IRON-inspired and the birth of #IRONMOM

At the end of October, I was lucky enough to join Brian on his first IRONMAN 70.3 race.  It has always been a future goal of mine to one day be “fit enough” to compete in an IRONMAN, ideally doing a full 140.6.  I remember years and years ago watching footage from one of the races in Hawaii and being glued to the TV, cheering on these incredible athletes from a distance — so you can imagine my excitement when I got the opportunity to drive to Miami to cheer on one of my own!

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We arrived in Miami on Saturday, the day before the race, so we could go through bike check-in and packet pick-up.  When we pulled into the city, parked, and started walking our way to the IRONMAN Village — you could just feel the energy.  There were bikes everywhere — really REALLY nice road bikes I’m sure cost thousands of dollars.  Most of the people I saw had a mixture of nerves, determination, and excitement on their faces.  There was this… buzz.. it’s hard to describe or explain, but I can say it was contagious.  After about 5 minutes of looking around, I leaned over to Brian and said, “Ok, so.. what are the chances of me being able to actually jump into this race with you?!”  I was more than half serious — but given the fact I had ZERO training time, no bike with me, no gear, and c’mon, let’s be real.. I’d probably drown in the bay during the swim — I knew it just wasn’t possible.  At that moment, I pushed away my inner competitive (amateur) athlete and decided I was going to be the BEST FREAKING CHEERLEADER EVER.  Whatever B needed, whatever I could do — I was going to be at every transition, I was going to be consistently updating social to let our family and friends know how he was doing.  Team BA, all the way!

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After we checked in, parked the bike in the lot, browsed through some of the booths in the Village, we made our way back to the hotel, went for a swim, and then decided to head to South Beach for a “carbo-load” dinner — PASTA!  I’m sure I was an annoying little girl talking about her schoolyard crush when it came to that evening, everything was IRONMAN, IRONMAN, IRONMAN. Little did I know, my schoolyard crush was going to grow into a full blown “love at first sight” the next morning. But first, REST — and by rest, I mean Brian rested — I made use of the hotel gym and ran a good 5 miles on the treadmill and did some strength training.  Too much energy — and 5AM would hurt me if I didn’t get some training in to wear myself out.

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Oh, and 5AM — there you were!  It was early, but like a kid on Christmas morning, we were both PUMPED (although I think my cheerleader spirit kicked in a little too early.. I was literally jumping up and down with excitement). The “buzz” and energy we felt the day before was x100000000 that morning — everyone was in their swim gear, ready to jump in the water and swim 1.2 miles, then bike 56 miles, and finally run 13.1 miles.  As the announcers prepared everyone for the start, B and I sat by the water and watched the sunrise.

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And then, before we knew it..  B was off and in the water.

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img_0983I wanted to time it out perfectly — Brian and I are very analytical and time-oriented people.  We both discussed that in training, he was completing the swim in roughly 48 minutes or so, give or take.  I knew that around the 45 minute mark, I wanted to be near the transition area to catch him running by as he made his way out of thewater and running toward getting his bike. And I made it, able to cheer him on as he ran.  Cheerleader – 1. I knew it would pretty much take him 3-5 minutes to get all of his gear on and out the gate to start on the ride, so I ran (yes, RAN) all the way around the blocked area, climbed over and scaled some walls (kinda), and caught him just as he was clipping in.  Cheerleader – 2.  The bike was going to take longer than the swim (naturally), so I figured I had a good 4 hours to kill — so I jumped into the Village, shook some hands and kissed some babies — and had the birth of a brilliant idea, which I will get into a little later.

img_0993After about 4 hours I made my way down to the transition area where most people start their 13.1 mile run.  Running is my favorite, so watching these incredible people who just SWAM 1.2 miles and RODE 56 miles begin a half marathon — whoa. Talk about chills and goosebumps!  Talk about #FITSPIRATION.  And then, there he was.  Smiling. My heart fluttered. Cheerleader – 3. He said he got two flat tires on the ride, and ended up riding the last 5 miles on a flat.  Brutal!  But, he was feeling great and that smile… pretty phenomenal.  TOTALLY #IRONinspired.

