Eczema and Eating Dairy

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine about her recent case of eczema. I immediately said it’s probably dairy. She said that’s what her doctor said too  Fast forward to this morning, before our 6A boxing session, she said she stopped the dairy and almost immediately – her eczema cleared up! Well what do you know!! It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that a sensitivity to dairy can cause skin issues and congestion.

Before understanding how dairy affected me, I had hard, crusty hands all the time. To help alleviate the burning and itching, my doctor gave me a steroid cream. He never once discussed its possible cause.  Once I quit dairy – it was gone. Just like that!  Recently, I was reminded once again that dairy and I don’t mix. I started drinking a whey protein shake in the AM. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process and after a few days, my eczema started to flare up on my hands again. I switched to a veggie based shake and the eczema issues cleared up.

Eczema and Dairy Connection

As a general practice, I don’t eat dairy but maybe once a week. When I do have some, within hours, I feel congested and the next morning, my hands start to itch. If i eat it more than once a week, eczema on my hands starts to appear.  One of my favorite treats – ice cream – is almost not worth eating because my congestion gets so bad that getting a good night’s sleep becomes a challenge. Everything in life is a trade off and now, before eating anything with dairy or gluten for that matter, I ask myself if it’s worth it. Sometimes the answer is yes, but most often, it’s no.

Here’s a bit more info on dairy and food allergies:

How can you figure out if dairy is causing you issues?

It’s simple really. Try eliminating it for a week or so to see if any skin issues clear up, including acne. Then, add it back in. If you notice a reaction, then you know that dairy is causing you some inflammation issues. Keep in mind that a week may not be enough time to really eliminate it. As with most things, It depends on the person. The thing is, if you find you are sensitive to dairy, you are armed with the knowledge and can be more aware of how your body feels and reacts to your food choices.

Decluttering: Tidying Up Your Life

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It’s hard to come back to the ole work life after the long Memorial Day Weekend. It was such a spectacular weekend – getting time to workout, spending time with friends and being outside for much of it. It was one of those weekends that was perfect in it’s simplicity. I spent time with  kind, fun people including my own family. I got to appreciate the feeling a great workout gave me, got in some napping and the weather was perfect. Kumbaya! 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThis summer I am going to start to tackle one of my biggest challenges – decluttering and tidying up my house. I am going to start with my own closet and clothing situation.  It’s a trait I come by honestly by way of my Mom and it’s one that drives me crazy. I read this article the other day:

The life-changing magic of tidying up: How this 1 tip changed everything

“It’s not just about tidying up to get rid of things,” Ramsey says. “It’s about having gratitude for the objects you choose to be in your life.” So if something (or someone) doesn’t bring you joy, don’t try to justify its place in your world. Just say thank you and move on.

One of the points made is that you should try to get it done in one project. So not by room or bit by bit. You need to sit down and go through all of your clothes at once.  I am going to organize my clothes and closet by the end of the summer because it’s starting to  drain me of energy. Seeing the big piles of clothes all over my bedroom isn’t healthy and I can’t find any of the pieces that bring me joy and that goes against the principle of having the clothes I do.

Why Am I Not As Happy As I Think I Should Be?

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Believe-when-you-are-most-unhappy-that-there-is-something-for-you-to-do-in-the-world..-Helen-KellerBelieve, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world… Helen Keller

I’ve been doing some more soul searching the past week –

The past few days have been pretty stressful. Scott’s mom is in the hospital. My dad and step mother got into a car accident this past weekend. Their car is totaled, they are banged up but going to be OK. The thing is, experiencing your parents’ getting older is tough especially when they didn’t take particularly great care of their health in general. It’s another reminder that lifestyle definitely catches up with you as you age.  And when you are experiencing it from a distance – it’s hard to really see how bad a situation is. You have to rely on your parents to tell you what’s going on. Reality is different depending on the filters we put on.

In other stressful news, Scott and I are both not feeling well with different maladies. Nothing too serious but enough that we both went to the doctors last week and are on meds. And to top it all off – Scott’s car broke down on Friday evening and a bunch of money $$$ later, the car should be fixed by tomorrow.

