Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Yoga- my top 5 through the years

This past weekend, I did my final yoga conference to complete my 200 hour training through YogaFIT.  I began my yoga journey through them in 2001.   It took me 18 years😊 hee hee! I am 100% happy with how I planned my teaching progression through these years and my yoga practice has completely changed my life.  I’m so thankful for ways that I have grown through yoga and I know that yoga will be a daily intentional blessing each day of my life.  I need this so much for myself—to have something to practice and grow from, without the intention of being perfect or even working towards that.

The top 5 things (among so many) that I have learned from yoga and see, experience and connect with in the big picture of life:

1.      NOW.  Years ago, (over 10 years ago), I read the book “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle. Life changing. Amazing. Hard to read at times, but I GOT IT and some of the nuggets were literally life changing to the point that I think of them every day.  As in:  NOW:  Are you okay right now?  Ok, then no further thought- nothing forward or backward.  Just now.  And then the next breath- the next now.  Still okay, Good.  Continuing: the next breath is the next now the next okay.  This has helped me with anxiety, depression, during marathons, races, hard days of LIFE.  NOW… We are always okay right now, and that is the only place we really ever need to be.  It is amazing.  So simple, but so not simple.  If you are reading this and interested- there is also The power of now book “in practice”- I cannot remember if that is the exact name, however it is basically a shortened, easier read version with all the main points as “bullet points” and just less philosophy/psychology/easy to read and understand.

2.      Let go, releasing, non attachment.  Of course, we have all heard the “buzzword” in yoga to “let go.”  Over the years, through practice, my body, mind and self  within the first few breaths of beginning a practice find myself being able to “let go” and ease into my body and breath.  I literally can feel  my insides changing, relaxation and ease settling into my circulation.  I am able to release.  Because I am ALWAYS holding onto something.  My middle name should have been “GRIP”.  I grip too tight.  I hold forever.  I hold tightly and close to my heart; I am sensitive (not a bad thing); and I grip hurt, goals, expectations, and my ways.  By the grace of God, I have been able to learn, even for whatever amount of the day that I can….from yoga and faith… to let go.  For the time in which I’m practicing and the time I’ve learned to live my yoga off the mat… which of course is always and forever a work in practice, I release my expectations, my rigidity, my tight mind and heart (and muscles).  I’ve learned to identify what I am attached to—we all are, and we always will be, but we can always work on it.  We can recognize that we are attached to our beliefs, our expectations, our ego, sense of being right.  It takes work, discipline and focus to recognize and to bravely release self- doubt, to live in the moment.  I have personally found such a fine line between reaching and striving to be my best me, to improve places of myself that I want to work on, but at the same time to accept, release, and be.  I love that I am aware of myself, but love identifying and working for the rest of my life to notice these places of attachments and gently release them.

3.      WAVES.  Again…. Somehow… I have done some work to just feel the waves of breath within me.  My body feels the waves and just rides them.  I cannot control them.  I acknowledge the flow of this wave of breath, and I recognize it in EVERY.SINGLE.THING.  Our life is a wave.  Our fitness is a wave of up and down.  It can be no other way.   Seasons are a wave; and we must follow; it is not our choice.  We wave in and out of our places that we need to be in and keep coming back, closer in, further out, adjusting, being mindful, making intentional choices, and riding the wave.  Our nutrition is never spot on forever…. It rides a wave of what our body needs, of what the seasons bring.  Let go and ride the wave.  My business is a wave.  I must trust.  Am I okay right now.  Yes.  So just be in this breath that I am okay in.  Carry on, next breath… next wave.

4.      Breathe, belly, soft.  I maybe should have put this as number 1.  This really is maybe the “thing” that went “ding ding ding ding ding!!!!!!” in my head.  My body, mind, heart was crying for this.  To breathe in yoga is to feel the rise and fall of the belly.  I bet for the first 30 years of my life, I bet I never breathed fully.  BECAUSE… there is no way I ever would have let my belly rise.  There is no way I would have allowed it to “expand”, rise, or go anywhere else from sucking it IN!  What total life changing SHOCK to breathe and to find that I can with full intention ALLOW my belly to rise with an inhale. What unexplainable freedom.  I can accept my breath and what it brings to my body.  I can stop fighting myself.  NOBODY FREAKING CARES if my belly rises! HA!  A lifetime of sucking in.  Boom. What a waste of time that was.  To even say “belly” when I teach.  “Belly”: that is a soft word.  It is not core, signifying muscular strength, six pack, solid, etc.  Belly is like a baby belly.  Who even says BELLY.  You cannot say belly and not think “soft.”  And SOFT.  When I teach and cue “soft belly”. Seriously.  LIFE. FREAKING. CHANGING.  That is against the ultimate goal of my first 25 years of life. I lived trying to figure out why my stomach was so fat (in my head), fighting my own body for 25 years.  I lived being a rigid core of gripping muscles.  Soft? WHAT?!  I can now breathe, you are KIDDING ME.  I am free.

