Win An Autographed One Direction: Looks Make Up Collection

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One Direction at NationalsA few weeks ago, I took HB to her first concert - One Direction at Nationals Stadium. It was just as you would imagine it would be — lots of young girls, screaming, crying, singing along in their 1D schwag. There were a ton of Moms bopping along and Dads sitting in their seats wondering how they got roped into taking their daughters.

I’m not going to lie — I really enjoyed the event. It brought back a lot of memories of being a Duran Duran loving tween. And my 12 year old daughter LOVED it.

I took a lot of photos during the show – click on the concert pic below to see my One Direction photo gallery on Facebook.

One Direction at Nationals 2014 Washington DC

One Direction “The Looks Collection”

One Direction seems to be taking over the world just like Duran Duran did in the 80’s.  Case in point, just released:

2rSpCEMS1yQZYHpYNSvw_MM CollectionThe affordable limited edition One Direction “The Looks Collection” cosmetics collection was created to be fun and bold and a tad mischievous – like Harry Styles, right?

Backed by Markwins International, it’s now available at Macy’s! I was asked to spread the word about a special giveaway to win one of these really cool Looks Collection sets autographed by the band. That’s right – signed by Niall, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Louis!! How happy would you or your daughter be if you won!? Details and entry method info are at the bottom of this post.

Brandbacker: One Direction Macy's Collection “The Looks Collection” comprises three keepsake tins inspired by One Direction’s globe-conquering albums, “Up All Night, “Take Me Home” and the latest chart topper, ‘Midnight Memories.” Each tin comes complete with everything you need to show off your personality. Are you a rock n’ roll girl, a fun party girl or the girl next door? We have just the right collection for you and illustrations to help show you just how to get your perfect look. All your beauty essentials are housed in a LIMITED EDITION collectible keepsake tin with removable sleeve, complete with ONE DIRECTION doodle stencils to decorate your keepsake tin and make it uniquely your own! “

Win a Looks Collection set autographed by the band!

Giveaway Details:

If the giveaway widget doesn’t load, click here

Thanks to BrandBacker for sponsoring this post & offering me an opportunity to spread the word. 

Women’s Running Magazine: National Running Day 2014

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Running Magazine OfferDid you know that today – June 4th is National Running Day?

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Women’s Running magazine asked for help to get the word out about a special subscription offer to their magazine for today only —

Women’s Running is the world’s largest women-specific running magazine.

Women’s Running covers all aspects of the running lifestyle, from active beauty needs to training plans. The Women’s Running mission is simple: to create a high-quality magazine for smart, successful women who use running to balance and enrich their lives. Women’s Running features quality editorial that motivates women to train intelligently, participate in active travel, adopt healthy nutrition habits and keep moving.

Women’s Running Magazine: National Running Day offer 

National Running Day Offer: Subscribe or renew today only for $1 an issue

I have not been shy about sharing the fact that running is one of my least favorite activities. I know that means it’s something I need to work on. I’m all about working weaknesses, so I started running a few weeks ago again– and have signed up for a 5K in July at Reston Town Center.  I’m lucky that I live so close to the W&OD trail – so the scenery makes the running worth it for sure.

If you need more motivation to start running,  here’s some info about the benefits of running: 

Benefits of Running


Disclosure: I am sharing this information in exchange for goods provided by Women’s Running. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the brand or company. 

What Do You Feed Your Dog?

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TaliaI am in the process of considering rescuing a dog — I don’t really want a puppy, dealing with the dreaded puppy stage. I know they are cute and all but I would rather skip that part and find a two-three year old doggy in need of a good home.

Did you know that according to the American Pet Products Association, 164 million Americans owned dogs in 2012? That’s a lot of dogs!!

Here are some other interesting facts about dog ownership in the US that I didn’t know:

  • 83.3 million – Number of owned dogs
  • 47% – of households own at least one dog
  • 70% – of owners have one dog
  • 20% – of owners have two dogs
  • 10% – of owners have three or more dogs
  • 1.47 – the average number of owned dogs per household
  • 20% – of owned dogs were adopted from animal shelters

What Do You Feed Your Dog?