All of this has me thinking about what I really want out of life and why am I not feeling as happy as I think I should be?

Career wise: Do I want to continue heading into an office and working for someone else? The culture and company I am looking for based on my experience with my last position is a lot more clear than it has ever been. The issue is, I’m not sure my current situation is meeting the requirements as I had hoped it would.  In the past 90 days of me starting, there have been a ton of changes and restructuring. Things I didn’t know about when I accepted the position. The changes aren’t really in line with my background, interests or what I was looking for. It’s disappointing to say the least. I was hoping to be able to grow, learn, be challenged and thrive in this environment. At this point, it’s not really looking like many of those opportunities exist. Never say never, of course, but having learned my lesson at my previous job, I realize that if it doesn’t feel right, I need to explore options.

I am stressed out and feeling a bit lost. Life sure doesn’t stop for you to catch your breath…

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May is Mental Health Month

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MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know that about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffer from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?

I’m sharing the stories in the links below because they got me thinking about how easy it is to look at someone’s life and assume everything is perfect. With social media, people’s lives look idyllic . All smiles and photo filters. If you took it all at face value, you would think that everyone has it good and living the life. But you know what? The reality is that we all have struggles and our stories. You never do know what is going on behind the filtered pictures on Instagram or the stories shared on Facebook.

Life today is busy. People are more stressed out and pushed and pulled in a bunch of different directions. Our bodies aren’t designed to handle this type of constant stress. Add in that some people have the type of personality that can’t handle things being undone. They can’t live with things being less than perfect. Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety are these type A personalities.

Trust your instinct

The point of this post is to remind people out there that not everything is what it seems. No one’s life is perfect.  If you feel like something is not right with a family member, friend or acquaintance – ASK. And if they say Nothing – ASK Again and again and again.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy 11th Birthday Baby Nate

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Happy 11th Birthday to my sweet, funny, stubborn, loving, sensitive little baby Nate.

Fun Murderer of a Teenager

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Hannah Bea 2015End of last month, my little baby girl became a teenager. It is hard to believe that 13 years have passed since I became Mom and had my priorities and perspective on life shift. What a crazy journey it has been. HB is becoming such an amazing young girl – so fearless and full of confidence. I love watching her –  and seeing how she evaluates situations and challenges herself constantly. She is so much bolder than I was at her age.

When HB was younger, she called me a Fun Murderer. In hereeyes, I was not fun in her eye whenever I told her she couldn’t do something she wanted to do – for whatever reason – I was murdering fun. She doesn’t say that much anymore – it has now turned into the infamous eye rolling any time I annoy her.  Her teenage years are bound to be full of moments of her parents embarrassing and annoying her.

 

Time flies for sure and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of us.  I’m having the best time being her Mom.

Hannah Bea 2015 Trashion Show

Bring Quality PE Back To Schools: La Sierra High PE

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NPR just published Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE – encouraging schools and communities to bring back real PE classes. It’s no secret that “neuro-cognitive development is associated with exercise and can benefit from exercise”, so why aren’t we demanding that our children get more exercise??

Watch the video below that highlights the La Sierra High PE program in the 60’s. It’s exactly what our kids need to be doing today– real physical fitness classes in school. Not only will it help them physically but mentally as well! Our kids will learn to deal with the stress of life. Also look at the people featured in this video –they look younger and healthier overall. I bet it’s because they have been fit most of their lives, starting early on.


PE 50 years ago…compare to today! Help us bring quality PE back to our schools: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/la-sierra-high-pe

In 1962, JFK gave a speech to the nation challenging them to make a “great national effort.” He held the La Sierra High PE up as the model for the nation to follow. 4,000 high schools followed this program. This is the only known digitized copy of his speech. The footage shows one high school PE class. Remember, this is a normal PE class at the high school. This was PE 50 years ago in America! Help us make this happen again. Ron Jones, MS, founder of The Lean Berets (Executive Producer), Doug Orchard (Producer/Director).

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