I’ve been quiet on here the past week or so. Nothing really going on and nothing to really inspire me to write and as I have always said – if it has to be forced, then it’s not right.
I’m about to head out of town to see a dear friend of mine get married. Brittany was my intern at K12 years ago, and then we hired her and she worked for me for a few more years. Have you ever met someone and you just clicked with them right away? That was me and Britt Britt. I instantly felt connected to her and we have always had each other’s back. At K12, in our department, that was really important since it was such a cut throat/mean environment with everyone trying to one up everyone else. Looking back now, the best thing about working there was Brittany. She lives far away now which bums me out but I love that girl —
Have you noticed lately that it seems people seem to be over sensitive and over reactive about everything lately? I get some of the bigger issues but someone says an off color joke or makes an ignorant comment and the internet explodes. What happened to saying “Hey that person is an asshole” and moving on. Nowadays people rally together and the media grabs hold and before you know it -that person has been financially or publicly ruined or at least shamed. We all say stupid shit — some more than others and it’s not a crime. We are a free country and free to think and believe what we want to believe. When a celebrity says something super stupid – I don’t feel the need to publicly shame them. I just think to myself –well, they are out of touch, spoiled asshats and I move on. I may or may not buy their records, or give my money to their causes or movies. That’s my choice but it is still a free country isn’t it and we are FREE to say stupid comments without fear of what will happen publicly.
One of my favorite sayings is Grab some popcorn and watch what happens…
I have found asshat people tend to be their own worst enemy. Ultimately they will bring themselves down. Maybe you have a co-worker that is lazy and arrogant. Sit back and watch him hang himself. It may take time but it will happen. Same goes for mean spirited, nasty people. You don’t need to help them, they do the job themselves.
Is your kid athletic? Do they ride a skateboard or bike? Both of you read this article: Teen fights for his life after skateboard crash
“Robin wants everyone to remember this: “It doesn’t matter how old you are … you’d be a lot cooler if you wore a helmet instead of putting your family and friends and loved ones through this.”
Robin said she did not push him to wear his helmet because she wanted to be the cool mom, and she does not want anyone else to feel the heartache she does.”
I’m sure we have all been there – and made exceptions to rules that we know are in place for our kid’s safety. Some are more dangerous than others. Never compromise on them wearing a helmet!
A friend sent this article to me today: What Happens When You Follow Your Passion and it got me thinking more about how to do that… I’ve been struggling with finding a path to explore what I am passionate about. It’s frustrating for sure but as quotes say – sometimes the hardest part of any journey is right before a breakthrough…
Jury Duty Fun
Yesterday, I had a busy day. First, I had my turn at serving jury duty. After a few hours of sitting there and the selection process, I was dismissed as a juror for a criminal trial. I’ve never been in a court room, let alone seen how it all goes down. Just like on TV, it was pretty slow, stuffy, rigid and old fashioned. I couldn’t help but notice that everything in the court room was wood and rigid. Sitting there for an hour or so was not what I would consider comfortable.
During the selection process, the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney each took their turn asking generally benign questions. It’s so interesting to see how it all goes down and how people filter questions differently. But man it goes slow and seems to be very low tech. Anyway, I was dismissed for whatever reason and now I can say”been there, done that’ (until the next time…)
Later in the evening, I met up with my dear friend Mastaneh and we drove to [SolidCore]. You may remember me sharing my experience doing a class last March, when we hit up the one in Ballston.
What is [solidcore]?
Someone online described it as “Pilates on Steroids”. Ive never done Pilates, but I can tell you it was the kind of workout where I literally hated it while doing it but when it was over – i felt great and wanted to do it again to challenge myself to get the hang of it. You use a megaformer machine for the 50 minute class. It’s all slow, controlled movements focusing on core muscles. The classes are kept small so the instructor can give everyone the attention needed. Depending on the movement, you would do a 4-6 count to ensure you are really working the muscle.
This one just opened in the Mosaic District in Fairfax and we brought along some extra pals. Let’s just say that it was as hard as I remember and I was not the only one of that opinion. Even my boxing instructor, Alex, who joined us agreed.