All of this info got me thinking about what people feed their beloved best friends. I can only imagine what’s in the regular dog food you get at the store -and I know a ton of friends who have dogs with allergies. It has to be something related to what we are feeding them…

We should be feeding our dogs a healthy, natural diet, just like we should eat! So, when Wellness Pet Food reached out to me asking if I would highlight their dog food, I agreed because I think we all should be eating healthier, including our pets. Their Wellness Pet Foodrecipes do not include added artificial colors, flavors or ingredients. Sounds a lot like how I recommend eating!

While Wellness might not be as widely-known as some of the more mainstream brands of dog food, their devotion to quality and natural, high-quality ingredients makes their food safe, wholesome and beneficial to pets’ health and well being.

Are you curious about how Wellness Dog Food compares to what you are currently buying for your dog?  Visit their “Check Your Bag” website, where you can compare their natural dog food to some competitors who claim to be natural.

Curious to give it a try? Connect with their free online program, Naturally Well Pet Community, to get savings offers, fun contests and helpful tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy.

And follow them on Facebook and Twitter (use hashtags #naturaldogfood, #checkyourbag or #wellness or #lovemydog) to find out even more info about their devotion to keeping pets happy and healthy.

Benefits of Wellness® Complete Health® Pet Food

  • Live Active Probiotics – Added after the cooking process to promote a healthy intestinal tract and overall digestive health at guaranteed levels

  • Omega 3 & 6 Mix – Offering guaranteed levels of essential fatty acids for cellular function and healthy skin

  • Essential Vitamins & Minerals – Designed for cellular health, immunity and disease resistance

  • Fruit & Veggie Antioxidants – A proactive step in improving your pet’s nutrition

  • Rigorous Safety Testing – A Quality Assurance program that maintains strict standards for food safety

  • Excellent Nutritional Standards – Every batch of dry food is tested throughout the entire manufacturing process, from its basic ingredients to the finished products

Here is a store locator to help you find out which stores near you carry Wellness Pet Food and/or where you can buy it online.

We love our pets as if they were our children, so it’s hard to understand why anyone would cheap out and buy processed-who-knows-what for them to eat. Let me know what your dog thinks of Wellness Pet Food after they try it…




Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Wellness Complete Health Pet Food for this post. Any opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience. 


Greg Everett’s American Weightlifting

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I loved the workout programmed today. It was all about endurance!  I love when a workout really challenges me mentally. It had broad jumps, hang squat cleans and slam balls and the combo left me breathless – so I really have to focus on steadying my breath and continue on. Again, it’s one of the things I love about CrossFit. I get challenged every single day I walk in. How many of us are just going through the motions day in and day out and if they stopped and really thought about it — they would realize they thrive on being challenged and learning new things. We are so caught up in the day to day. I force myself out of my comfort zone daily and you should too!

american weightlifting - the filmThis past weekend, I watched a really interesting documentary called American Weightlifting.

American Weightlifting introduces us to the people, the passion, the dedication and the reality of the sport of Olympic Weightlifting in the US.

The sport is extremely popular internationally, with many countries supporting their professional lifters during their training. In the US, it has not received nearly enough attention compared to the more popular US sports of Football and Basketball. Most talented Olympic lifters and coaches must train on their own and pay their own way to success, giving the international lifting community a distinct advantage during competitions.

The benefits of adding in Strength work and Olympic lifting – including the clean and jerk and snatch – have proven time and time again to benefit athletes of all sports.  The sport loses out on many possible stand-out lifters, because many times younger athletes who are developing, opt for the more popular sports because they are able to obtain scholarships and receive more recognition.

Throughout the documentary, you are introduced to some of the pioneers of the sport and within the first few minutes of meeting them, their passion shines through. They love their sport. Weightlifting is not about making money to them – it’s about really doing something they love. They have seen it change people’s lives, including their own. Each athlete and/or coach we meet along the way is changing someone’s life.

Created by Coach Greg Everett, owner of Catalyst Athletics, publisher of the Performance Menu Journal and coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team in California and a very well respected Olympic Lifting coach. He made this documentary on his own – a one man show.- and after watching it, you can feel how much he loves the sport.