5.      We ground to rise.  We can only go as high as we have gone low.  Enough said.. right?  Amazing to really feel the expansion of our body.  When we press down, we go up.  When we press back, we go forward.  When we are in the depths of despair, it is possible to rise.  And we will rise in a wave of breath, with softness in our bodies and mind, without thinking forward or backwards. Namaste.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Biking: love it and/or hate it!

Putting in the time on the BIKE….

 I have written about swim and run so far…. I know that is out of order, but I felt I didn’t know what to say about the bike.  I both love it and I hate it.  It is my strength, but it is also my slight fear. 

My initial story with the bike is:  I hated the bike.  I was a runner and had to have knee surgery.  The dr. told me I had to get on a bike within first 3 days of surgery to try to move my leg around to get full range of motion.  Besides being super painful, I hated sitting on a bike seat on a gym bike, it was like sitting on a bench and just awkward feeling and I hated it (and I just wanted to be running!).

Once my knee began improving, I had to keep cycling per dr’s orders and I was SO DARN HUMBLED by it.  How could I be so fit from running and so HORRIBLE on the bike, why was it so hard?!  And… in the back of my heart, I was starting to get this curiosity circulating about triathlons.  Could I will myself to do something like that?!  (remember: I had no experience in the swim and bike- didn’t even have a road bike)!

So…. I was a planner….. I began.  My first step was:  I borrowed a road bike of a friend to  get my feet in the sport and see if I liked it.  I began biking the roads of Charlottesville. MY WORLD GREW!  Exponentially!  I could bike on hills and mountains in the most beautiful land I could imagine.  These hills and mountains grew to be so familiar to me and an escape I craved!  I would go early and up this one huge hill- could BARELY MAKE IT UP in smallest gears (as is the case with many hills in Cville!), the sun would be over the fields and it was just GLORIOUS.  I felt like I was in heaven.  It was glorious except for the fact that the bike did not fit me.  AT ALL.  There were numerous rides where I would start crying an hour in because I could not sit on that saddle any longer.  Yes, I literally cried because of the pain.  I  must have been a sight. I thought about flagging over a police car if I saw one to see if I could get a ride home (there were not cell phones to call anyone for help at this time either).  I rode the last 10 miles home one time STANDING UP for 10 miles because I literally could not sit.  So…. It pushed me to get my first road bike.  My first road bike- a Bianchi.  Ohhhhhh the green machine I named it and I grew to love it.  I had to learn clip in pedals and they terrified me.  I had to bike through some difficult intersections in Charlottesville on my “way out” to the countryside and the roads I loved, and I would honestly almost have nightmares about not getting a green light and having to unclip my pedals and then restart up the hills and clip in….. BUT… I have survived you see, so it all was ok.

Over the years, the bike has become my strength in the sport of triathlon, which has surprised me.  My legs are very strong and I know that is a huge part of it- I am able to keep a high level of muscular effort for a prolonged amount of time.  And I like going HARD and FAST, so that keeps me fired up to be as good as I can be at this sport.  Every winter, I usually have an indoor cycle class for athletes where they bring their bike and we work on INTENSITY.  Literally, I think of the hardest workouts and then we do them.  I force our legs to go fast on tired, shredded muscles, we sprint after climbing hills, we stand and sprint, we also stand and climb in hardest gear for ungodly amounts of time.  We learn how to work and push and what we can and cannot take.  I know for sure this has made me better by doing these workouts and also doing them with others.  We are saturated by sweat at the end, completely spent and IT. PAYS. OFF.  The bike is a nice thing to have as a strength because if you are faster on the bike it can give you time payoffs much larger than swim speed, for example. 

