One Week Later

Hey y’all….

See?  I went to Chiropractic college in Marietta, Georgia and thirteen years later, I haven’t lost my ability to throw out a southern drawl every once in a while.

Do you remember this post I wrote last week?  I want to share with you how impactful it was to get up and moving each day for me.

  1. I’m more awake.  I loved getting up at 5AM but diving right into reading or listening to a podcast made me tired by three in the afternoon.  Starting that 5AM with exercise made such a difference. It may have been the sunrise I get to watch.
  2. I’m feeling better about myself.  I had really missed feeling more fit.  I had started to feel out of shape, flabby, tired, and blah.  It’s funny how just a simple walk with some squats/lunges/sit ups thrown in can make me feel awesome.
  3. I was happier.
  4. I was more productive in business.  I had the best week in business than I have had in months.  I met with more new people both in Chiropractic and for Essential Oils than I have in ages.  I adjusted more people in one week than I had in a while.  I had people coming out of the woodwork who I hadn’t seen in months.   I pre-scheduled all of my social media for the week and half of September.  It was an amazingly productive week.
  5. I ate better.  Hell, no, I don’t want to ruin whatever good I got from my morning routine by eating crappy at lunch.  {I won’t lie…this basically meant I didn’t sneak chocolate at 3PM…at least most days….I did on Saturday….and Sunday}
  6. I slept better.  Getting up at 5 means that I wanted to be in bed by no later than 10, preferably 9:30.  I do well with 7 hours of sleep.   I do not do well with less than that.  Good on the people who can get by on 4 hours of sleep but it’s not for me.
  7. I had FUN with my kids and connected with each of them not only one on one but also together as a family. And I had lunch with my Mom, which we haven’t done in a long time.

Those are seven {SEVEN!} awesome immediate benefits I recognized by simply getting back to being active on a regular basis.  My mindset once again changed.  What amazed me was how quickly I got off that this summer. I know I am healthier and happier when I’m active on a daily basis.  INTENTIONALLY active.  I can walk my kids to the park and get some steps in but for me I needed to actively focus on exercise for 30 minutes a day to feel better and function better.

Oh, and I should also add that each time I was up and active early in my day, there were some pretty inspired thoughts running through my head.  Here’s the thing about 5AM.  It’s quiet.  It’s dark.  It’s not at all distracting with noise, people, vehicles, etc..  It’s just me and my thoughts.  Which is in part what led to such an amazing time last week…I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks and months have.

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Spring walks

It’s been warm(er) in Barrie this week.  It still snowed yesterday.  But other than that small blip in our forecast, the weather has been rather kind to us this week.  Today we even reached double digits.

Ever since the weather warmed up, I have been getting out with the kids in our neighbourhood as much as humanly possible.  If they aren’t in school, eating, or sleeping, we have basically been outside.  We have walked and biked our neighbourhood lots of times.  Blake, for the first time, rode around the neighbourhood on his two wheeler, even though the training wheels are still on.  We put trust in them to go around the neighbourhood on their own, just the two of them, as long as they stayed together.  And together they stayed.  It brought a tear to my eye to watch them round the corner.  Somehow they seemed so…big.

The winter was so unruly and long.  So cold and snowy.  I made a promise to myself two weeks ago that when the weather warmed enough, I would take full advantage of being outside in the sun.  I plan on walking to and from work as often as I can.  It is the benefit of living only 1.5 kilometres from our office!

What are you doing to welcome spring?

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Two things I learned from CrossFit this week

Earlier this week I went to my local CrossFit three days in a row.  It just worked out that way.  Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  I usually take a day or two in-between WODs (work outs of the day) because of my schedule.  This week was different.

Sunday’s WOD had me doing 140 sit ups along side some other classic CrossFit moves – box step ups, wall balls, and burpees.

Monday’s WOD included hang cleans and toes to bar.  I’m not quite at the point where I can reach my toes up to the bar (let alone multiple times) and so I am working on perfecting knees to elbows instead.

