Dear Strong Figure Followers,
I feel like I haven’t written in FOREVER. My brain has been SPINNING with topics that I want to report on, and the guilt that I feel for not having written anything is heavier than some of my recent lifts–combined.
I’ve even been neglecting my Facebook accounts, my Twitter feeds, and Instagram pics! The horror!
So let me get you all caught up on life.
1. All Work…
Health, fitness, nutrition…it’s my full time passion. And you totally know that. And Strong Figure is my full time hobby–you may or may not know that–but every chance I get, I’m working on something for this business. But recently, I’ve had to put a lot of Strong Figure on hold in order to transition from one full time job to another. And again, you may or may not know that I’ve been a high school English teacher for ten years now. While you KNOW that I love to write and that I definitely love educating others, my biggest passion in life is educating about health and fitness. And that’s exactly what I’ve been hired to do. So over the past few weeks, I’ve been spending almost all of my time bringing to close the last school year that I will teach. Between senior exemptions, junior SOLs (Standards of Learning tests), and cleaning out my classroom (which has overflowed into my living room), I’ve been SWAMPED. And a little nervous / anxious / happy / excited too. 🙂
My new job–which has had me dancing in my kitchen while cooking my whole foods–is freakin’ awesome! I’ve been selected to take over as one of the Recreation Program Specialists for my local Parks and Rec. I literally get to work with my community–full time–to promote a healthy lifestyle. I get to play with kids, work with adults, plan community activities, and even teach some fitness classes. This is my dream! Along with writing for Strong Figure of course. But seriously, this freakin’ rocks!
As if this new job isn’t awesome enough in itself, I’ve also started coaching at my CrossFit gym! So finding time to get my own training done and then coaching anywhere from 2-5 classes on any given week is just enough to make my writing take a back seat for a bit. But luckily all my schedules are starting to work out nicely and I’ll be in a new routine soon.
LIFT. WORK. COACH; WRITE. SLEEP. REPEAT.
(and eat a whole lot of healthy foods!)
That’s my life right now and I love it. It’s also a big reason I’ve felt so MIA lately, but I’m getting the hang of things in this new lifestyle, and I’m super happy that I’ve made the life changes that I did. Change is always scary–especially when I’ve had to walk away from so many different things lately. But as we get older, I feel like one of the lessons that we learn is that life is short and we’ve got to do what makes us happy. I’m so happy it’s almost frightening.
2. …And No Play.
You’d think with as much job stress as I’ve got going on that I’d have absolutely NO time for anything fun in my life. Well…you’re sort of wrong. I like to think of myself as an athlete, and so I treat my training like yet, another job. But a super fun job that again, I LOVE. I don’t miss lift sessions, and if I do, I make them up. Again, do what you like and like what you do! And at the end of the day, if I’ve got time to sit down with my homemade smoothie bowl, an episode of Big Bang Theory or House Hunters International (one day I will live in a renovated beach home on an exotic coastline), then damn–my life is sweet. And it is.
This is a clip from The Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon, too, switches jobs:
3. The Traveling WODder.
I’ve also been either out of town or crazy-swamped on the weekends–the only time I usually take to get caught up on life. But about a month ago (and I totally wrote about this!) I attended the L1 CrossFit Trainer Course in Charlotte, NC. Read my recap HERE! And the weekend after was Memorial Weekend and I was not even “off” on Memorial Day–humph!–but the free hours that I wasn’t actually working or lifting were spent trying to clean my house–which totally gets neglected way too often–or prepare whole foods for the week. Oh and I went to a bridal shower for one of my BFFs that weekend too. Love you Myra!
Last weekend I worked my new job ALL weekend long, and this weekend I’ll be out of town helping one of my ambassadors with her L1 Training; and though I WISH I could be in two places at once, I hate that I’m going to miss two of my bestests (yes, I just made that a word) compete in the Superfit Games in Norfolk, VA. Good luck Tori and Laken!! I ADORE you guys! Kick ass and take names! (And then root for all the other crossfitters. It’s all about family and community, you know!) Also good luck to Tim and Garth from CFH!! Way to represent!
And speaking of competition, two weekends ago I was hopping back and forth between Northern Virginia–Erik’s brother’s birthday, and Maryland–I volunteered to work the Mid-Atlantic Regional CrossFit Games. My weekend was flat out crazy but it was so much fun! I was placed on the media staff, and while I really didn’t do anything “super” important, I sure felt like I did! I got to monitor the athletes up close and report to the announcers which competitor was in the lead and how many reps left to finish so that they could announce LIVE what was happening during the events! And even if I was just backup help, I learned SO MUCH about the production side of the games. Between professional photographers, camera crew, interview staff, technical equipment operators, I learned that boy am I glad I’m just a writer. I LOVED my experience and I also realized how much I love the writing side to sports reporting. And speaking of writing, I met some awesome people at the Games! I met one of the head writers for the Mid-Atlantic Region and then I also met Ericka from The Sweet Life with Ericka. Check out her site–it’s awesome! I love the layout as well as her writing style. She reminds me a lot of what I try to do with Strong Figure, and her success is a huge motivation!