Brian had huge goals for this race, but the biggest one was to finish in under 8 hours to have a qualifying time. I was anxiously waiting at the finish line for him, as I watched to clock tick closer and closer to 8 hours.  I started to worry a little — was he okay? Is he hurt? How will I know if he’s okay?  I was watching loved ones around me cheering their athletes on, and it was so amazing.  All of these people, all doing the same intense physical challenge — all of these cheerleaders, just like me, cheering them on.  So much pride, so much unity, so much energy.. it was infectious.  People were cheering, crying, hugging, loving, and were just so… happy.

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And then, there he was.

He swam, he cycled, he got two flat tires, he ran his little tail off, and somehow, someway — he finished in 7 hours 57 minutes.  I was so proud of him, like seriously brought tears to my eyes.  I couldn’t stop smiling. I just kept saying to him, “Whoa, dude! You just FINISHED 70.3 MILES, consecutively, of a freaking super intense challenge!!”  You are a rockstar.  You are an inspiration.  You.. are.. you are just incredible. I hope you know that. 🙂

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7 hours, 57 minutes — and this pretty freaking sweet medal.  He was tired, but not too tired to take me out to a burger place that evening (and for the record, I totally failed and got a vegetarian burger at a burger place.. what was I thinking? It wasn’t terrible, but damn — I should’ve decided to be a normal omnivore that night).  What’s even more sweet? The next morning, before driving home — B took me to a soulCYCLE class — because he knows how much I love it.  Cheerleaders get treats, too!

 

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I chatted with SO many people about IRONMAN while Brian was biking.  I was learning more and more — and started to have questions I never thought of before — why do you need a special bike for racing?  How many IRONMAN competitions are there? There are different levels of racing — even a kids race?!  If you were to travel to a race that isn’t in driving distance, is there a way to properly ship your bike?  WHOA, THEY MAKE SPECIAL CASES?!  How do you find out all of this stuff if you are just starting out?!

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I am no extreme athlete — I am competitive, but I compete not for placement but for fun.  Running is my favorite but I could be stronger, biking is super fun but I could be faster, and swimming — whoa, I need some serious help!  What I do know I am is… real.  And, I’m a work in progress, starting and made from scratch.  What if, I start to document my own journey as I become and IRON(wo)MAN and become an inspiration to those people who are sitting there doubting whether or not they could actually do this.  Be the example.  Set the example.  It’s what I preach everyday to my clients — and in the process continue to remind myself.

And so, #IRONMOM has been born.  I will be documenting my tri-training journey from the ground up.  Covering everything from proper gear to training days, from picking the right race to purchasing the right bike — I want you guys to be there with me from the start!  So, stay tuned, friends!  IRONMAN Fall 2017 will be here before we know it!

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Whole 30: Week Two Meal Plan

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day — I spent the day relaxing and enjoying some snuggles with my sweet Ella, and my amazing husband surprised me by putting together the new pull-up/dip bar in the garage!  He knows the way to my heart, for sure! 😉

So, last week I started Whole 30 — and because I’m completely transparent with you all, I’ll tell you — it wasn’t that difficult in the beginning of the week, but I caved into a few treats over the weekend.  Now, I could name off a list of excuses — but I won’t.  Truth is, it’s a mental thing that I need to work on, and even though I have all the control — I let a craving get the best of me.  I’m better than that, and I’m worth more than that — so here’s to week two (or.. week one redux?), feeling more fired up and determined!

Meals last week were AWESOME.  I tried some new things, including making a delicious steak salad that I ended up making again last night for Mother’s Day, because it was that DANG good. 🙂  I also tried Turkey Meatballs for the first time, which were tasty!  I didn’t get to make the Zucchini Taco Boats last week, so I will be making them this week instead. I’ve made a mental note to take pictures of the dinners I make to recap for next week.  The only real picture I got last week was of my turkey meatballs — which were delicious, but I wish I had more pics to share with you!

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Workouts were also really good last week, although I took TWO rest days (whaaaattt)!  So unlike me!  But, they were amazing and NEEDED — I’ve been working really hard for the past few months, so I don’t feel too guilty for needing to relax.

This week, it’s back to the grindstone!  On top of the planned meals, I’ve scheduled three run days with the girls, plus going to Body Back and Stroller Strides.  I’m also yearning to break in the pull-up bar, so I’m sure I’ll be in there at least 3 times this week too!

Here’s the meal plan for week two:

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The only meal that isn’t 100% Whole 30 on this week’s plan is the Mediterranean Bean Salad (no Beans on Whole 30!).  To make it Whole 30, I’m incorporating GREEN BEANS (which are Whole 30 approved!) instead of the traditional limas.  It will essentially be like the Veggie Salad I already make and love, except without the extra veggies and I may throw some chicken on there for fun! 😉 Also, the Chicken Curry will be made with Whole 30 compliant Coconut Milk.

