Archive for March, 2014
Here it is March 31st and it snowed yesterday. What the heck is going on?? How is this the start of spring? I am hoping that yesterday was really the end of the craziness and we can now get on with the already too short season known as Spring.
Saturday – was my baby girl’s 12th birthday. It is so hard to believe that twelve years have gone by. I remember the moment she was born like it was yesterday and the moments of her awakening have gone by way too fast. Being a parent is quite an adventure – with lots of terrain to cover. I have loved every minute of being a Mom to her. She is so bright, funny, sensitive and beautiful in every way. I really am so lucky to be her Mom.
We had to actually celebrate her birthday on Sunday because she had one of her Odyssey of the Mind competitions all day Saturday but we made up for it by taking her shopping for five hours (she is totally my daugther!), then out to dinner at Red Robin (her choice) with one of her friends, and then Red Velvet Cheesecake for dessert. And of course, she started her day with Ice Cream for Breakfast as is our birthday tradition each year. Fun Mommy was all over it!
I also took some solid days off from CrossFit and did Yoga. I took classes on Thurs, Friday and Sunday. I realized that I feel energized and quiet afterwards. It’s definitely not just Ohm and relaxation. You get a real good workout and I am hoping it helps me with my shoulder mobility issues that have been plaguing me for a few weeks.
And today, is my big sister’s birthday – She has had a rough year but I know it’s only a matter of time before things are going to start falling in place for her as they are meant to be.
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Back Squat 4×5 165#
5 Ring Rows (I’m resting my shoulders so not doing pull ups for a bit)
5 Slam Balls
5 Air Squats
So instead of my usual Highbar CrossFit class this morning, I slept in and went to a hot yoga class instead. I have mentioned recently that my shoulders have really felt tight and I am just generally feeling a bit out of balance. I was thinking last night that it’s been almost six months without a break from CrossFit. I usually find myself taking some sort of vacation trip for a week or so during any six month period and use that as a good solid rest period. I haven’t done that this time –and add to it some extra stress that. I am starting to feel the effects of burn out, which, in the past, has been addressed through some solid rest.
The extra stress was the reality of getting laid off from my job in a less than ideal way and adjusting to a new way of life. And as great as this new life is, including how well it’s going – it still means change and has shifted my entire way of life.
Which brings me to the point today – In this morning’s yoga class, Christina, the instructor, chose Change as the theme to talk about. Change is a reality of life yet it’s something that many of us fear. It happens each and every day – Winter changes to Spring changes to Summer changes to Fall. Change is a constant in each of our lives.
During this last period of change, after being upset and angry, I consciously decided to go with it. I reminded myself how every time something out of my control has happened, it has led me to a better place. It may not be the place I had in mind or even better at first glance- but it got there. I learned something. I made progress. I grew. And I end up looking back with sincere appreciation. And thinking like that has allowed me to let go of the fear and embrace change. I needed it.
Fear can hold us back from heading down the path that we are meant to be on and once we see that – change becomes a lot less scary.
Christina said “If we are never off balance, how will we ever know to readjust.“
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1 hour of Hot Yoga
Hope everyone is having a lovely Wednesday evening — and staying warm on this atypical spring evening.
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- Push ups/Pull ups
- Mobility work
- Broad Jumps/Manmakers
- Core Work
I am often asked to share information about some of my favorite products I use regularly, so here’s an ongoing list if you are curious…
- Moisturizer: Avalon Renewal
- Defense Soap – This is great soap if you ever have issues with a bad rash or infection on your skin. My coach Randy mentioned that wrestlers use it and that was good enough for me.
- doTERRA Breathe Essential Oil Blend
- Hint Fizz Water
- Perfect Food Bar
- Quest Protein Bar
- Protein Powder: Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard Natural Whey, Chocolate
Tools of the Trade
Here we are — well into March. In fact, you could say that we are nearing the end of March. Spring is in the air and what happens? Snow. We got snow and it snowed all darn day. This year’s winter has been really odd in Northern VA. I have lived here since 1996 and don’t remember it ever being so extreme — spring like one day, super frigid cold the next, snow and ice, and more and a lot of snow. Mother Nature needs to be put on some mood stabilizers for sure!
I was all prepared to get up this morning and head off for my usual workout but you know what? I am feeling somewhat burned out. My shoulders are smoked and I just don’t have the usual enthusiasm. To me, this is a clear sign that I need to scale back for a while. I may be overdoing it and not doing enough recovery work. This weekend was very intense physically for me and it may have finally made me realize that I needed to rest extra. So yesterday and today – I did some stretching and lacrosse ball smashing but that’s it. Hopefully my mojo will be back for tomorrow’s workout. I need my CrossFit!
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What a crazy, busy wonderful weekend I had. Friday evening, I met up with some of the awesome people from Highbar CrossFit for a social happy hour/dinner. It’s always fun to be able to talk and hang out outside of the gym because if our coaches had our way, we would always be laser focused on the workout. And I know, I know – it’s important but I also like chatting away.