Tuesday morning, on the way to the gym, I sneezed and actually whimpered at the pain in my abs from so much work on them in the last two days.  Luckily Tuesday’s WOD was deadlifts, burpee bar hops, and overhead lunges with a 14 lb medicine ball.  It didn’t involve my abs enough to discourage me from going.

I felt so incredibly accomplished after those three days.  Yes, I could have easily bowed out of Monday’s or Tuesday’s WOD and cited that it was a rest day.  But pushing myself into three WODs in three days felt great.  I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis (I’m a huge advocate for normally getting rest in-between such high intensity workouts) but to throw in a curve ball to my body every once in a while felt awesome.

The second lesson I took from CrossFit this week was persistence.  I have been trying for weeks months to learn how to do a proper hang clean.  It was incredibly frustrating to not understand nor “get” the mechanics of this movement.  My form was brutal and it was taking a toll on my back because I was moving the weight way in front of my body instead of bouncing the bar off my thighs to get it to my shoulders.  I’m now proud to say that I have mastered (kind of) the movement and I have some awesomely grotesque looking bruises on the front of my thighs to prove it.  Those bruises are like a battle scar.  I can now do squat cleans, thank you very much.

Three three parts of a Squat Clean

Moving through a squat clean

Now if only those bruises would disappear before going to Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

Enough with the Excuses

There is one thing I know for a fact about being a mom.  If I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t take care of the rest of my family.  If I’m sick or if I’m laid up due to injury everything goes haywire in our home.  And here is the second part of what I know – if I’m sick or I’m laid up with an injury it’s because I wasn’t taking care of myself properly.

It’s not because of bad germs, bad genetics, or bad luck.  It’s because of bad choices.  Let me make that really clear – people get sick because people make poor lifestyle choices.  They don’t take care of themselves properly.  They eat crappy foods.  They don’t get enough sleep.  They don’t exercise enough or properly. They don’t stretch or work on their mobility.  They don’t take time for ourselves to support their mental emotional health.  They don’t make sure that their brain-body connection is clear with the help of chiropractic adjustments.

Speaking as a mom and a chiropractor, I have the unique and humbling opportunity to work with a lot of families.  I feel that I resonate well with families.  I can relate to the stress and frustrations (and on the flip side, the wins!) of wanting the absolute best health for your family.  Ensuring that kids get exceptional health care, healthy foods, enough exercise, good sleep, support at school and home, good relationships, and all else that as parents, we want for our children.

But here’s the thing – sometimes we put all of our energy into our children and we forget to put any energy into ourselves.

One of the many concerns I hear is “I don’t have time to exercise.”  I’m fortunate in the fact that I have created a lifestyle that allows me to get into the gym three mornings a week as well as set aside time to walk and/or run two days a week.  I realize and appreciate that not all moms or dads have the ability to get to a gym due to special circumstances with family, work, and more.  But for the large majority of people it doesn’t mean that time can’t be carved out each day to get a workout in.

Last week was a little crazy.  On Friday we left at noon for a long weekend away.  I knew I couldn’t get to the gym that morning because I wanted to get the kids down to the park to let out some energy.  So, while the kids got their shoes on, I threw on my workout clothes.  Off to the park/gym we go. 

This is what I love about kids.  They can workout and have fun at the same time.

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While my kids swung, climbed, dug, slid, and hung around I got a twenty minute workout in.  Admittedly Caleigh was my photographer and I think that if I asked for “one more photo”, she might have lost it.  She kept going back and forth between taking pictures and making sand pies.  They were really good – both the pictures and the sand pies (chocolate flavoured, yum!).

Here’s how to fit in a quick workout at the park.  Warm up with a 2 minute jog/run around the park.  Then get down to business.

1.  LUNGES.  Do a specific number on each leg.  Start off small and add more each time you work out.

Lunges

Lunges – make sure your knee doesn’t forward of your ankle.

2.  SQUATS.  Keep your back up (my form is horrible in this picture).  I put my hands behind my head to help keep my form clean.  Try to get your bum as close to the ground as possible.  Start with a minimum of 10 and work up to 100 over a few weeks.

Squats.

Squats.