Breakfasts this week will continue to include lots and lots of EGGS (I’m on an egg kick lately!).  Snacks will continue to be a variety of fruit, veggie strips, and almonds — but I noticed last week that I was better when I prepped them in advance.  So, this week, I plan to cut up some fruit for grab-and-go, and bag up some veggies — this way, NO EXCUSES!  Also, last week I assumed I’d make extra of each dinner so I could have these dishes for lunch too, but I didn’t.  I’m going to do that this week, as well as incorporate some boiled eggs, celery sticks and almond butter, and quick salads to the mix.

I will say, I did pretty good with eliminating the sugar, as well as not eating past 9PM.  This surprised me — and I’m going to continue doing this this week, as well! 🙂

Let’s have a kick-ass week, friends!

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Body Back: Week Eight Recap — The Final Assessment!

It’s hard to believe… but my first session of Body Back is over! Wow.

8 weeks of early mornings, intense workouts, and BURPEES.  I feel I’ve grown so much in the past 8 weeks — I’ve learned so much more about myself, and the direction in which my future is heading.

So, you’ve waited and waited for 8 weeks — so let’s get to it!


Week eight started out rough — I caught a silly cold over the weekend, so I managed to miss the last class before the assessment!  BLAST!  I really wanted that final workout in — but really, I knew this was it and one more workout before the assessment wasn’t going to make or break me.

The morning of the assessment was here before I knew it.  I was so excited for it, I barely slept the night before — and felt super pumped when I arrived to our workout area at an earrrrlllllyyyy 5:30AM.  The first thing we did was take our “After” photos, followed by weighing in and doing our measurements.

Weight and Measurement Results:

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Overall, I lost 1.6lbs and 3 inches.  However, I also gained 1.5 inches in my arms and hips.  After doing these measurements, I have to admit — I was feeling a bit down about it.  I worked my tail off — I was expecting to have a bigger difference.  It just wasn’t in the cards for me this time. But…..then we did our actual physical FITNESS assessment.

Here are the results and comparison from the fitness assessment:

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Yes… You read that right.  Although I was bummed about my measurements — I kicked butt on my physical assessment — and that’s really what mattered most to me.  I knew I had areas to work on from the initial assessment — and I worked hard on all of those areas.

When I started this, I could only hold a wall-sit for 1 minute and 34 seconds.  8 weeks later, I held a wall-sit for TWENTY FIVE MINUTES.  TWENTY FIVE!!!  And, truth is — I think I could’ve held it longer!  Directly after, I ran my mile in 5 seconds quicker time than I originally started.  That’s incredible — and man, my legs were JELLY!

I do feel a little bummed about my planks and side bridge– I know I can hold longer than this.  But, honestly (and not to give excuses…) I did side bridges LAST — you know, after I held that 25 minute wall-sit, bicep curls, etc.  So, only improving a little from the first assessment is okay with me.  C’mon.. twenty five minutes! That’s insane.

And, last but not least… the photos:

I don’t see a huge difference in the photos — but the huge difference is beyond what the photos show.  The girl in the grey tank is STRONGER, more CONFIDENT, and HAPPIER. And that, my friends, is worth every single second, every single sweat bead, every single burpee.


One evening last week, on our walk, Ella fell asleep — so I took a few minutes to just sit and think by a lake that sits behind our neighborhood.  I couldn’t help but smile, thinking of how far I’ve come — not only just in these last 8 weeks, but since we moved here.  It’s an incredible difference.

The girl I once knew was struggling.  She had forgotten who she was, what she loved to do. She was so consumed by working and being a mom in her non-working time, that she let herself come second .. third.. last. She would constantly be told she looked “tired” or that she needed to smile more.  And, truth is .. I was tired.  I did need to smile more — I just was struggling to find balance that reminded me of all the beautiful things I had in my life to smile for.

But now, it’s completely different.  I find myself laughing more, crying less.  I’m beginning to recognize myself again.  I’m getting to meet such amazing new people who have become instant friends!  I’m remembering all of the things I love to do. I’m making time for myself — and time to appreciate the little things.  I’m getting out of my comfort zone. I’m GROWING.