When we were done, it was like a sweat festival. Not only was I drenched with sweat, my muscles were twitching for some time afterwards. I am definitely feeling the results of all that slow, deliberate core stuff today. Amd after the class, the instructor told us how great we were, especially because we were beginners and it was because of how strong we all were.
Thoughts about [solidcore]
I wish that [Solidcore] was closer and/or in Loudoun County. Right now they are focused on the immediate DC area. I’m sure the demographic is good there but Loudoun County is the richest county in the country so that should count for something.
I’m not usually one to balk at certain things cost wise. I believe that for me – my health and fitness is worth paying for if it works. I could pay 20 bucks a month at a regular gym but I know it’s not going to work long term for me. I need to workout with others and have an instructor lead the way. I’m willing to pay a bit more for it because it works. A lot of folks pay that low monthly membership at their gym but rarely go or go and do the same thing all the time – seeing little to any results. That is a waste of money no matter how cheap.
[solidcore] is pretty expensive even to me- up to $34/class although they are running specials. The classes are limited because everyone works on a reformer machine, so I get why they charge more but it still seems a bit more than I would be willing to pay on a regular basis.
The instructor was great and it was a great workout. Very different than the other stuff I do but different in a great way. I would definitely add a class or two into my regular overall monthly training if it were closer. It’s easy to see how strong, limber and flexible you can become by doing it regularly.
Stories of kindness and bravery are the stories we should be sharing and talking about more…
Dubbed the “British Schindler,” Winton helped 669 Jewish children avoid a grim fate by smuggling them out of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
I 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.
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.
- Parents’ Denial Fuels Childhood Obesity Epidemic
- ‘Fitness’ foods may cause consumers to eat more, exercise less
- America’s getting even fatter: Startling growth in obesity over past 20 years
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…
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about gender bias and the treatment of women in general. Maybe it’s because the influencers I follow have been bringing this issue to the forefront or maybe my college minor of Women’s Studies is rearing its head after years of lying dormant. Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting, relevant, shocking and downright disturbing topic that needs attention and change.
Yesterday, I watched John Oliver (who I think I love) highlight a very serious issue – Internet Misogyny- in a way that not only got the point across loud and clear, but entertained as well.
How scary is it that there are very few laws to protect against online harassment and revenge porn? And even scarier to realize that those hired to protect us are not prepared when it comes to what happens on the Internet.
Let’s Talk About Women Gamers
During the video, Oliver briefly mentions the harassment female gamers are subjected to on an ongoing basis. According to Emily Matthew over on the Pricecharting blog, 63% of women polled in 2012 report being harassed while gaming online. I’m sure that number has only increased…
There has been some heated discussions about the lack of ethics in video game journalism, and the role and treatment of women in the male dominated video game industry. Can you imagine being in so much fear that you actually have to leave your home because some anonymous gamer threatens you with bodily harm and death and also publishes your home address for all to see?
Throughout most of the discussions, the focus is on the victim and ‘blaming’ her for just being and living her life. Why should the victim be criticized and pressured to change? Where is the outrage at the behavior of these men? Men who have mothers, sisters, wives, daughters. Yes, of course women need to take basic precautions as a fact of life – we all do. But – being an awful human being is never OK. Lacking integrity and respect for fellow people (male or female) is never OK. Let’s figure out how to address the overall treatment of women as a whole and teach men to stand up for their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters.
We can be the change the in the world –and it starts at home.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there and of course a special shout out to the Dads in my life, including my husband who is the most wonderful Dad and a great role model for our kiddos. I realize this is a hard day for so many out there whose Dads are no longer with us and for those whose Dads were no where to be found.
My relationship with my own Dad has been complicated for most of my life and I wouldn’t necessarily describe us as close. Just in the past few years, I’ve come to realize that it is what it is. I can’t change what happened or who he is — all I can do is strive to be a better parent to my own kids and accept him for where he is today. Doesn’t make the past right or feel any better, but since I can’t change it, I choose to forgive and move forward. Now that he and my Mom are both getting older – it’s just not worth holding onto the anger and the resentment about my childhood. My dad’s health is failing and he is consumed by that fact – and he isn’t capable of being a different person. It’s not easy to give up on the dream of a different relationship but at the end of the day – I am who I am because of all I have experienced. It’s all in how you see things —
If it’s not obvious, Dads have a huge influence on our lives. According to Dr. Gail Gross, “Studies show that if your child’s father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to your child’s cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity.”
