Stand Up to Cancer: 2015 Crush Cancer Event


I love sharing information about working out and giving back. This weekend, in gyms across the country you can participate in: The 5th Annual 2015 Crush Cancer event to benefit Stand Up to Cancer! 


The 5th Annual 2015 Crush Cancer event to benefit Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative cancer research. This year, Crush Cancer will host one main event that will be held in Culver City, California, on Saturday, October 10. In addition, gyms from across the country and around the world will be hosting their own events—all with the goal of raising as much money as possible for Stand Up To Cancer.

THE GOAL: Raise awareness and fund accelerated cancer research while providing a motivating and challenging workout experience.

While this is not a CrossFit sanctioned event, it resembles a CrossFit WOD type of workout.

The Workout 

Stand Up to Cancer3 Rounds/1 Minute Each (Levels: Advanced, intermediate, Novice)

  • Power Cleans (95/65)
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Burpees
  • Double Unders
  • Shoulder to Overhead (95/65)

Tally your reps each round and your score is the cumulative number of reps at the end of 3 rounds.

In the DC area, DC CrossFit is hosting an event, but if you can’t find a local gym, hit up your local fitness spot and get it done and donate some money for this important cause



  • o Washington DC
  • o Saturday, October 10th 2015
  • o Location: 1525 Half Street SW, Washington DC 20001
  • o 9:00 am- 12:00 pm


What Were You Born To Do?



The past week, I had the wonderful fortune of being in the presence of two of the few people out there who were born to do what they are doing.  You know those people who from a young age seem to be destined for their purpose. It’s as natural as breathing to them..

Last Tues, I took HB to go see the amazing Ed Sheeran at Verizon Center.  It was just him on stage – with a looping machine. He recorded his own loops while playing and then played over them. He is a true artist. His voice was so crisp and pure. I thought he sounded better live than on his records. His solo show lasted over two hours – and there was not a moment where the sold out audience was not entertained, included and captured.  He was born to write and sing songs – no question.  To drive home that point, at the beginning of his show, he played videos on the big screen that captured the blooming of his talent throughout his young life, including when he was probably in kindergarten.

Yesterday, I was in awe and inspired as I sat with Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling series, Outlander at a small, invitation only lunch hosted by the non-profit, Fall for the Book. Ms. Gabaldon was in town to receive the Mason Award at George Mason in Fairfax.  For those that don’t know, I love the book and TV series Outlander. To me, Outlander is an escape novel, where you get truly lost in the story and want to reread it over and over again because don’t want the the journey it takes you on to end.

What became clear to me within the first few minutes of our lunch was that Diana was born to write and create these fantastic stories that capture people’s heart. She has been writing since she was in grade school, doesn’t use notes to keep track of her characters, doesn’t create drafts and does all the research herself to ensure she accurately capture the time period of her novels.  She began writing Outlander for herself –no intention of selling it. She didn’t tell anyone she was writing it and just let the characters take her where they needed to go.  Writing is as natural as breathing to her. Listening to her explain how she writes and creates was fascinating.

What am I meant to do?

It appears to me that Ed Sheeran and Diana Gabaldon were born to do what they are doing — it may or may not have not been a clear, easy going journey to get where they are but there is no question in my mind that they were going to get there.  Both have passion and talent that you can feel just being in the same room with them. Not to host a pity party, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what I was born to do.   I suspect there are more people out there like me and I struggle each and every day with that question.  I just know there are bigger things to come for me but how, where, why, who??  

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Life is Short, Choose Happiness


Love the crap out of everything!I am now three weeks into my consulting/contracting gig and I have realized a few things — People need to gain perspective on the work they do. I have met quite a few people that are unable, for whatever reason, to take a step back from the work they are doing and see it for what it is. I’m all for doing a great job and doing the best I can – but I’m also able to realize where the work I am doing fits in with my overall life. I think it helps set priorities in one’s life…

If you had seen me a few years ago – I was a super passionate, impatient worker bee who constantly remarked about the lack of work ethic around me.  I just didn’t understand how other people were able to just let things and projects roll off their shoulders. They didn’t claim ownership of the work they did, they lacked motivation to get the most out of their day. At least that’s what I saw back then — and I would come home frustrated and resentful day in and out.

It took me getting laid off to realize that life is too short to be miserable — and to put extra energy into things that suck the energy and more out of you. At the end of the day and the end of our lives – do we want to look back and say Man I worked a lot or do we want to say I felt love, kindness and happy? It’s not as black and white as that but why not strive for the latter?