I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come.  I’m a constant work in progress, for sure — but you know, I’m definitely moving in the right direction. 🙂

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May: the Month of Health and Wellness

Happy May, friends!

I just love May — Spring is in the air, beautiful blue almost-Summer skies, flowers, Mother’s Day, and warm days that still have a bit of a nice breeze — before the Florida death-heat takes over!

This month, in conjunction with my year of GROWTH, our little family will be focusing on Health and Wellness.  We have BIG goals for the month, and I’m so excited to share the journey with you.

Raux and I are fairly healthy people — we are active and usually eat pretty good, but this month, I want to take it a step further.  To fill our month of Health and Wellness, we’ve set out these goals for May:

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Garage gym.  I’m so pumped for this.  For YEARS, we’ve been talking about having our own  workout space, equipped with a pull-up/dip bar, but never had the space or resources to get it going.  We would just go to our local park and use their bars, or modify using playground equipment.  But not anymore — we finally ordered our bar, and it should be delivered this coming Thursday. I’m so excited! I have some big goals to be able to do a single pull-up and a handstand push-up by the end of the year, and this will definitely be put to good use!  We have also planned to buy the mat flooring and a medicine ball this upcoming week to start building it out further.

Body Back wrapped up last Wednesday, and I’m beginning the next session (only 4 weeks) on Tuesday.  I’m officially addicted to it, and I can’t wait to jump back in.  Oh, and the final assessment post should be up on the blog soon, so you can see how much progress was made in the first 8 weeks!  I’ll give you a hint: TWENTY. FIVE. MINUTES. Stay tuned…..

Fit4Mom (the company that runs the Stroller Strides and Body Back programs I’m obsessed with) is celebrating May by empowering all Mommas to run 26.2 miles over the course of the entire month.  This made my heart super happy — I love running, and feel I’ve been slacking on this part of my fitness regime lately.  So, I volunteered to help out by leading a running group for any of the Mommas in our village that want to hit this goal by running their mileage.  We will be meeting every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings and covering between 2-3 miles per day — but I’m also going to reach out whenever I’m planning to do extra runs to see if anyone wants to join in.  It’s so awesome to have a group of people who love to run and workout as much as you do  😉

I can already check one goal off my list — registering for my first FULL marathon.  Running a full marathon has been a dream — but after running 15Ks and halves, I’ve never been brave enough to jump into registering for a full.  Well, not anymore!  I registered for my first full this morning — I WILL BE a marathoner come January 29th, 2017.  What a great start to my 30th year — gonna crush 30 like it’s my job!

Whole 30 has also been a goal of mine for a while.  While I normally eat pretty healthy, I have a hell of a sweet tooth.  I’ve had friends who have had great success with Whole 30, and I figured since Body Back is only 4 weeks this session, this is the perfect opportunity to do Whole 30 for the month of May!  It’s going to be challenging, but I’m hoping it will really shake me into a better eating routine, being even more mindful of my choices, and honestly — I just want to feel better!  I want to be a reflection of the fuel I put into my body — satisfied, healthy, and clean. I plan to do weekly posts focusing on my meal plans and nutrition as I work through this process — and would love all the accountability and cheerleaders I can get!

Lately, I’ve been falling into a TV rut, and haven’t been giving my books much attention.  I seriously have my nightstand and bedside filled with books that I’m yearning to read — but will find myself re-watching old Grey’s episodes instead.  NO MORE!  I’m challenging myself to read through 2 personal development books this month.  First, I’m going to read “Happier at Home” by Gretchen Rubin — I adore her SO much, she’s like my spiritual master!  I’m going to save my second choice for when I finish “Happier at Home” — which will hopefully be added motivation. 🙂

I really enjoy Stephen Covey’s 7 habits principles, especially his work on motivating people to spend time “sharpening their own saw.”  I need to do this more in my own life — I find myself getting wrapped up with the day to day, making sure everyone else’s needs and wants are met, and not giving enough time for me to do something for myself.  This month, I want to spend a few hours one day a week (at least) to sharpen my saw: go to the bookstore, write, go see a movie, take myself out to lunch — SOMETHING.  Something where I just go piddle without having to worry much about anything except enjoying MYSELF.

So that’s it, friends!  May’s goals.  I’m so excited for each of these, and am already getting started on crushing them — went for a 3 mile run this morning, registered for the marathon, received notification about our bar getting here on Thursday, feeling good so far on Day 1 of Whole 30, and I’m starting my 1st book tonight.