I love the bike, but I also hate it.  I hate that it is time intensive.  To go outside, it really takes a good chunk of time to get in a bike training ride that feels like it was worth it time/distance wise.  It takes equipment maintenance- something I really do not enjoy- I don’t want to check chains, lube this or that, wash it after rainy ride, check tires for wear, etc.  But you need to do these things, eck.  I hate that I sometimes thank people at intersections for letting me go and in my head think, “thank you for saving my life.”  I hate that I am always a bit fearful of the bike, knowing that every cyclist will have a crash at some point.  I hate that I’ve seen someone get hit in front of me on their bike (by a car) and it was so scary.  I hate that I’ve almost been hit, that cars have swerved TOWARDS ME, that other cyclists I have witnessed doing the rudest behavior and I regret that those things give us all a bad name.  I hate that I sometimes start a ride and have this weird bad gut feeling concerning safety and then I turn around and come home to ride on my trainer instead.  All these things give me a less than full feeling of love for the bike part of triathlon!

But there are these moments that keep me always coming back-these memories that override any hesitancy I have on my bike.  These are the feelings of flying through the air (yes, tires still on ground) but it sometimes does feel like flying when you are going so fast and although you are putting forth effort, you know that you can keep this going, that your body is trained and in control  BECAUSE of the work you have put in.  It is the feeling of being so far out on a ride, with only the sound of the world around you- farms, the hot summer air moving by you, sunshine beating down on my back and arms.  Yes, these are the moments I live for.  I love being so fit and flying by people on my bike and wondering, “why are they not pushing harder and going my pace?”  Sometimes I feel like people must not be trying very hard.  But I realize that I have put in the work.

Yes, I have put in the work that allows me to be out in nature for hours and miles… up close and personal.  To see mountains, towns, overlooks, that are so amazing and inspiring to be a “part of them” by biking in and through them!  I’ve done the winter work to allow myself to be fit enough to be out for 50-60 miles on rides where I can be in complete focus on my ride, my workout, my purpose, or I can dissociate and let my mind totally go blank within the effort and “gain energy” from that release of focus (if that makes sense).  This place of surrendering control and just allowing myself see what I see, to be fatigued but to continue with strength. I find myself soothed by the repetitive motion of my legs, breathing and body.    I’ve been thankful to have joy rise from within by seeing deer on the trail, bunnies and groundhogs scurrying by the side of the trail.  I’ve rolled over snakes and been horrified, but I’ve also seen beautiful flowers on side of road, sunrises, mountains and fields, curvy and delightful roads, steep and crazy hills that are just a miracle to experience!  SO VERY FAR AWAY from my typical days!  What a VACATION IT IS! A vacation WITHIN my LIFE!

Training through the winter on a bike trainer is tedious.  But, it is necessary.  It keeps me balanced from doing too much running; it adds to my run ability through greater quad strength, it helps me exercise more with less impact, helps me stay a bit leaner.  My tough training days help me just like the intense run sessions with self talk,  “lessons of the sport”, learning my body, my limits (both physical and mental).  It refreshes me.

There might be only a handful of rides outside every summer where I feel like I am fast, floating, and furious all at the same time.  And they make it ALL WORTH IT, they make me love my time training and they override any drudgery of bike maintenance, fear of the unknown, etc.  I’m so thankful for the past 20 years on my bike.  Green machine:  you were the beginning.  Blue Bullet:  you were my first tri bike that has gotten me my greatest results from 2003-2017.  Black Lightening….. we’re still getting to know each other….. let’s put the time in together in 2019!!!  

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Back to my FAVE!

Back on THE RUN!!

Last week, I talked about swimming and my 20 year progress(?) in that sport!

This week, I’m going to talk about the run… Where it all began for me…. As a non-runner.

Long story short:  I began college and couldn’t run. And it pissed me off.  Friends in my dorm would go running and I was like, “how are they doing that”- they are gone for 45-60 minutes!  I could go for 8-11 minutes MAX.  And I kept trying (of course I did, have you met me!?!)  I built to 16 minutes.  Months and months of “trying” to become a runner and I just felt so frustrated that I could not breathe, got so tired, so embarrassed.  I finally got pissed enough to shut off my brain and “give up” and I ran and ran.  I ran 43 minutes, and then 60 minutes…. This was my first nudge to stop GRIPPING so hard onto my effort that it was making me fail. 

I will skip 5 years through doing my first 5Ks, 10Ks, 10 milers, ½ marathons, etc and take you to  my first marathon.  I did not know if I could really do it.  It was so scary. It was so hard.  It was a year in between undergrad and grad school and fall of 1997.  Not many others at 21 years old were training for a marathon, so I did it all on my own.  My legs were so tired, my sports bra chafed.   Running was so different then- there weren’t fuel belts or any of the nutritional gels, blocks, fuel that we have the luxury of today.

