American Odyssey Relay Adventure


Where shall I start to recap my two + day American Odyssey Adventure? From the top…

Thursday afternoon I got all ready to go –about five minutes before I was ready to head over to the gym to meet the gang, my iPhone that was in my back pocket fell in the toilet. Full on in — I was like WTF? Seriously? Was this a sign of things to come? I quickly put it in a bag of rice and began to pray for the best — more on that later.

AOR VANThursday we packed up the van and headed out to Gettsyburg around 7p.  We arrived around 830ish to our cabins at the DrummerBoy Camp Ground. Nice, clean fully furnished cabins. We headed on out again to eat because we were starving. We ended up at a place called Pub & Restaurant and ate a pre-race meal. Some of the team had some pre-race drinks too!

The boys wanted to stay out a bit later than I did so Drew was kind enough to take me home before heading back on out with the guys. Drew is young and man –sometimes that boy needs to be slapped in the head. I noticed when he got on the main road he was going the wrong way, so I said hey -the outlet malls are over there and when we were coming into GBurg they were on the other side.. He said no, we are going the right way. We are cool. So about 10 minutes further I said Drew, you know the Outlet mall was way back there. He said oh they were, shoot we are going the wrong way.  I said Yes that’s what I said..he said well I didn’t believe you! It was like this all weekend!

We all got up and ready to go mee01-DSC07522t up with Van 1 to see them start and kick off the race for our Team Impavidus. It was early and we had not yet had any coffee. And Colleen started us off..away she went!

We all then headed to a local diner, had some grub and then headed back to the cabin. Our Van didn’t start until the mid afternoon, so we hung out, napped, decorated the van.

Then met up with Van 1 right after Leg 6 – which is the hardest leg of the entire race. All uphill, crazy 6 miles and was done by the amazing Nick. He is built for these types of races and didn’t disappoint.



Then it was Conan’s turn to kick off Van 2’s first leg of the race. My first leg was around 4 pm and it was 5.6 miles. The longest I have ever had to run in a race before. The scenery was gorgeous but there sure are a ton of hills in Gettysburg!



After our legs were over, we headed to get some grub for dinner. It was around 7p –then we headed to the next checkpoint.  We were not done for the night. My next leg was 3.14 miles all uphill through Antiem Battlefield at 2A. Talk about challenging! Not my finest hour and it was probably one of the low points of the race for me. It was cold, dark and here I was running at 2A. WTF?

When our late night legs were over, we headed to the checkpoint in Poolsville MD – which happened to be about 1.5 hours away. I felt bad because Conan had to drive and we were all exhausted and sleeping in the back. He was a trooper and probably should have pulled over at some point – but we made it to our checkpoint around 4A. We managed to get a few hours of sleep. I slept in the van while most of the others slept outside with their sleeping bags.

We awoke around 7A and got ready in the school and waited for Nick to finish out his leg before handing it off to Conan. This was our final stretch — Conan got to run in the most beautiful scenic trail.



As we followed him to the next hand off point, we all were just beyond exhausted but kept motoring on. Conan handed off to Jon — and then it was my turn. Jerry and I ran my leg together. It was a beautiful run along the C&O canal into DC.


I was so happy to see the transition point because I was done — 4.6 miles I think that last leg was and with no sleep and having run 9 in the past day, I no longer wanted to run. I wanted to sleep. That was it. Sleep. I was so thirsty at the end –and we were out of water. A nice person gave me their water bottle just to help out. I love people.

I handed it off to Drew who brought it all the way home. And we met him at the end and ran in together as a team…

68-DSC0769774-DSC07703 78-DSC07709

It was fun, horrible, challenging, exhilarating all at the same time. Oh and my fone did not work the entire trip and it is working now but the camera and wireless are not. I am headed to the Apple store today in hopes that can help. If not, new phone for Stephsters!

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Gearing up for the Big Race


i canThis is the week of my American Odyssey Race— I just reviewed my legs of the race and seems do-able. I ran 6 miles total on Saturday with some rests in between but I know I can do it with less rest –I may not be the fastest runner but I can push on!

  • 11 which is entitled; Across the Mason/Dixon line 5.6 miles
  • 23 which is through a residential hood  3.4 miles
  • 35 which is entitled Phyllis’s Favorite and is the 2nd to last leg 4.7 miles

I’m nervous and excited and totally up for it. This is so far beyond my comfort zone but the guys I am hanging with are like my family and I know they won’t let me fail.

Forbes just did a story about Relay Races.

American Odyssey Relay Run Adventure
This picturesque race is one for history buffs. The American Odyssey Relay starts in the shadow of Gettysburg, Penn.’s Civil War battlefields (they’re about an hour north of Baltimore), and makes the trek down to Washington, D.C., passing some of the most famous landmarks in American history. Each of the 36 legs ranges from easy to very hard and is between 3.2 and 8.7 miles. After crossing the Mason-Dixon Line, teams can refuel (and shower) at the “Odyssey Oasis” during legs 16 through 18. The route continues through other historical sites, including Antietam National Battlefield and Harpers Ferry, W.Va. In the home stretch, the final runner crosses the Francis Scott Key Bridge in D.C. and 14th Street Bridge to join your team at the finish line at the Southwest Waterfront. April 26-27.