As a CrossFitter who has been introduced to Oly lifting and as someone who wants to learn more about the sport – I loved it. The people highlighted are the coaches I have heard of and have always looked to for inspiration and instruction. But more than that – I love hearing from people who love what they do and have found something that they are so passionate about – they put all their effort and drive into making it into something that changes lives. Many people out there won’t understand it – but it’s goes much deeper than just lifting heavy shit. It’s about understanding how your body moves, it’s about discipline, it’s about mental grit, it’s about sheer will.  To choose a sport that very few people understand or even care about — and pursue it despite all of that, means you really have found your thing. And I am always fascinated by people who are doing what they are meant to do, what they are born to do, who have found their purpose. So few of us really do.

Before CrossFit, I did not know anything about weightlifting. But having been at it for 5+ years now, weightlifting is probably one of the greatest, most challenging things I have done. When you hit a lift right – it’s exhilarating and it feels like the stars align. And it makes it that much harder to accept when your lifts aren’t happening.

CrossFit has brought a tremendous amount attention to this sport — but keep in mind that attending a weekend Oly Lifting Trainer’s course does not a good coach make.

I know, I am rambling but it really is a life changing experience when you start lifting – for a woman, it’s a badass feeling that stays with you and carries into so many other facets of your life.

That’s my review of this documentary – for more information about this documentary, here are some links from people in the sport of weightlifting:

The folks at Catalyst Athletics provided me with pre-screening access, but the actual documentary is available NOVEMBER 16TH! If you have the slightest interest in weightlifting, I highly recommend checking it out.

October is Fair Trade Month

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Today while we were running as a part of the workout, I couldn’t help but notice the absolutely gorgeous sunrise. It reminded me of Tucson, Arizona — just amazing. That is one of the best parts of being up so early in the morning. You miss that if you sleep in!

A small change in my blog to share: I am no longer going to be sharing my exact workout WODs publicly. The reason I post them is really for my own personal record keeping and unless it’s a benchmark or I have something amazing to share directly related to it — I will post. If you have to know what I did — I am going to have them, just posted privately.

I did work on muscle up progressions again today — and I was able to complete one part of the movement — I’m making progress!

I am always looking for ways to give back – locally and globally. And I think all efforts count – big, small, personal or more global. On that note, yesterday, I received a really cool box of stuff from Klout.

Fair Trade

Your Klout Score is a 1-100 number showing how influential you are online. It’s not a matter of having a ton of online followers, it’s how interactive and engaged you and they are that determines your score. The higher the score, the more influential you are considered. And for me – I try very hard to stick to what I love and am passionate about. So, I am influential around CrossFit, Health and Fitness, Parenting, Social Media, Marketing and related stuff.

And your score can fluctuate depending on how active you are in any given week or what you are posting. Anyway, based on my score, I am offered these things called Perks on occasion and depending on what it is, I can accept the offer or not. The cool thing is – you aren’t pressured to make up lies about what you receive or really expected to do anything. The companies that send the stuff are hoping you will like it enough to mention it to the people in your circles, but you don’t have to.

I don’t accept everything that is offered either. For me, this blog and what I share is a labor of love – so I don’t want to muck it up for a free whatever it is if it doesn’t align with my philosophy or belief. Then how can you trust me with everything I share?

The box yesterday, contained products that are all Fair Trade Certified. It was sent to help bring awareness around Fair Trade since October is Fair Trade Month.

According to their websiteFair Trade goods are just that. Fair. From far-away farms to your shopping cart, products that bear our logo come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. We help farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. We’re a nonprofit, but we don’t do charity. Instead, we teach disadvantaged communities how to use the free market to their advantage. With Fair Trade USA, the money you spend on day-to-day goods can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives.

Sounds pretty good right? When you are out shopping, look for products with a Fair Trade Certified label on them and you are helping. Here’s a video that explains it a bit more:

There are some great products that are fair trade certified too: Archer Farms which I find at Target all the time, Larabars, Prana, and a really yummy package of Bark Thins – dark chocolate, peanuts to name a few.

Anyway – some good products and a way to help some other people around the world out. Sounds like a win/win for us all.


Klout Disclosure:

I was given a free product because I am a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company. 