Also, according to The Importance of Fathers (According to Science), the effect fathers’ have on their sons is profound:
The Grant Study, the longest longitudal study ever done on the lives of men, found that a man’s father influenced his life in many ways exclusive to his relationship with his mother. Loving fathers imparted to their sons:
- enhanced capacity to play
- more enjoyment of vacations
- greater likelihood of being able to use humor as a healthy coping mechanism
- better adjustment to, and contentment with, life after retirement
- less anxiety and fewer physical and mental symptoms under stress in young adulthood
Speaking of family and Dads, we all went and saw Pixar’s InsideOut yesterday and I loved it. It really was able to demonstrate what goes on in all of our heads one time or another. One of the funniest parts was watching the family at the dinner table and the Mom is trying to signal the Dad to help figure out what was going on with their daughter. He just wasn’t picking up on it, just completely oblivious to what was happening. I was so amused and impressed at how perfectly they were able to capture the real life experience of many Dads. So, even though Dad’s are sometimes quirky and out of it, they have the opportunity to leave a big impact on the world. Go see it if you can and take time today to thank your dad for all he has done…
I have a lot of female coworkers, friends and acquaintances and I am a woman obviously. One topic keeps coming up time and time again that seems to resonate no matter where you live or what industry you work: Gender bias towards woman. I’m not talking about blatant, in your face kind of bias towards women which is bad enough. This type of unconscious gender bias seems to linger and many times, you don’t even realize it’s happening. Until I heard some of examples and I started to really think about certain experiences and situations, the thought never even occurred to me that it was a pervasive issue. It seems very normal, business as usual.
The other day I came across this piece written by Liz Dolan, Fox International Channels’ CMO and the only woman on the board of apparel and lifestyle brand Quiksilver’s board: Gender bias forced me to quit Quiksilver’s board. At face value, the reasons the board gave for not including her in overall discussions about the replacing of the company’s CEO seem odd but not blatantly biased. But let’s dig deeper: They told her that they had to be sure the CEO would not find out about what was happening and that they were concerned she was going to be “too conflicted” when backing the decision because of her past professional history with the CEO. What’s interesting to note is that many, if not all of them, had had previous ‘conflicts’ with the CEO as well and yet, they still felt they could handle making the hard decision.
Why was Dolan singled out?
“To me, it was a very clear case of unconscious bias. Because I had a previous professional relationship with the (now-former) CEO, the board assumed they knew how I would have voted based on a biased assumption that I’d vote to keep my “friend. ” Because that’s what girls do, right? They make emotional decisions about friends instead of strategic decisions based on business facts. Girls can’t keep a secret. Girls are too emotional. Girls can’t make tough calls.. And, thank goodness, girls won’t speak out when we marginalize them.”
Dolan is not alone. I have personally experienced unconscious gender bias during my work career. These are just a few personal examples, but I am sure that if you ask any woman out there, they have ample examples to share:
- Inappropriate comments about my personal appearance by members of leadership.
- Asked to order food for a group, when I was a senior member of the team but yet the rest of the group were men.
- Assigned note taking duties.
- Being asked to take care of buying gifts for weddings, showers, and other celebrations.
- Being left off of projects because they assumed I would not be able to put in extra hours due to family commitments.
What can be done?
There is no cure all to fix the issues that surround unconscious gender bias. I think it’s one of the reasons why so many women become disillusioned working for others and start their own businesses or leave the workforce all together. It’s hard to fight a deep routed, pervasive culture. According to Dolan, she “learned that even when a woman earns a seat at the table, the men can put you in a soundproof booth.”
Is it all dismal and unchangeable?
Learning to Recognize and See it, Acknowledge it and Talk about it can bring about change. It’s important to keep in mind that small changes can give way to larger ones if enough people get behind it. There are some good, influential people that are lending their voice too, which can only help. We call can start spreading the word and learning to identify when it happens….