Today’s workout was RUNNING! It was one of the fine ladies of CrossFit: Nancy.

400m run



5 RFT 

  • 400m run
  • 15 OHS  (55#)

My shoulders were super tight even though I did some mobility work before hand. It took until the second to last round for the to loosen which slowed me down.  I also made sure to focus on my POSE running so I was a bit slower in my run but it felt so much better!! It’s not as torturous to run — I had to be reminded to lean in a few times but overall I was running noticeably smoother. Progress!!

Today is Earth Day. I wrote a blog for the corporate blog I work for: Earth Day 2013 sharing some ideas about lessons you can do with your kids to learn about the planet. Also –simply get outside, clean up some garbage, plant some flowers. We only have one home, let’s take care of it.

The MoonWalk NYC 2013: Support Breast Cancer Initiatives



The MoonWalk NYC 2013 

Just received a really cool training essentials kit in the mail today – for a great race in NYC this summer: The MoonWalk NYC 2013 is an overnight marathon to support breast cancer initiatives!

Thousands of strong, athletic, courageous women and men will be power walking a marathon through the streets of New York City, in the middle of the night, wearing decorated bras, in support of breast cancer initiatives.

The MoonWalk NYC 2013 http://www.walkthewalkamerica.com/

You can also visit www.Facebook.com/WalktheWalkWorldwide and follow them on Twitter at @WalktheWalk .

Here’s some more info directly from them:

In July 2013, Walk the Walk will bring The MoonWalk marathon from the United Kingdom to America for the first time to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer causes. At 10 p.m., on July 20, 2013, thousands of women and men will Power Walk through the city wearing brightly decorated bras to inspire and encourage others to get fit, have fun, and raise money for breast cancer charities in New York.


Presented by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, the overnight marathon through New York City will have an estimated 8,000 participants. The MoonWalk will begin with a participant opening ceremony celebration at Randall’s Island. Walkers will then depart on an up to 26.2 mile route, which will weave its way through Manhattan past the city’s most iconic landmarks, lit up brightly at night. Additionally, there will be a Half Marathon option to ensure that everyone can participate no matter their fitness levels or abilities.

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and we have the opportunity to step out in force and visibly demonstrate our commitment to raising the funds needed to help wipe out this potentially life-threatening disease,” said Brian Griffin, President and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “Almost every one of us has been touched by breast cancer in some way. That’s why Empire is so passionate about helping fight this disease through our sponsorship of The Moonwalk.” 

The MoonWalk hopes to raise two million dollars in one night, most of which most of which will be granted to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, to help support their Breast Examination Center in Harlem (BECH), one of the first free screening facilities for breast cancer in the country where 80% of the patients are uninsured but guaranteed support and guidance.

If you are in the NYC area, I encourage you to support this great race and cause.  Cancer should not take away any more birthdays!

Scope It Out 5K: March 24th


With Scotty out of town my schedule is all wonky. I got my workout in and actually got a PR on my back squat.

600m jog
MobilityHannah Bea

rope climbs

2×12 Back squats










I would love if you would consider donating to our team for the Scope it out 5K – a great cause to raise awareness and funds for families fighting Colon Cancer!

I know times are tight for many – so no pressure!

This is Scotty’s fifth year cancer free –and we are running to celebrate under Hoagie’s Heroes: http://www.active.com/donate/scopeitout5k2013/hoagie



Capital Affiliate League Championship Tournament at CrossFit Impavidus


CrossFit Impavidus

Capital Affiliate League Championship Tournament

This weekend was a busy & action packed. Saturday was the Capital Affiliate League’s Championship Tournament and CrossFit Impavidus hosted the event.  I love watching athletes compete — it just gets me itching to work out even more.  I went in on Sunday and did a workout just because I was fired up and wanted to just hit one hard —

Here are links to my galleries from Saturday’s events:

9 Dead lifts 115#
12 push ups
15 box jumps
rounds: 7 rounds + 9 Deadlifts + 6 Push-ups | Rx’d

Then lo and behold today, we had a very similar WOD on the schedule:


push press
box jumps

15 box jumps
12 Push Press 75#
9 Toes to Bar
rx: 4 rounds + 15 Box Jumps + 2 Push Press | Rx’d

I actually did this same WOD last year during the Open and did 3 rounds + — progress is happening!

And of course in true CFI fashion, a flash mob was done – Enjoy the

Harlem Shake

Make a Leap


JonI want to send a big THANK YOU to my big brother Jon Gettinger for making the FIRST donation to team Hoagie’s Heroes! I love you and you are awesome!

We are raising money for the Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life and running the race in honor of Scotty’s fifth year colon cancer free.  Consider donating or joining our team!! And make sure no matter what that you become familiar with the signs and symptoms of Colon Cancer! 