I don’t want to spend hours of my day, weeks, years doing things that at the end of the day don’t allow me to learn, have fun and inspire others.  Do You?

Speaking of my lay off a few years back – I walked into my office and whose name do I see? My former boss – who laid me off. I was able to spend some time and talk with him about the overall experience and to my surprise — he apologized! Not for the outcome of laying me off – looking back, It was necessary. I was ineffective at that point in the role I was asked to do.  But for how the whole thing went down and for his part in it.  I was able to really express my thoughts around the situation –not in an anger filled way, but with emotion and honesty.  I was surprised to hear him share how it was one of the regrets of his time at that company. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to apologize or acknowledge that he should have done something more than he did to support and protect me. It’s been two years now – and I didn’t think hearing his apology and acknowledgement would make a difference, but it did. I feel better knowing it wasn’t all in my head and I respect and accept his apology. He wasn’t/isn’t a bad guy — he got caught up and felt pressured to act a certain way. It wasn’t right but I told him that I hope he was able to learn from it and never treat anyone that way again. That was all I wanted…if you can’t learn from a mistake and move on, then you can grow.

Things are starting to feel different for me – I’m beginning to get my mojo back and it’s not something I have been able to find in a few years…here’s to all the good things that are on the way!

Choose Happiness



When one door closes, another opens…


Fear Quote -Live Fit and SoreWhen one door closes, another opens…I keep forgetting how true this is — earlier this month, I left a situation that was bringing me down. I had no plan, no new job – and decided to approach the situation differently than I had previously with no fear. I recently read a post that talked about Fear –How to relate to fear in a way that makes it ok. In the piece, a dad explained to his son that roller coasters are supposed to scare you — it’s how they are designed. It made the fear of it less scary and being scared is not necessarily a bad thing if you choose to see and understand it that way. That concept resonated with me and I decided not to be scared that I didn’t have a job — embrace the unknown, uncomfortable feeling and dare I say, enjoy the freedom.

This past Monday, 3 weeks to the day when I became unemployed, I began a consulting gig that is much better suited towards my experience. It happened so fast and here I am — doing the work I want to do with people that are much more my style, along with flexibility and freedom to handle my personal life which is getting more and more difficult to keep up with.  So there you go: Jump and a net will appear….

Let’s talk about how my fitness/wellness journey is going —

Fitness wise, no issues. It’s such an ingrained part of my life that I don’t even think about it. I can’t imagine at this point, not having exercise in my life. It’s gotten to the point that even rest days are harder to take. I crave the activity mentally and physically. But nutrition wise, it’s a whole different story…

I’ve fallen somewhat off the wagon – No excuses. It’ crazy that I can’t get my head in the game even though I have seen the physical effects of it. Outward My skin is drier, eczema has returned depending on what I eat,  acne has revisited my face,. Inward, my energy level has decreased, my monthly visit is miserable. All I want to do is eat sweets, sleep and get angry with anyone near me.

Now that my outlook is looking sunnier and am no longer in a job I can’t stand – I am thinking my head can correct itself and I can once again focus on my nutritional health since we all know that’s 80% of the overall wellness equation to begin with.

The Hoaglunds 2015

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A Bad Attitude is LIke a Flat Tire

Time to Find Something Better


To say I have been challenged the past few weeks would be quite an understatement and it’s the reason I have been absent from Live Fit and Sore for a few weeks. I’ve been stuck in my head trying to make sense of things and hemming and hawing about what exactly I need/what/should do. Let me start from the beginning….

The Hoaglund Family 2015I left with the family on a week long road trip – Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Home. After this road trip, I realized that 6-7 hours is about my limit for road trips. The overall trip was wonderful -aside from getting a bad sunburn (rookie mistake) my first day out on the beach. It was nice to just be able to hang out with the kiddos. When we are at home living the day to day, I miss some of the smaller details of who they are becoming.  And to make it more special, I spent a lot of  alone time with Nate as we walked back from Universal Studios more than once – talking, seeing snakes and other wildlife. It was really, really nice. He’s usually so closed off when we are at home.

We got back on a Saturday and starting getting ready for the workweek. I was dreading going back into my office on Monday. Not because of the work I missed, but because I have not been able to make this position my own. 7 months in – I was unhappy, uninspired and it was making me miserable. The position I accepted was not in any way the position I ended up doing. Not sure if I had mentioned this before, but on my first day in January, the two company owners took me out to lunch and explained how they are changing the company, laying off 2/3 of their employees and changing the leadership structure. Yikes right? My personality style would not allow me to just quit.  I figured it may be better, so let’s give it a try. I approached it with enthusiasm but it quickly became clear that the long held culture and the focus of the leadership was not lining up with my own ideas of creativity and inspiration and there were expectations of job responsibilities that I was not prepared to perform.  It was not a good fit – period.