3.  PUSH UPS/PLANKS.  Women can do “mens” push ups as well as men can.  Focus on keeping your core strong and it will prevent arching of your upper back (see top photo).  A plank is holding the up position for as long as you can.  Work up to 2 minutes over time.

Push Ups & Planks

Push Ups & Planks

4.  SIT UPS.  Fun to do with a baby!  Put your little on in between your legs and play peek a boo each time you come up for a sit up.  Plant a kiss on the top of their head so that you make sure you’re breaking 45 degrees at your waist.

sit ups

Sit ups

5.  STEP UPS.  Pretty simple.  Step up onto a park bench.  Make sure you completely open your hips.  If this hard to remember, clap your hands above your head, which will automatically open up your hips in full extension.

Steps Ups

6.  JUMP UPS.  The next level up.  Jump up onto the park bench.  Start on two feet and end on two feet.  Remember to fully stand up so that hips are open at the end of the jump.

Jumps Ups

Jumps Ups

7.  TRICEP DIPS.  Keeping your legs slightly bent, bend at your elbows.  The deeper, the better.  Repeat.

Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips

8.  INCLINE PULL UPS.  Grab a bar at the park and pull yourself up over and over.

Incline Pull UpsIncline Pull Ups

There you have it.  If it takes you 20 minutes, I’d be surprised.  Kids can help by counting off the number of repetitions you do.  Or they can join in on the same moves.  They’ll have fun and the more they laugh, you’ll have fun too.  Promise.

Tough Mudder Strategy (all because of 10 pounds)

Ugh.  So for weeks months I have had this thing that during WODs at my local CrossFit I have done all lifts using 55 lbs.   I’ve never gone over it, regardless of the WOD.  I don’t know why.  Well, actually maybe I do.  It was a psychological barrier for me.

I felt comfortable at 55 pounds.  Not long ago, I injured my neck, shoulders, and upper back when I lifted some heavy weights overhead  (like couldn’t move more than a few degrees in any direction without causing major pain and muscle spasms….truth be told it sucked).  Looking back, it wasn’t so much the amount that I had lifted as it was the poor form.  But in my head I made it about the weight.  So I had this mental block at going over 55.  I knew I could handle it without causing more pain.  55 pounds became my weight.

It also became easy.  And I get bored with easy things.

So this week I did something a little crazy.  I went up to 65 pounds.

And it was AWESOME!  It unleashed this excitement inside of me for CrossFit again.  I never lost the love for CrossFit but it invigorated me once more.  Thanks to one coach, Raul, I finally figured out how to do a proper hang power clean and hang squat clean (bend OVER the bar….it’s not a freakn’ deadlift!) and thanks to another coach, Mitch, I attempted my first rope climb and actually got halfway to the ceiling.

I’m pretty pumped.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but I managed to corral five other AMESOME women in my life to compete in Tough Mudder in September.   I’ve been training through CrossFit and doing some running here and there.  Truly though, I’m not feeling prepared.  But just the last two days at the gym have really given me a boost to get out there and train with much more determination than before.

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I set up a schedule for the next sixty days until Race Day.

Monday AM             CrossFit & mobility

Tuesday AM             CrossFit & mobility

Wednesday PM       Run (up to 10K) & mobility

Thursday AM            Sprints & mobility

Friday AM                  CrossFit & mobility

Saturday                    Rest

Sunday AM               Hill training & mobility

It’s funny how changing one small brain block (55 lbs) can propel me into action in so many other ways.  Other strategies I am putting into action to get into exceptional shape by September 28 are:

  • No alcohol (except for a celebratory glass of wine on our anniversary in two weeks)
  • No cheat treats (read: no chocolate chip cookies or chai tea lattes from Starbucks, my not-so-secret Achilles heel in the food & drink world)
  • Biweekly massage to help my muscles
  • Schedule weekly adjustments instead of getting adjusted when my time allows
  • Plan for 7 hours of sleep each night, with hopes that Maggie co-operates
  • Tough Mudder weekly email accountability with the AWESOME Katherine, who has some very specific goals herself as well as the rest of  Team Dirty Skirts via our Facebook group.

I’m pretty damn excited about all of this.  Plus having all of you who will be (in my mind) cheering me on to accomplish all of this makes it feel all that more paramount.