Scott and I didn’t stay out too late because I had to get up early and go to the Bob Takano Weightlifting Clinic at Highbar. Bob Takano is a hall of fame lifting coach who has coached some really impressive athletes. He’s the kind of coach that based on his experience, he can just look at you and know instantly where your faults lie and how to advise to fix. Whether you can fix it or not, well that’s another issue. He’s also the kind of guy that is very blunt in his approach – doesn’t really sugar coat his message, so I am glad I have a thick skin in general. One of the points he talked through was the idea of an athlete and a more recreational athlete, who is just looking to get fit. That’s been the topic of debate in the CrossFit circles for a while. I got the impression that Coach Takano could give a crap about all of that controversy. He loves what he does and if there are new communities who want to learn more about weightlifting, he will be happy to oblige.
I learned quite about technique and I realized how long it has been since I have done any Oly Lifting. My form was totally off and some of my general faults prevent me from making some progress. For example, my posture sucks. I have Kyphosis – which is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture. I have mentioned my posture issues before and they have been around since before kindergarten. I look at old pics and wish that someone had insisted I sit up properly! Just look at my Kindergarten school pic below. I know I was cute and had flair, but man, my shoulders were all hunched in even then. SIT UP STRAIGHT YOUNGER STEPHANIE!!!
What do I need to do to address my back issue? Coach Takano told me to focus on doing a lot of Overhead Squats. So, I am going to start doing that and add in some mobility work to help combat any more effects that may arise down the line. It also looks horrible –when I see pics that I have not posed for, I look schlumpy and fat. And if I can do something to prevent me from looking frumpy, I am going to do it! A quick Google search produced a bunch of results on how to heal the hunchback. Here are a few from some sites that I respect:
- How to Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility
- Kyphosis & Shoulder Mobility: Practical Correction
- Simple Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises Everyone Can Perform
There is always some work to do and I love it! And I was super tired and sore from 6 hours of weightlifting and slept super well Saturday night.
Scope it Out 5K
A good night’s sleep was seriously welcome because I had to get up early and head into DC to run the Annual Scope it Out 5K for Colon Cancer Awareness! This is the 4th year I have run it and we always have a ton of fun. We run the race and then head out to eat brunch and partake in bloody marys and/or mimosas. Hannah Bea ran it again this year too – and I was so proud of her for finishing it along with her daddy! Five years cancer free is a serious reason to celebrate!
Here’s a link to the complete photo gallery: 2014 Scope it Out 5K. I finished in the top 25% which was suprising since I have been strugging with my running lately. It wasn’t an impressive performance – doing a 10 minute mile, but I finished alongside my pal Lani and didn’t have an asthma attack, so it was a win in my book!
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It’s the FIRST DAY OF SPRING! It’s one of my favorite times of year. The flowers are popping up beneath the earth, the birds are chirping, and the people in the ‘hood start to come out and socialize. It’s as if the world comes alive.
If you are in the DC Metro area, here is some info about The 2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held Thursday, March 20 through Sunday, April 13. It’s one of my favorite times of the year in DC.
I came across this inspiring message earlier this morning about letting go – it resonated with me. See if it rings true for you.
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Plyo Wall Balls
push press/kb swings
There’s still time to join us on Team Hoagie’s Heroes to run this Sunday’s Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life! For more details and to register visitwww.scopeitout5k.com.
It’s a great Spring race and it’s for a great cause that’s near and dear to my family – This past summer marked Scott Hoaglund‘s Five Year Cancer Free Anniversary!! Do it for the silver fox!
Last week I had an experience that reminded me how important it is to know your audience. I made a joke to someone who I did not know well and it didn’t go over in the way I intended. It’s not important what the joke was or anything, just that I was floored that what I had said had not sat so well with her. It was a throw away comment that I didn’t even think twice about and something I have said before to different people. And although I was surprised that it bothered someone, I apologized once it was brought to my attention because at the end of the day — Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy? I choose happy.
It also was a good reminder for me to be more aware of people I meet and not automatically assume they will ‘get’ me. And not everyone approaches situations thinking that the person involved had the best of intentions. It definitely is a hard thing to do and takes practice. I felt like the other person automatically assumed it was a regular occurrence and I needed to be schooled and called to heel – oh well. When you know better, you do better.
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One of my friends at Highbar is a chiropractor and he has been noticing my asthma attacks lately. Last week he suggested trying out some essential oils -specifically one by DoTerra called Breathe.
doTERRA Breathe Essential Oil Blend – Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, expectorant, cell and tissue repair, asthma relief; using Breathe can give relief from colds, bronchitis, sore throats, sinusitis, coughs and respiratory congestion. Decongests sinus passages, combats lung infections and relieves allergy symptoms.
I am pretty open to trying more natural methods to address common maladies and discomforts, so I ordered it and started using it last night before I went to bed. I used a few drops and rubbed it on my chest. Immediately you can smell the eucalyptus – and I did feel as if it was helping me breathe easier. Sort of like using Vicks Vaporub all over your body when you are really congested. I will keep you posted on whether or not it is helping, so stay tuned!
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545p class yesterday:
bb front squats
6a class this AM
burpee slam balls
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:
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Video: Coca Cola: Security Cameras