Planet Spooky at Kings Dominion

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Planet Snoopy - Kings DominonSaturday, after Nate’s football game and my workout, we headed to Kings Dominion to check out their Planet Spooky event*. I wish we had left earlier to avoid the horrible traffic on 95 and of course there was an accident so it took forever – but we got there eventually. It was a gorgeous day too — upper 80s, maybe even 90.

When we arrived, we picked up our tickets at Guest Services. Along with the tickets, they gave each of us with a Planet Snoopy drawstring bag – which HB and Nate loved! Looking at the time we had, we decided to check out the Dinosaurs first.

Trick or Treat with the Dinosaurskings dominion

I have never seen this attraction before, so it was cool to see these gigantic dinosaurs complete with sound effects and movement. As you walk through, you get the feeling you are actually walking around where Dinosaurs actually live thanks to the all the special effects. As you are walking through, they have trick or treat stations where they give out candy and/or other treats.

Oh, I forgot to mention that some of the dinosaurs have their own specially fitted costumes – one was a wizard, one a clown, one a bunny…

Kings Dominion charges an extra $5 to do this attraction – if you haven’t seen this attraction before, it’s pretty cool. Very realistic looking dinosaurs and candy for the kids. (They did have non candy treats available upon request.)

Then we headed to Planet Spooky in the younger kids area – we didn’t get to hit all the special attractions set up but the ones we did – the kiddos loved including the Pig Pen’s People Washer:

people washer

All the normal rides were open too – so the kids drove the cars, went on the swings and the mini-roller coasters and the lines weren’t long at all.

As part of Planet Spooky, there was a petting zoo set up with Polish Chickens, Baby Pigs, Goats and more. The Polish Chicken seemed to really get comfy on my arm –falling asleep for a few seconds.

Kings Dominion

As the day was winding down, the kids kept asking if they could stay for the evening attraction of Haunt. They could handle it they said. So around 630P, the park started to get foggy, the lights were going dim and by 7P -the park was transformed into a spooky, creepy haunted park. As we walked through and hit our first zombie, HB went hysterical with fear. Guess what? She couldn’t handle it –and we high tailed our butts out of the park as she had a mini-breakdown the entire way out.  They have zombies walking throughout the park so as we were leaving, one in particular zeroed in on her fear and went for it. HB fell to the ground super scared — and it was over. We couldn’t get her calmed down. I had to take her off to the side, near a store entrance and tell her to pull it together – didn’t really work well but well enough to get us out of the park. As a side note – Nate was fine. Go figure!

If you are looking for a fun family road trip – go for it. The lines were short, lots of kid friendly and adult friendly stuff to do – and with the weather the way it has been in the DC metro area, it’s a great experience that the kids will love.


Planet Spooky at Kings Dominion.

Families can enjoy Halloween together with a street party of frightful fun including a petting zoo, foam pit, pumpkin painting and more! Planet Spooky runs every Saturday and Sunday from Sept. 28 – Oct. 27. Activities are from 12:00pm until 5:00pm.

kings dominion*DISCLOSURE: The great folks at Kings Dominion provided my family with free tickets to attend Planet Spooky and Trick or Treating with the Dinosaurs. They in no way requested that I share a specific viewpoint or details of my experience in exchange for the tickets. My opinions and recommendations are my own.










All About Gifts and Baskets: Fruit Basket Giveaway

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Spring and Summer are here and it means most of us are eating more fruit!  I have my dehydrator going every day making my new favorite snack –dehydrated fruit. Yum. I was pretty excited to get contacted to help co-host a Fruit Basket giveaway from the fine folks at All About Gifts and Baskets. The giveaway is for a Fruit Basket, Box or Tower valued at up to $100 and it runs through April 28th, 2013. The winner can choose from over 30 fresh and delicious designs including some organic ones from their Fruit Gift Baskets page.

All About Gifts and Baskets has lots of gifts to choose from –including ones on the healthier side! I have been sending gift baskets of fruit to lots of people in recent years in lieu of sending things that they don’t need or necessarily want.  I have never met anyone who didn’t love to get a basket full of fruit, snacks or other stuff.  I personally LOVE them. <hint hint>

And in regards to eating fruit, Spring and summer are my favorite time of year.-I  love strawberries, peaches, nectarines and really good Oranges. Here’s a great resource to find out about when your favorite fruit is in season.

