Seasonal Fitness

Working in the fitness arena, there can be incredible singularly focused and dogmatic approaches to working out. Some people believe in one method only, and THAT is what you must do. I had some of those beliefs when I initially started this journey, and for me it had more to do with not knowing any better. Time and experience are marvelous teachers.

I’ve now been coaching others (90% women) for about 7 years, and I’ve been on my own path to figuring out what the hell works best for ME since I was in my 20’s.

In this time frame I quit playing softball, graduated from college, got married, had two kids, moved across the country, and experienced mountain-high Highs to 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea Lows. To say that how I approach working out has changed might be the understatement of the decade.

Working out, like the seasons, is a very cyclical thing for me. On a large scale as well as on a daily basis. And while that may not be the case for everyone, I’m willing to bet that this may resonate with a few of you.

I love to lift heavy. I love high intensity. I love pushing myself to do better in my current workout then I did in the last. That’s the athlete in me. She may have “retired” from her sport in her early 20’s but she never went away.

My challenge these days is that working out that way often puts me on the sidelines for extended periods of time. I am still trying to learn my limits and there are times when I don’t throttle enough. It sucks.

I have had to learn to actually listen to what my body is telling me. That some days, walking and my functional progressions is all I’ve got in me. Some days it’s following an online Mat Pilates or Yoga Flow (or getting my butt into a class). Some days it’s going to Bootcamp or Cycle so that I can be pushed by someone else. Other days it’s picking up a kettlebell and seeing what feels good.

I don’t have a set routine. I also don’t have anything that I am specifically training for at the moment. My fitness goals are to feel good, to walk over 10k steps a day, and to be able to take on any activity at will (hiking, playing at the park, doing a mud run, epic failing at a Ninja Course, etc)

As a trainer, I’m not “motivated” all the time. Maybe some people don’t want to admit that, but I have no issues being transparent about it. I recognize that movement and food play a huge role in how I feel every day, so it keeps me traveling on a preferred path. But to say I’m all in 100% of the time would be me blowing smoke strait up your ass.

So what is that I want for you to take away from spending a few minutes reading this post? It’s that I want you to think about where YOU are right now. What season are you in? What are your goals as it pertains to fitness? WHY are those your goals? HOW do they feel to you? Once you can answer those honestly, then think about what it looks like to put that in action.

If you need someone to talk it through with, lets set up a consultation. The link is below and in my Instagram Link Tree. I’m not here to sell you on hiring me (though it is an option). I want to encourage you to have an open and honest conversation with yourself about your fitness, exercise, and how you treat your body.

Let’s Chat!

We as women are seasonal and cyclical creatures. Embrace that, and know that there is nothing wrong with you if being “hardcore” all the time about fitness isn’t your jam. Exercise and fitness should be about loving your body, not hating it. What does it look like to approach this aspect of your life from a positive angle as opposed to a from a negative view???

Musings on Postpartum

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of postpartum is “occurring in or being the period following childbirth”.

I feel like this deserves some expansion, and it deserves a wee bit more of our time then just “the period following childbirth”.

Often the magic 6 week mark is what we think about. If you had a vaginal delivery then your 6 week check up is when the Doctor or Midwife makes sure all of your physical recovery look good, your mental space doesn’t appear to be horrible, and you’re off! Back to exercise, sex, and most anything else that you were doing before you squeezed a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon. Congrats!

In a conversation I was having the other day, a woman recounted a story where she watched her own mother working full time, raising children, and she had dinner on the table every night. That is what she remembered and so when it was her time to have kids that is what she assumed motherhood to be and the expectation she set for herself. At the same time she was wishing for help but felt like she shouldn’t ask for it. She felt guilty asking for help. She felt like she was drowning, and yet she didn’t want to inconvenience anyone else by asking for help.

Why do we do that to ourselves???

Society has placed this magic 6-8 week number on being postpartum, then like the magical unicorns we are, we’re supposed to *POOF* be unapologetically back as the Jaclyn-of-all-trades. It takes us over 10 months to incubate a babe to term, but then we get 6 weeks to recover. What kind of fucked up math is that? Really?