It’s going to be a FANTASTIC month!

Do you have goals for May?  What are they?!  I’d love to hear all about it!  Drop me a comment below, or check me out on Facebook or Instagram!

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Body Back: Week Seven Recap!

Seven down.  ONE MORE TO GO!

Week seven is complete — and I still can’t believe that as I’m writing this, our classes are one away from being DONE.  Where has the time gone?

I’m finding myself reflecting back to day one and focusing on the journey from that first step to now.  How much has changed?  How do I feel?  Of course, I won’t be answering those questions yet — that tale is being saved for next week 😉  Stay tuned!

Did you miss any of the week recaps?  Have no fear, friends!  Check them all out here:     ONE  //  TWO  //  THREE  //  FOUR  //  FIVE  //  SIX


Week Seven — whoa!  This week was an attempt to get back on the healthy-eating train.  Last week, we fell off a bit and indulged in all sorts of yummy, but not so yummy for the waistline treats.  So this week, I planned to get back to basics: veggies salads, eating breakfast, and celery/hummus lunches!

Overall, I managed to do pretty awesome this week — I ate breakfast 4/7 days, and my dinners mostly were a mix of veggie salad, quinoa salad, and one night of cheese ravioli with steamed broccoli.  My celery/hummus addiction was back in full force, and I found myself on several occasions making a “special treat”plate: celery, hummus, sliced apples, 4 slices of pepper jack cheese, and a pickle.  I could seriously eat this plate all day, everyday.

Workouts were actually a bit of a struggle this week, in comparison to weeks past.  Monday and Wednesday were Body Back classes, which I followed up with a 2 mile run, with intermittent sprints (which felt amazing!).  Tuesday was our Stroller Strides class, which was incredible this week — I really felt it!  After SS, K and I practiced our pull-ups on the playground swings while Quinn and Ella played.  I’m confident that we will be able to do at least one by the end of the summer — if not sooner!

I did an at-home workout pretty much everyday, but nothing too crazy.  Mostly just working on my core, push-ups, and dips.  Friday, another good friend and I did a pretty intense running workout, where we incorporated sprints and random workouts along the way of our 2 mile loop (i.e. using a bench to do push-ups, using a curb to do step-ups, etc.).  This workout was killer, probably the best one I had all week!

Then, Saturday came — we watched sweet Quinn for most of the day, but by mid-afternoon, I was feeling a bit tired. Rundown.  I went to bed a little early that night, only to find myself waking up Sunday morning feeling like garbage.  Head  cold? Allergies?  Who knows!  All I do know is, other than getting in a walk in the evening with Ella, and doing a quick workout by the lake on Sunday, I was BEAT.  Perhaps it was my body’s way of telling me I needed to rest.  So REST I did.


Friends, I can’t wait to tell you about week eight.  Week EIGHT!! Holy cow!  It’s here!  We will be taking measurements and doing our physical assessment too — it will be so interesting to see how far everyone in our group has come in such a short time!

But, at the end of the day, no matter what comes out of the assessment — I know 100% that this program is incredible and I feel SO much better.  I may not have my “dream” body yet — but I’m on my way!  I know that this program has reenergized my love for HIIT workouts, and I know that even when we close the book on this session, I will be continuing on my own — and with anyone else I can sucker into working out with me 😉

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Body Back Recap: Week Six!

Six weeks down, 2 to go.

Wow.

SIX WEEKS.

It doesn’t even feel like six weeks.  Six weeks, generally, feels like a long time.  For many people just starting their own fitness journey, hearing words like “six weeks from now..” or “in JUST six weeks..” seems impossible.  Like, “damn.. six weeks? Let me just get through week one!”  But, before you know it, week one flies by.  Week two — a breeze. Three, Four, Five… and then you find yourself sitting here, looking back, and being amazed at how far you’ve come.  How short the time really was.  It flies!  Enjoy the journey, and for goodness sake, DONT. GIVE. UP.

Need to catch-up?  Have no fear!  You can read about this entire process here: ONE  // TWO // THREE // FOUR  //  FIVE


Week Six started off with a BANG! for me.  Considering last week’s weigh in being a gain, I maintained a positive spirit and pushed really hard in Week Five, which reflected on the scale Monday morning.  148.4.  That’s an entire 5lbs lost in a week.  Not too shabby, considering the 3lb gain last week.  Plus, even though the scale isn’t my biggest priority, it was pretty nice seeing the 140s again.  Hello, old friend!