Here are some details about the giveaway and you can enter right on my page!  Good Luck!


Giveaway Rules Summary

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Any of the options listed for entry are acceptable, and entries per person are limited to the number indicated in this contest form. Entries will be reviewed and any duplicate or incomplete entries will be removed.

If you have issues using the Rafflecopter form, be sure you are running the latest version of your web browser and have the latest update of JavaScript.

NOTE – You must complete the specified entry task in order to be eligible to win the contest.  If you click the entry button without completing the task, your entry will be thrown out (disqualified from winning).

This contest is open to all residents of the 48 Contiguous States and only to those 18 or older.

Winner is picked random from all eligible entries.  The lucky winner will receive their choice of fruit gift basket (valued at up to $100) from this page.

Prize will be fulfilled by the contest sponsor

If you are the lucky winner, you will be notified via email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that time, another winner will be chosen.

The full list of rules can be found here.

Remember: Sweepstakes ends at midnight EST on April 28, 2013. The sweepstakes winners will be announced by May 5, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Getting Into The Modern

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17625_495300250526527_2036369235_nYesterday, I was interviewed for a local magazine about being a Modern Mom. I was nominated by one of my dear friends Tina, who I met at the very beginning of my fitness journey.  What’s funny is that magazine is called I am Modern Magazine and it’s geared towards Modern Moms (whatever that means).  I had never been interviewed before so I had no idea what to expect.

I met the writer, Gwen, at CFI in our coach’s office so we could have a quiet place to chat. Gwen is a local writer and you ever just meet someone and just instantly feel connected? Yeah, well that was how it was with her. The conversation just flowed. A mom herself, with three boys – she and I connected on a lot of things and issues relating to health, wellness and parenting.  She also believes strongly in giving back and has started a local non-profit to help underprivileged families called:

“Our mission is to help children of financially disadvantaged families to thrive through each developmental phase of their first five years by contributing material needs, providing parental education and support, and stimulating learning and early literacy through exposure to age-appropriate educational toys and books.”

We talked for a long time — and what surprised me was all the emotions me sharing my story with her brought up. I don’t often go back to the actual moments of ‘cancer’ being in our lives, so when I do, it always surprises me.  It seems so long ago and my family was so different back then, but what became clear after talking about it — there were some wonderful things it taught me and fundamentally changed me.  As bad as it was, and as scary as it was — it taught me about perspective, and what’s important, and showed me how much I love Scott and my family. It helped me filter the people in my life, it brought new and amazing people and opportunities and ultimately led me to finding my passion that surrounds me with a group of people that I now call ‘family’.

I hope the story conveys the intentions behind why I do what I do day in and day out — to inspire and support people out there to live a healthy and well life –not just physically, but mentally and not just focused on exercise but on things that make you happy, creating perspective and finding real joy in your life.

Hannah always tells me I am not cool –she says “Mom, get into the modern”, and now, that I will be in I am Modern Magazine – I can confidently say to her -well look, I am!

Here are some interesting things I have been reading about this week:


  • 600m jog
  • mobility
  • DROM


  • Front Squat


  • 5×5 Front Squat

Cirque du Soleil: Totem at The Plateau at National Harbor Aug 15 – Oct 7th

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Today is shaping up to be a much better day than earlier this week! Life is about ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys — you know the drill. The turnaround started yesterday when a friend at work asked if I wanted to take a walk. The weather is beautiful right now in the DC area, so it was sunny, high eighties. This friend is the person at work you just love –infectious energy, always smiling, sees everyone in the best light, and has the sunniest disposition. He’s alot like Scotty — the nicest guy you will ever meet.  As many of you know, I don’t think anyone would consider my disposition sunny.  Honest, blunt, witty – yes. Sunny? I would say I have more of a Partly-Sunny disposition!