I have a point in all of this I promise, and that is being postpartum is a long term gig. Like forever. Yet this time frame is marginalized and neglected and doesn’t receive the recognition and care that it deserves. Then people wonder why mamas are overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, in chronic pain, or feeling like they are hanging on by a thread. Look no further friends, we are expecting super-heroism out of the strongest mortals and eventually even the strongest of them crack.

Ladies (And Gentlemen if you’re reading this) We deserve better then this. For ourselves, for future generations of child-bearing humans, and for the women that brought us earthside. It’s not a popular conversation, and it isn’t the easiest topic to bring up at family gatherings. But the only way we are going to see change and make it happen is by having these conversations.

I plan to start lots of them, from lots of different angles. I hope you’ll join in, I’d love to hear about other womens’ experiences during the first year of motherhood and beyond. Only by doing better can we expect something to get better. I’m on board for all of it mama, and there is space for everyone!

A New Found Sense of Freedom (and the feelings that go with it)

Today is a milestone day in my world, a milestone that I have been anxiously awaiting for the past 2.5 years. Both of my children are in school all day. I dropped them off at 8:20, and I don’t have to go get them until 3:30. I am not paying tuition or a sitter. It is amazing.

Drop off!

So what am I doing? I’m writing. I’m spending time on what I want Actively Living Awesome to be (and mapping out the HOW). I’m meeting with my work-wife and exploring what some future opportunities look like. I’m listening to one of my favorite Podcasts (about setting boundaries, how appropriate). I am enjoying the fact that my house is quiet.

I’m also hoping that my kids are having a good day.

This particular subject is one that can get people fired up pretty quickly, so I’m going to lay out my reality and then move right along. My husband works full time and has a great job. When we made our life-changing move five years ago part of the decision we made was for me to finally pursue my own endeavors as opposed to going back into a corporate 9-5. By making that choice, part of it meant that I would be home at least half the time. And for most of the past five years that has been the case. There has always been the option for me to go back to work for someone else (which I did for a minute and it wasn’t a good fit), but when it comes down to it, this was the path that worked best for us. It has not been without it’s challenges, but it’s what we decided to do.

As a mother (and this is all humans that have the title of “Mom” whether in a traditional sense or not) there is this external expectation to be all of the fucking things, all of the fucking time. In no particular order: be a good mom, be a good partner, volunteer, keep up the house, bring home a contributing wage, stay fit (or look the part), keep up with laundry and groceries, make time for self care, take care of you, take care of everyone else, the list never ends.

So as I sit here at my counter, on my computer, listening to my little dog snore in the sunlight, I feel really good about where I am right now. I am showing up for me, in ways that elevate my vibration, and I am not sorry for any of them. Does it make me selfish? Maybe. Do I care? Nope. Am I thinking about my kids? Yes, a little bit. Is there any guilt? Again, Nope.

But I wonder, how many moms do feel guilty? How many have had the sole “job” of Mom for many years and now find themselves with a quiet house? How many don’t necessarily have a business or mission to pour themselves into now that they have the time? How many have things they want to start or pick back up but don’t know where to begin?

It doesn’t make you a “Bad Mom” to welcome this new chapter. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids because for the first time in years you can sit down and not immediately have to get up for someone else. It doesn’t mean you are selfish because you want to do something you enjoy, for YOU and not for the enjoyment of someone else.

If any of this resonates for you, let me know. I know there are plenty of us out there trying to take care of ourselves and everyone else, battling through all the emotions along the way.

Chat again soon Awesome Humans

~S

Over half way to 2020

Just typing that title made me a little queezy, I can’t believe we are already in July.

About a week ago my husband and I were siting on our newly finished patio, doing a play back of the weekend, when I went a little bigger and started replaying the past 3 months. I say that I don’t know where time went, but the reality is I know exactly where it went and fuck did it just blow right by.

In all fairness I knew that if I made it through March, April was going to take off, and I would wake up on December 31st and be delightfully surprised. However, when you are in the moment everything just seems to fly by faster then you ever give yourself time to prepare for.

April sent my to Columbus, Ohio to become a B!rthF!t Coach. I made the choice at the beginning of 2019 to go ALL IN on B!RthF!t (more on that in a later post) so Coach’s Training was step one. Bonus I got to briefly stay in C-Bus with some of my favorite humans, but that weekend is what made the ball start rolling.