Do you ever have the feeling that something is brewing or going to happen before it does? That’s how I felt when I arrived to my office on Monday. I was looking through emails and as I read each one, I could tell something was different. For example, my boss had met with my team while I was away and had organized a task list for them. Something he had never done previously – things were just off. Well sure enough – He arrived around 915A and about 10 minutes later, called me into his office for a chat. That chat resulted in me parting ways with the company.  What’s ironic is that Scotty had suggested I quit a few weeks earlier but I wanted to secure a new position before I left – as I have said before, the universe has plans for each of us. It was time to get my ass kicked out of my comfort zone. No one is meant to waste time being miserable.

What’s Next? 

Losing a job quoteThis time around I was not as upset or scared. I will be fine. I have an amazing support network who have already given me contacts and leads. And it’s no secret that have the best husband who was relieved when I called him to share the news. He knew I wasn’t happy and had been urging me to leave sooner. I am considering doing marketing consulting for a while – to allow me to have flexibility for the kiddos and an opportunities to explore different roles and companies.

Which brings me to where I have been the past two weeks – Although this particular case has been one of those oh shit/congratulations kind of deals, losing a job isn’t easy mentally. I know the reality of the situation – it wasn’t a good fit: job or culture wise – but it’s still a hit to one’s ego and brings instability to my life. Instability makes me extremely uncomfortable. Every morning when I wake up, I have been reminding myself that I will be OK as the panic starts to bubble up.

And true to form, this latest experience was another learning opportunity for me. I need to work with a group of people who play off each other. I get energy from working with others – and working for a small company where it’s all heads down, stay at your desk – it just doesn’t work for me. I need to work with leaders who have vision and are passionate about the work they are doing. The team can take that vision and create plans and products around it. Without a vision – everyone just flounders. I want to work with leaders who do what it takes to get the work done.  I am not willing to put in the work to make someone else’s pockets full if they aren’t even willing to go the extra mile.  Nothing deflates my inspiration more than hearing the owner of a company say to their employees “I don’t care what we do, we just need to make money…”  There’s no passion or care about the work -the goal is to make quick money.  And above all – Nothing kills my spirit more than a leader who watches the clock I have been used to freedom to get my work done and that’s what matters. Just because you aren’t sitting at your desk for 8 solid hours, does not mean you aren’t doing your job.   It’s a very old school way of thinking and usually signals that they aren’t focusing on the right things.  This latest role has given me more insight into my deal breakers and what will cause me to say “Bye Felicia” and hit the road…

The older I get the more I realize how spoiled I was so early in my career — working for America Online in the mid 90’s. AOL had leaders and employees who changed the world. Steve Case and Ted Leonsis knew how to rally people, inspire them. They had charisma and charm to spare. With each experience since then – I have been hard pressed to find any leader who can compare.

Unconscious Gender Bias: Pervasive and Deep Routed


Unconscious Gender Bias 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? 

Dolan writes:

“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.”

Unconscious Gender Bias 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….

Tween Girls: Why Do They Have to Lose Confidence?


Do you ever think about the things you liked to do as a kid? Do you remember how often you had art class?  How you were given time to be creative and innovative?

10374198_10152142761973741_2036474420_nI used to write plays when I was in grade school. They weren’t long or elaborate, but I loved making up stories. I also loved to act. I took acting classes for years – and then – the tweens. I lost confidence, had trouble fitting in, gained a ton of weight, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. I lost touch with all those of the creative things I loved to do and it’s been a struggle to find them again.  Growing up, my Mom was a single divorced mom – before so many other parents divorced, and she worked a lot.  My sister and I didn’t have a lot of parental oversight to push us to get our butts outside and play and she wasn’t able to take us to after school activities. It’s not a matter of blaming, it’s just the way it was.  Once I hit my teens,  I was picked on incessantly and was very lonely. I am sure today – I would be considered medically ‘depressed’, but back then – it was considered a stage I was going through.

As a mom now, I see a shift in my own tween-age daughter – her interest in her looks and fitting in started a year or so and it seems to be intensifying. I am thankful that she’s not the target of bullies or mean girls, but she has mentioned that she’s doesn’t think she’s popular and doesn’t have a lot of friends. Wearing my Mom hat,  I talk to her about quality vs quantity of friends and offer her words of encouragement because heck, I like her! The reality is though, there are so many outside influences on our daughters that I feel sometimes it’s hard to overcome.  Does it have to be this way for young girls today?