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I feel up to this point, my nutrition game has been pretty decent — even with a few cracker binges here and there.  This week, however — not so good.  Pizza, cookies, and Chinese food — oh my!  My food choices could have definitely been better, and I paid the price of terrible eating with a few awful tummy aches.

But, since I strive to make my negatives into positives, I learned some pretty good lessons about my food choices due to the not-so-good decisions I made this week:

  • Lesson One: Be Prepared.  I’m fully aware that I’m in control of my decisions, especially those decisions that come to what I put into my body.  This week, I was bogged down with a full to-do list, and was too eager to cross things off my list, that I became … dare I say it, lazy with my food preparedness.  I didn’t go to the grocery store.  I didn’t plan my meals.  I fell into the old habit of “I’m too tired” or “too busy” to cook, so let’s order in.  At least when we lived in Jacksonville and fell victim to this vicious cycle, we had a variety of places to choose from, and within those places I could choose a “healthier” option.  Nope.  Not here.  We have pizza or Chinese food.  And we had BOTH.  If I would’ve just taken a few minutes to focus on what I was going to eat this week, I could have been better prepared when the hunger bug struck and I was left with a growling tummy in the middle of itemizing receipts. (Yep, tax season!)
  • Lesson Two: I just don’t like those foods anymore!  Let’s get real — Pizza is delicious.  Chinese Food is usually pretty tasty, too.  But in all actuality, I didn’t fully enjoy it this time.  Maybe it was guilt.  Maybe it was just sheer change in taste.  Maybe it was a bad order.  Who knows?  But what I do know is, after eating those meals, I felt gross.  I felt tired. I didn’t feel how I wished I would have. Does that mean I won’t ever have pizza or Chinese again? Probably not, but at least next time I’ll try to remember how I felt after eating this time.
  • Lesson Three: My body has changed.  Seriously.  I used to be able to eat like 4 slices of a large pizza, then maybe an hour later, have another slice.  Pepperoni: all day, everyday.  Not anymore.  We ordered a medium pizza and two slices was ENOUGH.  I bagged up the rest and left it for Raux when he got home, and didn’t even think twice about it.
  • Lesson Four: Moderation.  Even though my body pretty much hated me after eating those meals and I did feel a teensy bit guilty — the guilt is garbage.  I work hard, I’m strong, and one “bad” meal isn’t going to kill that fact.  I don’t eat like that ALL the time, so every now and then, it’s okay to give yourself a treat.  Moderation is key.

Although nutrition was a bit off this week, I feel like I killed it with my workouts.  Our Body Back sessions were awesome,  I ran 4 out of the 7 days, and challenged my workout buddy to an awesome “playground workout.”

Raux and I have always been huge advocates for bodyweight, HIIT workouts — especially those where you can utilize your own surroundings, rather than using a gym.  When we lived in Jacksonville (and our Jax friends will remember this well!), we lived down the street from a very large staircase.  A few times a week, we would run to the stairs, do some sort of workout (usually a countdown-style with push-ups, squats, frog jumps, planks, sit-ups), and then run the stairs. Over and OVER again.  It was awesome.

A few days ago, my dear friend (and workout buddy) Kaitlyn posted an article on my FB page that featured a photo of a woman who had an amazingly defined back/arms/shoulders.  I told the Mommas in our group — the only way we will really get a back like that, PULL-UPS.  Dun dun dunnnn.  Yep, you heard me. Pull. Ups.

So, I challenged the Mommas to join me at a local park playground for a bonus workout.  The rain (and lack of sleep) kept some of the mommas away, but I was super excited that my “swole”mate K joined me.

Our routine consisted of the following:

  • using a curb for plank walks and fast step-up/curb toe-touches
  • using benches for step-ups with a leg raise, inclined push-ups, and dips
  • using the designs on the ground of the playground as markers for walking lunges
  • plank arm touches into a push-up
  • burpees
  • using the monkey bars for pull-ups, full body hangs, and crunches

We were WORN OUT by the time we finished, but man.. what a great workout!  Neither of us could do a full pull-up, but we kept trying.  We also did a full body hang hold for a full minute — and that’s a LONG time when your muscles aren’t used to being worked that way!  Oh, and of course, doing the monkey bars like a child would, which was surprisingly difficult now that we are adults.