In May I spent a week in Austin, listening to people that are smarter then I will ever dream of being, making some rad new friends, eating lots of tacos, and staying in a REALLY shitty motel. At least, that was the first part of my trip. I completed DNS Exercise 1 as another part of my B!rthF!t puzzle, and was given a glimpse at what I could be doing to already make what I get to do for a living better.

The back half of my Austin trip landed me at the B!rthF!T Summit. I don’t have the space in this post to go into everything that made the weekend life-changing, but let me tell you I drank the Kool-Aid and enjoyed every damn minute of it. I made connections with some of the most incredible people, I heard stories and passion from people just like me out there doing some Queen Shit work in their everyday. These people not once made me feel like I didn’t belong, and they reminded me again why I was called and then chose to bet all my cards on B!rthF!t and what it’s all about.

June was nuts with personal things, and now I have July to try and find peace while I also enjoy the summer that finally decided to show up in Denver. I’m still working at my normal place of employment, but in my vision my days there are limited as I look towards what I want to build in the future.

Coming up in the next couple months:

I am co-teaching a class with my Business Bestie to high school-aged girls beginning next week. I am beside myself to be able to share with these young ladies information I WISH I would have had access to when I was in high school. Obviously hindsight plays a role, but the power we are looking to give them will only help them navigate their lives both in and out of the gym for the better.

I tentatively have a new “home” to begin seeing clients. With this new space, my passion to train women, especially those in all fazes of the Motherhood transition moves to the forefront. I am currently putting together ideas and collaborations to offer the women of the South Denver Suburbs. As women, and especially as mamas we have SO MUCH on our plates all the time. It has taken me five YEARS to surrender to the fact that I need a community. I cant do to alone, and quite frankly I don’t want to. So I open my arms to the other women that feel that way too. We’re going to workout, laugh, get weird, and realize that we all have more in common then we thought. It’s going to be awesome so I hope you’ll come along.

I have exactly 5 months left make all the things I set out to do this year happen. Not sure if I’ll get around to all of it, but best believe I’ll nail the things that count.

Stay Tuned Awesome Humans

S

I’m baaaaaaaack

I maybe said that in a creepy Jack Nicholson voice. Or am I thinking the wrong movie? Likely the second, but whatever. February has been a weird ass month, and now that the final week is upon us I am done “thinking about” what I want to write and back to pushing the pink publish button.

In this over-full internet world there is so much to consume and so many conflicting messages and opinions that it can be challenging to figure out how you want your voice to sound. My brain has like 4 million tabs open at any one time and all of them are varying topics with different voices. All of them want to leave an impression and add value. Make you laugh or make you think or give you a hug. At the end I don’t know if they do any of those things but at least I enjoy sharing them.

I still have intention of expanding on the Simplification Shift, likely in March since I decided to stick my head into a text book for the past month and have neglected this little space. Can I tell you how over reading that particular book I am? I did learn some new information, but overall I found it to be rather underwhelming. I miss the money that I shelled out for it, but you’ll have that sometimes. Moving on.

So simplification, the motherhood journey, movement and health, and the importance of finding/ creating your community. To me, those things make up an awesome life, or they allow you to create the pieces that will in turn make your life more awesome. Cart or horse, either way it’s a step forward.

Stay tuned anyone that takes the time to give this a read, I have so many things I can’t wait to share here.

Later Awesome Humans

S

 

Crossing The Whole30 Finish Line!

whole30header1

Yahoo, I made it!!! I did it, I get to check the box and call this January 2019 Whole30 a SUCCESS. You guys, I don’t know if I can fully explain how happy I am to not only cross this finish line but to be able to say that I COMPLETED something that I started. It feels amazing.

So now that I’ve gone the whole 30 days, whats next? Well, reintroduction and Food Freedom are top of mind, so technically still eating mostly the same way will be the new “normal”. For this post I wanted to highlight a couple of things I thought would be helpful take-aways for anyone thinking about doing a Whole 30 themselves. I also know that what I learned this time may be completely different than what I experience the next time. With that in mind; The 2019 January Whole30.

Why did I decide to do it now?

Because I was sick and tired of feeling bloated and sick and tired.

Why was this round any different then others before?