We were chatting in the hall and he said – do you have some time? Let’s go for a walk.  So, i paused what I was doing and took him up on his offer. Turns out there is a path around the Corporate complex I have worked at for the past six years that I had no idea existed!!  He he told me if we had walked further, there is a pond. A FREAKIN’ Pond! How did I not know this?  We had a great conversation, laughed a lot, commiserated on some shared experiences – it was seriously just what I needed to get my head straight.  I know he had no idea the week I had been having, because as shocking as it is, he’s not one of my blog readers!  See how funny the universe is? It sends you what you need if you are open enough to see it….

Cirque du Soleil: Totem – at The Plateau at National Harbor

A week from Saturday, I am heading to the National Harbor to see Cirque du Soleil.  I was asked if I was interested in going to see the show and get a tour backstage by their touring company’s press group. The show is called Totem – a fascinating journey into the evolution of mankind.   The show is in the DC area Aug 15 – Oct 7th. If you have never seen Cirque du Soleil you have to go. Scott and I first saw one of their shows in Las Vegas – Le Mystere before we were married. We have seen them many times since then and have seen their staged shows in Vegas and in Downtown Disney – La Nouba.

According to the website:

Written and directed by Robert Lepage, TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.  Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Cirque du Soleil started in 1984 with a group of 20 street performers. I’m not kidding when I say that the shows are like nothing you have seen — amazing displays of athletism, amazing music, and just seriously things that you can’t even figure out. It’s an explosion of sights and sounds in the most creative and innovative ways. They may call it a Cirque but it’s nothing like a traditional circus!

Buy Tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Totem

You can see a  preview of the show or buy your tickets now!


*Disclaimer: I will be sharing information and a review of Cirque du Soleil’s performance of Totem in exchange for complimentary tickets and a backstage tour.  My thoughts & opinions will be unbiased & honest as always. 

Tony Blauer’s Tactical Combative Camp: Five Important Themes For Women

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Tony Blauer’s Tactical Combative Camp: Five Important Themes For Women

I recently attended the annual two day Tony Blauer “Tactical Combative Camp” at CrossFit Rubicon in Tysons Corner, VA. At first glance, any normal. suburban woman would walk into that gym and see the crowd gathered for the camp, and walk right out.

Picture it: A dark, window-less rectangular shaped gym. Walls painted with slogans of strength and toughness. 130 men gathered – many from military/law enforcement backgrounds, filling the room. I can see how it could be intimidating and too testosterone rich of an environment for your average, everyday girl. In fact, there were maybe 20 women in attendance total, with only a handful of them outside of the MMA or Military world.

Tony Blauer Camp 2012

After two days of learning and practicing drills, it became very clear to me that the themes discussed over the weekend have practical applications that extend way beyond any sort of combat or personal defense scenario. They are not masculine themes that only apply to a small percentage of women. They are important themes for everyone about living your best life…

“Failure Expected Action Required”

1. You Have Permission to Do Something!
How many times in our lives do we miss out on an opportunity because we don’t give ourselves permission to take action? Or to delve even further, we don’t believe we can go after that job opportunity, or pursue a romantic interest or that we are capable of fighting off an attack because as woman, we are programmed to be full of self-doubt and lack confidence in what we are capable of doing. You know what I am talking about –it’s that un-filtered inner voice that reminds us of our short comings and second guesses our skills, talents and decisions.

What if you said Screw the Rules? You make the decision to accept the fear that comes with doing something new and unchartered and go for it. You give yourself permission to go after that job, ask that guy out, or prepare to kick the shit out of any ‘bad guy’ that tries to cause you harm? What’s the worst that can happen? Generally speaking, the worst thing that can happen isn’t usually the worst thing that can happen ever in your life. That’s not to say that some pretty bad things do happen even when you do fight back. But if you are aware of what you are capable of doing and give yourself the permission to fight back, you can certainly lessen the chances of that coming to fruition.

Tony Blauer Drills

“You’re not going to wake up tomorrow as Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you don’t need to be.”

2. You Are Who You Are

We all have that list of things we wish we could change about ourselves. I wish I was taller, my stomach was flatter, and my boobs were bigger…my list is really long. And yes, I can change some of the things with surgery, diet and exercise. But the point is– you have to accept the hand you were dealt. I will never be 5’11, model thin. It’s not physically possible. I can whine about it all I want, but the reality is I will not wake up tomorrow looking like Claudia Schiffer. Not going to happen – and the sooner I accept that reality and figure out how to work with it, the better off I will be.