There is so much good going on my life it seems to make the things that aren’t going as they should be seem magnified.  One thing I have learned about myself over the years is I am a thinker. I tend to have a very raw knee jerk reaction to something, then I step back and think about it –and ultimately fix or get to whatever it is I need to do.  People that don’t know me well tend to react from the initial knee jerk reaction and it obviously causes issues for both them and me.

The past few days I have been stuck in that initial knee jerk reaction phase and all I have to say is Thank God for good people in my circle. I asked for some pep talking and I got it. I asked for support and help, I got it.  And think I am now thinking and acting on some things that need to be cleaned up. I know I am being vague but sometimes the actual issue isn’t the point — it’s what you do when you are confronted with something that is throwing you off balance in your life. And how you work through the fear -of the unknown, of failure. It’s really about discovering yourself and making progress and change. It’s hard and sometimes it sucks and you go kicking and screaming–but usually what’s on the other side is so much better.

One of my friends yesterday shared this quote with me as a part of her kick me in the ass pep talk:  Leap, and the net will appear. -John Burroughs

I am going to keep that quote close to my chest as I work to make a leap….

A snowy morning in Northern VA! Nothing major but enough to delay the kiddos a few hours so the roads can be cleared. It looks so pretty outside and it was pristine at 530 this morning!


  • DROM
  • Drills
  • Burpee/Shoot Thru/Suicide combos


  • Split Jerk



  • Split Jerk (go heavy!)
  • Tabata L-Sits

I only got up to 125# because my technique is off with the hip drive. It’s frustrating to know I can lift more if only my form was dead on. I have to keep working on learning how to use my hips to drive weight up! Bam!

Hoagie’s Heroes: Scope it Out 5K March 24 2013


Scope it Out 5K

This year is a big year for my family.

HoagieThe beginning of Summer 2008, my husband, Scotty was surprisingly diagnosed with colon cancer and had to undergo surgery to remove half of his colon and a year of chemo -that had us spending all day, every other Tuesday at Georgetown Hospital and two days at home with a chemo pack.  During the entire process, Scotty was an amazing fighter — continuing to work as much as he could and staying positive and keeping his amazing personality in tact.  The cancer story is followed in my original blog: Colon C – The Journey

This July, it will be FIVE years since that diagnosis and for colon cancer that’s a big deal. That means we can put a period at the end of it and call it DONE.  They consider it cured. Now to put things in perspective — cancer changes everything about you and your family so while the cancer is gone, the changes it makes to you are lifelong –good and bad.

Colon cancer, if detected early is very curable & awareness of its signs and symptoms is vital. Anything we can do to help someone else become aware and informed BEFORE — we are on board.

Last year, we put together a team: Live FIt and Sore! and managed to raise a lot of friggin money for Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation.  We raised $5600!!!

I don’t particularly like setting a goal for $$ amount because I appreciate each and every donation whether it’s a big amount or not! So — I’m going to give it a go again this year and see where we land.  I also as a practice don’t ask anyone to support any cause –this one is so near and dear obviously that I make this one year exception.

Last year we had the best time running the race and having brunch afterwards.  You can join us for the run this year, donate to our team, and/or raise some money for our team!

Join us or Make a Donation to our Team Hoagie’s Heroes! 

Scope it OutJoin the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation in the heart of Washington, D.C. for one of the largest annual colon cancer awareness events in the country – part of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. The race course starts and ends at Freedom Plaza and will take runners and walkers up scenic Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol, bringing the Scope It Outmessage to the doorstep of our nation’s decision makers.

When: March 24, 2013 at 09:00 AM


Freedom Plaza
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington , DC

Join us or Make a Donation to our Team

Veteran’s Day: Honoring Wounded Warriors


More than 20 wounded warriors participated at CrossFit Rubicon in Vienna, Va., this past Saturday for the first-ever Working Wounded Games. Hosted in conjunction CrossFit Walter Reed and volunteers from other metro area CrossFit affiliates, the Working Wounded Games allows veterans with combat-related disabilities to compete in an open-style competition that will benefit two new wounded warrior charities.

I didn’t get a ton of pics for the event –but here is the gallery showcasing what I was able to take.

CrossFit Rubicon is doing great things to help wounded warriors through their non-profit The Real World Six and using adaptive assets.  The CrossFit community is made up of many former and current military and seeing CF affiliate owners really putting their money where their mouths are and helping those who have sacrificed so much for all that we have is heart warming. It’s really what puts the heart in everything we do –and I will do whatever I can to support their efforts and you should too!

Happy Veteran’s Day!

CrossFit Community: For the Greater Good


Rich Froning at CrossFit Ballston – No Greater Sacrifice Event

Had such a great time yesterday working out with the CrossFit community to help a good cause and got to meet the fittest man on Earth — on CrossFit Earth: Rich Froning! Really nice guy, down to earth, humble and of course adorable.

Here are the pics I took from yesterday: My pics of Ballston #CrossFit event with @richfroning ow.ly/ePhJz.  So stoked to be a part of this community — nice people who take care of themselves and others!

Rock on!

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


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: PDRTeam.com 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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