  1. Because I actually made it to Day 31.
  2. Because I made a commitment to myself
  3. There was no Plan B

Honestly, this is why I was able to be successful. Much like anything else in life, I had to reach a point where I knew that completing what I started was going to be better than the alternative. Please don’t misunderstand, there were days that were hard, there were days I would have gladly thrown in the towel for a piece of chocolate or a glass of red wine. But seeing this through to the end has meant so much more to me then any other fleeting “reward” possibly could. When the pain is great enough, you will do things that may not have been possible before.

Was there anything else that made this round seem “easier”?

Ummm, yes. I am spoiled and I have LOTS of gadgets. My Crockpot, Instant Pot, Egg Cooker, Spiralizer, and Vitamix made my life easier in more ways than I can count. Fear not if you don’t have any of these things in your house, you can still successfully complete your Whole30. I’m just not above admitting that having toys that made prepping easier and faster was appealing in ways I’d never given much previous consideration.

I also purchased the book Whole30 Day By Day and it is worth the investment. Each day is outlined as far as what you should expect and how to break through what tend to be considered the most trying days. There is also an email/ text series that Melissa offers through the Whole30 site, but the book was enough to keep me pushing forward.

What’s next?

Reintroduction starts on Day 31 while still eating mostly Whole30 compliant for another 10 days or so. The first 2 things to be reintroduced are gluten-free alcohol (YAY WINE!) and beans/ legumes etc. (YAY HUMMUS!) I already have a general idea of what foods are not my friend but this will be an efficient way to keep track. I’m also looking ahead thinking that another reset perhaps over the summer may not be a bad idea, but I’m not going to count my chickens (I might eat them, you never know) before they hatch.

Favorite Recipes

I was asked to share what some of my favorite recipes are, and honestly a majority of the time I played a game called throw-it-in-a-pan-with-oil-and-see-what-happens. The other side of that coin is that I stalked and tagged recipes from Whole30Recipes on Instagram. Frequently. I will tag and do a separate post of my 5 favorites with any little side notes or changes that we made to the original since this post is getting long.

On to February, so many things to share that are not food related. This has been a great way for me to get back into my writing groove and I’m looking forward to all that is coming next. Have an inspired and kick-ass weekend Awesome Humans!
S

*I don’t receive any sort of compensation for any links that I post. It’s just me sharing things I love or have found beneficial.*

The Simplification Shift

I’ve been fighting this for what feels like an eternity. To me, it meant that I couldn’t be myself if I chose this path. It felt restrictive, and yucky, and cliche. It meant that I had to fit into a cookie-cutter of what someone else dictated. Why? I have no idea, but that is what I thought. Until recently. Until about 3 months ago. Until I realized that DUH what I have been doing for 35-fucking-years clearly hasn’t worked in all the ways I had hoped, so maybe it was time for me to make a shift. Hmm, weird.

So I did. I chose to start making things simple. Some of them I thought would bore me to tears; they haven’t. Not yet any way. In fact, the small changes I have already made are proving to be intelligent and beneficial decisions on my part.

So, what do I mean by a “Simplification Shift”? I mean cutting out all of the shit in your life that you think you need, so you can make room for the things that are going to help you change your life for the better. It sounds super intimidating, I know. That’s why the other half to this is to also only dismantle a small number of things and then figure out exactly how to rework them into your life so that it makes more sense, not makes you more stressed out.

This all seems so vague, but instead of word vomiting all of it at once I’m going to break out the Simplification Shift throughout the month of February. Each week I’ll explore an area of life that can be simplified, or rather suggestions for you to do so. If I’ve learned nothing else on my own journey it’s that there is no one size fits all answer to ANYTHING. What works for me may not work for you. But, if something that has worked for me ignites something in you that you can use to better your situation, then I’ll call that a win for both of us.

Also, disclaimer before we dive in; while this may have shades of “minimalism” attached to it, that is NOT what this is about. I have also not been watching any of the Marie Kondo docu-series on Netflix so I won’t be using the phrase “sparks joy”. This is about self assessment, exploration, and action. On your terms, to get you one step closer to living your awesome. That’s it. It’s not fancy, it’s not flashy, but that’s the point. We put all this pressure on ourselves to be All The Things, ALL THE TIME. Aren’t you tired? I am. I’d rather focus what little energy I have left after all the other parts of my life take their share on what’s most important to me. If this sounds like you, stay tuned. There is so much more goodness to come!

S