And as if that wasn’t enough for one experience, I also got a super cool CrossFit shirt,
I got to work with the athletes up close and personal,
and I even got to eat FREE Paleo food all day!
And speaking of Paleo, I stumbled upon several Paleo vendors at the Games. One of my favorites was a company that contributed part of their profits to helping inner city, underprivileged kids come together and not only learn CrossFit, but have something to look forward to every day rather than try to find some sort of trouble to get into. So I bought a lot of Paleo goodies. 🙂
And last but Paleo least, I ran into the author of one of my FAVORITE Paleo sites: Juli Bauer of paleOMG. In case you didn’t know, the bacon guacamole that I posted about last month came from this site. This chick is super cool, has amazing recipes, and I can’t believe I got to meet her! I almost asked her for a pic but I totally wanted to appear “cool” and not “dorky.” After all, I’m a writer too–why did I feel so giddy? We’re equals, right?
And Speaking of food,
4. AN APPLE A DAY…
Talk about motivation! Between all the Paleo foods, clean eating, crazy rock solid bodies, I am SO ready to get cut and lean! Can you believe I haven’t had sugar in maybe two or more months? Except for my L1 Trainer weekend, I’ve had zero sugar splurges since the end of April! And before that, I did the crazy strict Paleo challenge for 40+ days. I’m honest-to-God starting to live life without sugar. Now don’t get me wrong, I still want chocolate and cupcakes and icing and ice cream–especially every time I actually SEE these things–but unlike the old me, I’m actually getting really good at “just saying no.” Ever since I read that sugar (among a host of other foods) causes inflammation in the body/joints/etc., it has been much, much easier to turn down a lot of foods. I’m even trying–very hard– to give up all nuts and seeds (except flax seeds) due to their super high Omega 6 ratios. I learned that Omega 6s cause inflammation in the body and Omega 3s actually counter balance the inflamed joints and ligaments, so I’ve been eating more flax and taking in more fish recently to try to do the body good. Giving up nuts and nut-butters seems harder than sugar some days, but hey, I’ll get there.
I’m actually experimenting a little with adding dairy back into my diet. Dairy has been the easiest element to cut out of my diet, but since I love cottage cheese and it’s so high in protein and low in carbs, I’m considering this a replacement for the nuts I’m trying to give up. I haven’t decided if I like this yet, but we’ll see. I promise to report back. I’ve also increased my carb intake quite a bit. I know, shocking, right?! But only with some fruit, berries, and sweet potatoes. I usually have a sweet potato on heavy lift days, and I eat an apple with my low-carb lunch, and have a fruit/berry protein smoothie every night. It’s keeping me extremely satisfied and it helps me say no to sugar. Win-win! Gotta love whole foods, right? And I’m not even counting calories! YES!
5. …Does NOT Keep the Doctor Away. 🙁
I have been eating an organic red delicious apple every single day for the past month (or more) and I have been fighting some sort of virus/strep/sinus infection for two weeks now! I hate it! It’s even interfering with my workouts!! I’m having trouble sleeping and we ALL know how important SLEEP is for a healthy body, and I’m self-medicating with crap that’s causing me to sleep through my alarm! Tylenol cold and flu (night time relief) is awesome at knocking me out. It’s also pretty awesome at making me drowsy all day. Erik says it’s because I took double the amount I was supposed too. Oopsie? Robitussin is doing a fantastic job of helping me sleep without waking up feeling like a zombie, and plain ol’ Tylenol pills are about the only thing relieving the pain of my SUPER SUPER SUPER sore throat. My sister–a nurse–thinks it’s a sinus infection and so I’m now taking some sort of 12-hour Sudafed. If it’s working, I can’t tell yet. My throat won’t stop hurting, my head is all stuffed up, and I have an annoying cough that now hurts twice as bad since my abs are sore from doing “Annie” yesterday. Tell me, do you have ANY clue what’s ailing me?!?
Sorry for the rant…I had no clue this post would turn into a vent-session. BUT, that out of the way, at least you now know where I’ve been. It’s been a pretty stressful month, but in all good efforts to become a better athlete, and pursue a career in a field that I love. As summer rolls around, I want to leave you with my TOP 5 goals in hopes that A) you’ll hold me accountable, and B) that you’ll set some summer goals for yourself as well.
Goal 1: Finish my eBook that’s almost done.
Goal 2: Start Strong Figure’s sister and brother sites that I’m really really excited to launch!
Goal 3: WRITE and READ more!
Goal 4: Continue to eat healthy ALL summer and drink LOTS of water, and get enough sleep.
Goal 5: Hit lifts, practice my form, drill technique, and improve both aesthetically and athletically. (In other words, lift heavy and get a 6 pack. Ha!)
Here’s a quick video of me practicing my snatch technique. It’s light weight and has taken months to get just here. Lots of improvement yet to come!
So what do you think about my goals? Too much? Just right?
And don’t forget to tell us, what’s been holding you back from doing something you love? Or better yet, what are your SUMMER GOALS for 2013? Strong Figure wants to know!