After we finished the workout, I walked K over to a different playground in the park to show her my semi-ninja warrior-esque obstacle course.  It is essentially just regular playground equipment, but I added a challenge of having to get from one side of the playground to the other, without letting your feet touch the ground.  I’ve done this before, but have failed in the final “leap” to the slide:  it’s about an 8ft gap between a cargo rope and ladder to the slide, and the only thing you have to hold onto is a 6″ wide bar that is about 10ft in the air.  I can successfully say, after about 10 minutes of being a chicken, I crossed it for the first time that day.  And, I can’t remember ever feeling so strong.


As we are getting closer and closer to the end of this session of BB, my heart is kinda… sad!  I’m so thankful for the push this class has given me, the connections and new friends I’ve made, and the reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to.  The reminder that I’m worth it.  The reminder that my body is an incredible vessel to carry me through this journey of life — and vessels need maintenance, attention, and tender loving care.

I’ve finally “gotten” it.  I’m finally listening.

And, man.. it feels so good.

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Body Back: Week Five Recap!

Hi friends!!

Wow — five whole weeks have FLOWN by!  I can’t believe it!  The 8-week journey for this Spring session of Body Back has been incredible, and I can officially say, I’m hooked!  The closer we get to the finish line, the more anxious I get to see how far we’ve all come.

In typical “sappy Ashley” fashion, I really can’t express enough how thankful I am for this Village of Mommas.  Joining Stroller Strides saved my sanity, joining Body Back has saved my health — but honestly, joining this Village of Mommas has saved my life. Their support, camaraderie, and unwavering friendship really means so much to me, and I’ll be forever grateful.

Did you miss any of the previous week’s posts?  No stress — check them out here: ONE  // TWO  //  THREE  //  FOUR

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WEEK FIVE!!!  We are MORE THAN halfway done!  Wow.

This week has been incredible, despite having a gain on the scale — which I blame Mother Nature for. 😉  Even though we skipped the weigh-in last week, I was expecting a slight gain when we came to Monday — I went from 150.0lbs in Week Three to 153.4lbs in the start of Week Five.  No sweat though — I was feeling pretty groggy and bloated, so chances are, it’s just my body working.

Nutrition was pretty good this week, although I skipped breakfast 4 out of the 7 days — SHAME!  I did manage to snack healthier — traded my usual cracker craving with fruit, raisins, and yogurt.  I did indulge a few times: I had 2 pieces of dark chocolate on Wednesday, 1 rice krispie treat on Thursday (dang, Tot School treats!), and 1/2 Cinnamon bagel on Saturday.  But, you know — I didn’t beat myself up about it.  I acknowledged that I could have made better choices, but I work HARD — and sometimes it’s nice to “treat yo’self!”

Speaking of “treat yo’self”…… I got my SWAG in this week!  Shipping was incredibly fast, and I was so pumped when I opened it!  I’m going to wear this gear with pride! #fit4momrocks Ella looks super cute in her “Mom’s Workout Buddy” shirt! 🙂

 

Workouts …. phew.  Our workouts were AWESOME this week!  Our Body Back sessions this week were killer — sprints, mountain climbers, and PLANKS oh my!  Not to mention, I managed to do an additional at-home workout each day too — on top of a daily walk with Ella.

Thursday’s at home workout was the the best though — a group of us got together at my house, and somehow, these crazy ladies entrusted ME to give them a good workout while the kids played.  There were 6 Mommas and 7 little ones (all under the age of 3) running around as we busted out some squats, push-ups, sprint/hill climbs, and crunches.  To top it off, we all did the 5 minute plank hold challenge — and EVERYONE DID IT!!  It was amazing!  Afterward, one of the Mommas said she felt she could go again, so we held for an additional 4 minutes — all while our kids were climbing on us, crying, and sitting on us.  It was absolute chaos — but we pushed through, and I’ll tell you — although holding an extra 30lbs on my lap as I held a reverse plank was HARD, my heart was so happy watching my friends push themselves beyond what they thought they could do.

Saturday, Raux and I attended a beautiful wedding for two of our friends.  Saturday was the first day in these 8 weeks that I actually had a REST day.  And, it felt great! Plus, I got to spend the afternoon with my favorite person in the world — then went home to spend a lovely evening with family and my beautiful little girl. It’s the little things. <3

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Week Six is in session now, and I can’t WAIT to tell you all about it next week!

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

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