If I ever get attacked, chances are the bad guy will be taller than my 5’3 frame. At face value, it’s easy to assume that I will be overpowered and taken down during said attack. So what should I do – accept it and just pray that I won’t ever be attacked?

At my age I won’t be growing any taller, so I need to figure out how to use what I can to fight off a guy of any size. Is there a guarantee of success? No, but if I don’t prepare for it, it’s like asking for a 100% guarantee of failure.

Outside of an attack scenario, there are so many ways to apply this theme to everyday living and the choices we make. You have to make the most out of what you are given and figure out how to use it to your advantage. And, don’t let your hang-ups define who you are.

Tony Blauer Camp

“The pursuit of technique and/or perfection can get in the way of action”

3. You Don’t Have To Be Perfect.
Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in making everything perfect you miss out on the very thing you wanted to enjoy? Was it a dinner party, a vacation, or perhaps a workout?
During the camp, we practiced a lot of drills. I found myself getting flustered and putting myself down when I wasn’t getting some of the attack strategies. One of the coaches pulled me aside and said, “Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – you just need to hit the target and you did that. You got it done and that’s what counts. “

I needed to hear that. The truth is if I am attacked and need to fight back, the only thing that will matter is that I DO fight back and get out of there. It won’t matter if it looks like Elaine’s dancing from Seinfeld if it works!

There is a time when being perfect counts, but there are many more times when getting it done is all that matters.

Headlock Drill with Tony Blauer

“You never know how much you can do, until you try to do more than you can.”

4. You Need To Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
The concept of being comfortable with being uncomfortable was discussed throughout the weekend. It reminded me of a recent blog post one of my coaches/friends wrote about this very topic:

“Human beings normally choose the path most traveled; the one that’s easiest. Our decisions play a huge role in whether we resist or embrace life when it is uncomfortable. Do we view them as a chance to tackle and conquer, trusting that we will become better people in the process, or do we see them as something to avoid?”

Can you see how always seeking out your comfort zone can prevent you from being prepared to take on whatever comes your way? Tony and his staff stressed that putting ourselves in situations that throw you off balance is key. The ability to take action and get tactical when you are not comfortable will put you in a vantage point no matter the situation. It’s a skill the majority of people out there do not possess.

Tony Blauer Drills

“DO more, KNOW more, THINK more, HAVE more and WANT more than your opponent.”

5. You Feel Like A Bad-Ass
I’m not a fighter. I have never seen a MMA fight in person or watched any sort of UFC match. And before this workshop, I would never have believed that I would enjoy practicing defense drills. I loved it. Practicing head lock escapes, using SPEAR techniques, throwing elbows and administering knee strikes gave me a sense of strength and empowerment that I have not felt before. I may not have looked like one, but I certainly felt like a bad-ass! Now I feel like starting a pseudo fight club – where we practice fighting drills, not actually fight!

trojan horse

“Live life like You are a Trojan horse — with a warrior inside.”

6. Bonus Theme
Remember how I mentioned that there were 130 men at the camp? I’m not going to lie and say being able to hang with and in some cases, wrestle some strong, fit handsome men wasn’t fun, including a few elite world-class athletes. There is definitely something to be said about learning from a group of men who define the word masculine. What exactly there is to be said – I will leave to your imagination.
I promise you that if you really focus on mastering these themes, you can live your life like as if you are a Trojan Horse, with an empowered, strong warrior inside prepared to take on any adversary.
I wish more women would seek out and attend workshops like these. There was so much more discussed than what I have shared here. And all of it can be applied to so many aspects of life. Tony’s teachings are definitely not for men only. Start being comfortable with being uncomfortable by signing up for one of his Personal Defense Readiness courses as soon as you can!

Me and Tony Blauer

Get more information about Tony’s Personal Defense Readiness program and find a program in your area by visiting his website: or visiting his PDR Facebook group.

*Disclaimer: I received free registration for Tony Blauer’s Combative camp so that I could share my thoughts and perspective on his program. My thoughts & opinions are unbiased & honest as always. 

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