- Google: You don’t know what you don’t know: How our unconscious minds undermine the workplace
- Sheryl Sandberg and Facebook: Lean In
- When Talking About Bias Backfires: Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg on Discrimination at Work
- THE GROWING BUSINESS OF DETECTING UNCONSCIOUS BIAS
- Unconscious bias is why we don’t have a diverse workplace, says Google
Months ago as I was browsing the health food aisle at Wegmans, I came across GoMacro MacroBars and figured I would give it a try. I ended up really liking it, so I headed to Wegmans to buy some more and they were SOLD OUT! Needless to say, I was bummed… but then they restocked and all was right in the world again. (A bit dramatic, but I really liked them!)
So a few weeks ago, GoMacro reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try their bars. Well – what do you think I said? Absolutely! I already love them and now I get to try other flavors that Wegmans didn’t carry. Win for me!
What I liked most about these bars is that they are made with quality ingredients and taste good. I also like that their company is family owned and cause driven. While these bars aren’t 100% Paleo, they are close. When I want something to satisfy my sweet tooth, with some protein and doesn’t totally derail my nutrition plan – these are a great choice. Also, they are great if you are on the go and want a healthy snack.
According to the company, GoMacro “believes in feeling good about what we eat. How it tastes, how it’s made and how it sustains the environment. Family-owned and based in a small rural community, our wholesome food maintains goodness on all levels.
MacroBars boast a variety of flavors, with different textures and ingredient combinations including nut-free and high-protein options. Our food is carefully crafted using the highest quality ingredients to provide protein, nutrients and slow-burning carbs for sustained energy throughout the day. The result is a satisfying treat perfect for everyone.
Small in size but big on impact, we are a big picture company. GoMacro.”
GoMacro MacroBars come in 11 flavors. My personal favorite is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter but I am sure you all understand that. Because PEANUT BUTTER!
- USDA organic
- certified non-GMO
- project verified vegan
- certified kosher
- certified macrobiotic
You can head to Amazon and order them using this affiliate link: GoMacro Organic Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, 2.5 oz Bars (Pack of 15) or get to your nearest Wegmans or other grocery store! Once you have tried them, leave me a comment to let me know what you think!
Disclosure: Although GoMacro provided me with samples, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the brand or company.
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.
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.
Childhood 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.
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…
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:
- How to teach your kids about sugar
- 25+ Ideas to Exercise with Kids
Rewind the Future
Every day I check out Humans of New York and meet the people they are highlighting. Depending on the snapshot and the story they tell, I have felt sad, angry, or mushy inside – sometimes just from a few sentences. On a good day, I’ve feel all three. I think what draws me to HONY regularly is I love “meeting” so many interesting people and learning about all the things that bind us together. Everyone has a story to tell…
There is one that stands out and it was shared again recently because it’s that good…
Here are a couple gems of wisdom from the author Regina Brett:
- “Ask yourself, in five years, will it matter?”
- “Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.”
How many of us wait to use something for a special occasion or delay what we want because we want to make it really special? What I am finding out as I gain more experience and get older, every day is special. We are special and deserve to be around people who love us, make us feel happy and deserve to do things that make our heart sing, or feel fancy and pretty. Why are we taught we must wait?
A writer and friend Lisbeth shared a writing of hers: Don’t Save It for Later that speaks to this idea of not saving things for a special occasion. It reminded me of an Oprah episode years ago with Luther Vandross. Luther was an amazing, talented, flamboyant, bigger than life singer who died way too young. During the show, Oprah was walking through his house and remarked about how all of his every day dishes were very fancy and his regular drinking glasses were crystal. I’m not sure of his exact response, but the gist of it was that every day is special so why not enjoy the nice and pretty things all the time. It’s strange that I still remember that part but none of the rest, but he’s right. None of us is promised tomorrow or a ‘later’, so why are you saving or storing things that bring you happiness and joy?
It’s also food for thought around your career or personal life. Why are you putting up with things or sticking around those that suck the happiness out of you? We all deserve happiness and love. If there are people in your life that are sucking your joy or if your job makes you miserable – it’s time to start the process of change. Many times it’s not easy and the journey may be long and hard, but in the end you can choose to struggle and be unhappy or struggle to reach your happy place. Which one would you choose?