Do young girls have to lose their confidence and sense of empowerment just because they mature?

I’d like to think that the world has changed, but look around – some things have changed, but much has remained the same. There are so many articles and research out there detailing how young girls ultimately grow up to be women with low confidence and find they have less opportunities than male counterparts in their personal lives and careers.

Here’s a few recent articles for example:

Talking about the issue is definitely a start when it comes to addressing the problem, but more focus needs to be on teaching our daughters AND sons about valuing people – male AND female. Parents need to walk the walk/talk the talk as well. However, since men are in many positions of leadership around the world, maybe the wives and daughters out there need to put much needed pressure on the men in their lives to encourage them to lead the change.


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Boxing: 1 hour

Symptoms of a Personal Boundary


Beauty in NatureA big challenge that I have been facing lately is confronting the fear I have felt about taking the next big step in my career. I have a lot of doubts and anxiety about whether I could handle the next level but with this new job, I decided to just jump into it. Yesterday, my brother David sent me a quote he said reminded him of what I am currently feeling:

“To be clear, the goal is to feel the emotions caused by your state of ignorance, not to dismantle them. This is because your emotions powerfully indicate that you have hit a personal boundary”  Excerpt From: Jason Apollo Voss. “The Intuitive Investor.” SelectBooks, Inc., 2010. iBooks.

I need to feel the emotions because they are a symptom of a personal boundary: My doubt and lack of confidence in my experience and abilities. This year I am committed to breaking through this boundary and moving onto the next one. Life is full of personal boundaries waiting to be taken on if you think about it.

I want you to take time today and read this: Lottery Tickets: Grieving for a husband.  It’s definitely not an easy read. It’s a heartbreaking story, but so beautifully written that you will be better having read it. Her story is very intimate, you can feel the heartbreak and sadness but there is also hope — it’s a reminder that life is short, family is important and love is grand.

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Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, And Jimmy Fallon Go Head-To-Head-To-Head In Historic Lip Sync Battle: 

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Blah Go Workout


Boxing 1 Hour

It’s Not About The Food


Flowers Today marks my third week at my new gig and although I am still very green with knowledge, I’m feeling at home. There is a ton of work to be done and I have the opportunity to make a real difference to the company. I was thinking this weekend, that I feel better. I’m starting to re-engage with some things that were losing my interest which to me is a sign of things getting set straight in my life.

Now for the brutal honesty  – my focus on eating has gone way off the deep end. I can’t really even say I am following paleo at this point. I’m kinda all over the place. I know what I need to do but finding the drive to do it has been tough the past few months. I’m not going to lie either – it has affected my waist line too.  I will need to really stop and listen to figure out what’s really going on with me. Why am I ignoring what I know I need to do? It’s not that the food is so delicious that I can’t control myself –it’s not about the food.

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Fresh Start Fresh Mind


  • Saturday: CrossFIt
  • Sunday: Boxing

Living Uncomfortably With Change


You know the saying be careful what you ask for?… well, I am living that right now. I am so busy at work – learning the business and the people that I am left exhausted at night. It’s all great stuff and I feel excited and energized by all I am learning but there is definitely an element of fear I am experiencing. All the What ifs start to creep into my head and I start to doubt my experience and my abilities. I am taking a different approach this time though..When I feel fear creeping up, I stop, take a deep breathe and remember that I not only don’t have to solve it all at once, but I don’t have to solve it alone. It has seemed to help alleviate some anxiety and worry although I have been waking up in the middle of the night thinking. But as I said – it’s not the dreaded fear but the excited one, the where do I start sort that tends to rev me up. And I remind myself that it’s all a part of learning how to be comfortable being uncomfortable – which tends to be synonymous with change…

cycle scene ashburn VAOver the weekend, I did a smorgasbord o  fitness activities to spice things up. Friday night I hit a boxing class. On Saturday, I headed to Ashburn CrossFit and did a spicy metcon that consisted of wall balls, burpee pull ups and abmat situps and Sunday, my friend Maria and I tried out a new cycle place Cycle Scene and took a 60 min cycling class that challenged my cardio for sure.  Thank heavens for like minded friends who are up to try out new fitness challenges with me. It keeps it fun and challenging at the same time. A few weeks ago, a coworker stopped by my desk to marvel at how active I am on the weekends. It was funny to him but to me – I didn’t get his astonishment at all. One hour each day isn’t much time to devote to my health and it’s better for my family overall if Momma is in a good mood.

Kindness Matters

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Lisbeth Darsh

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