All because of a ten pound difference in a WOD yesterday.  Yea me.

Increasing my level of awesomeness

I love the word “awesome”.  I’ve loved it for a long time and there is something about it that makes me smile.  It’s such a perfect response to so many beautiful things in life.

“Dr. A, I’m functioning so much better today!”  That’s AWESOME!

“Mom!  I scored a goal!”  That’s AWESOME!

“My baby slept through the night for the first time after her last adjustment!” That’s AWESOME!

And so with my profound love of the word AWESOME, I am constantly acknowledging ways that I increased my level of awesomeness in a day.  Which is honestly just ways to live a healthy, vibrant, most fantastic life.

  • I didn’t eat sugar today.
  • I got a solid 7 hours of sleep last night.
  • I read another chapter from “The Charge” by Brendon Burchard
  • I played tag with my kids
  • I drank nothing but water today
  • I wrote in my journal
  • I spent an hour with my mom
  • I listened to an inspiring podcast
  • I set a personal record at the gym
  • I went to the gym, despite feeling tired

….the list can go on and on and can incorporate your own ways.  I started off my day with a bit of a sleep-in as I’m feeling under the weather.  Scratchy and sore throat.  A sign that my sleeping patterns have been in the tank with Maggie’s teething and so I needed an extra hour this morning (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Fried up three eggs with some cracked pepper along side a handful of fresh raspberries (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Journaled about my awesome date night with my husband last night where we got to connect and spend time together and how AWESOME that felt (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Then threw my stuff in a bag and walked a mile to work (increasing my level of awesomeness).  Get to do what I love to do today by adjusting a number of families this morning and then get adjusted myself (increasing my level of awesomeness).

So, I ask you.  What did you do today to increase your level of awesomeness?

My walk to work this morning.  The sun at my back, the moon out in front.  It was beautiful!

My walk to work this morning. The sun at my back, the moon out in front. It was beautiful!

first goal

My amazing daughter, Caleigh, is six and a half years old. She has now played soccer for two years and before that took soccer “lessons” in the form of Playball (which I highly recommend to any parents looking to not only get some activity in their child’s lifestyle but also to learn the real skills of soccer).

Each week on the way to soccer we have recited the following:

“I’m an awesome soccer player! I’m going to play hard! I’m going to run fast! I’m going to pass well! I’m going to score a goal! I’m going to have fun!”

It’s become somewhat of a tradition, much like our bedtime routine.

For two years, Caleigh has wanted to score a goal. Two years of practice both on the field with her team and at home with us. Two years of manifesting the ball going into the net and then practicing her celebratory dance. (That dance is awesome. I don’t have video but imagine her hips shaking, fingers pointing into the air, and head bobbing side to side with a big goofy grin.)

Also, though, two years of no goals.

Which, let’s be honest, is also the situation for 85% of her teammates. Not many of these amazing girls have scored a goal. Watching six and seven year olds play soccer is great because they are no longer the beehive of kids chasing the ball aimlessly BUT strategy is still not a strong point. They basically like to kick it as hard as they can and hope it goes somewhere in the vicinity of a teammate or the net.

Tom and I have never put pressure on her to score a goal – our focus has always been fun. However I don’t know anyone who has played soccer without dreaming of making the perfect shot. Caleigh included.

Last night her scoreless streak ended. With just a couple of minutes left in the game, Caleigh had the opportunity to run with the ball. With two of the opposing team members on both sides of her, she stayed focused and bam – one final kick and in the ball went.

Big cheers from everyone on the sidelines. Tom and I high-fiving one another (yes, we are THOSE parents). Caleigh with a big kool-aid grin on her face. She’d done it!

Best part for me was on the way home, she piped up from the backseat “Mom? You know what? Now that I got a goal, I don’t think it will be hard to do it again!” I couldn’t agree more. I find that in life once I reach a goal, it’s easy to do so again AND set higher goals for the future.

Bend it like Beckham!

Bend it like Beckham!

Best part for Caleigh? A stop at the ice cream shop on the way home for a celebratory cone.