I was so scared, but I was so committed.  There was literally no way that I was NOT going to do this.  I had the will of a mule and I was OUT TO PROVE SOMETHING.  To myself, but also to others.  I was a bit mad at the world, and most people in it.  I was mad at my life cards, frustrated at my repetition in life of being “almost there”, “waitlisted”, never quite where what I felt like I had worked for.  I was tired of being the hardest worker and coming out less than…. (so yea, I was going to show the world, “fine.. I”ll be the hardest worker at running” and that proves what?!?!)  But it was a fire in my heart.  I was a long shot to go from not being able to run 10 minutes to doing a marathon, so maybe in my mind this would prove I was worthy.  Through 20 weeks of training for my first marathon, I developed a huge will, heart, and commitment to my goal.  Like I said, there was no way I was NOT going to finish.

And I did.  It was terrible and also awesome.  And I got a bit hooked.  Not excessively because also that first year, I decided to train for my first marathon, but over the years, I did 1-2 marathons/year in combination with triathlons.  And then I put a marathon at the end of my triathlon when I did my first Ironman.  After this, I decided to change things up, change up distances, and focus on more speed.  It made sense after I had kids in 2005/2007 to really make the most of my time and I learned to love running in a different  way.  Over time, I was quite successful at changing up my base speed, racing speed, the intensity that I raced at.  Mostly, I discovered so much about myself, training, the connection between life and running for me.   Running is my favorite (adult) sport. 

During the early kid years, I kept up with marathons- usually just one per year to ease into the triathlon summer season.  After I ran the Boston marathon, I continued to shift my focus back to shorter distances for a few years- half marathons, and realized 4 years ago that I hadn’t done a marathon in a while, so I trained for Marine Corps marathon for my 40th birthday year.  3 days before that race, I tore my calf while walking down my stairs at home.  Fantastic.  So, I have not done a marathon SINCE BOSTON in 2011!  It will be 8 years.  I’m thrilled and scared.

I got into my bucket list marathon:  BIG SUR for 2019 and so here I train.  As I write this, I have 15 weeks until race day!   I’m coming off of a hamstring/hip injury which had me off of my feet for the longest time in…. 20 years!  I didn’t run a single step for 10 weeks.  I am back to training very cautiously and being uber conservative with any intensity and speed.  Coming back to a regular running routine has been a good reminder of how hard running is!!!  I am SO much slower than my previous paces that I sometimes laugh out loud while I am on the roads and realize that I am quite possibly moving at  a walking pace!  
Just as in my first marathon, I'm running with this goal of doing Big Sur a bit scared.  Marathons are hard.  It has been a long time.  I wonder if I have less mental fortitude and if I have lost the "anger" that fueled my will of steel.  I wonder if I've learned to be so much more accepting of myself (a good thing) that I will be too soft to rally through the tough miles.  I wonder if I can get through those training runs that just crush your system with fatigue, tired legs and mind and heart, with the exhilaration that I used to rally from that!  I am nervous.  And it is perfect!  I NEED THIS.  I need to be nervous again.  I need to restart!  I need to show myself that I can be soft and strong, more patient (not yet patient, but MORE patient!!) with myself while still expecting myself to go to my line of what is doable and maybe over that line a little bit.  

I have some nervousness and fear, but I am LOVING IT:  I am running with joy- so very thankful for every step that I am able to be running either outdoors in the beautiful air and paths, or indoors on a treadmill.  I truly feel thankful for every step, every SLOOOOOOW step!  I wasn’t able to do it for so long and my break reminded me of how much my body, my soul, my mind, my heart just love and NEED this sport!  I’m coming at it from a place of kind of “restarting” which is really nice.  I somehow am using my yoga practice of “no expectations” to blend into my running and I really feel like I have  no expectations of myself other than to enjoy it, take care of my body in the healthiest way (not necessarily the fastest way!) and to appreciate fully my love of running…… Similar to what I wrote last week about the swim—it is kind of a nice feeling to myself to be loving something that I am currently not doing “great” at by comparison to previous training marks but just to be truly in the moment.  I am learning… I am getting older and wiser….. older, slower, wiser… and happier😊

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Swimming is my hard thing...


Today I’m talking about the swim.  Any of you who know me, or specifically my triathlon performances… know that my swim just TAKES ME DOWN!  I’ve now been swimming for 20 years!  20 years, and I think after the first 5 years I haven’t made that many changes in my speed, however, my journey has been changing.

When I initially dreamed of doing my first triathlon, I thought it was possibly something I couldn’t do because of the swim.  I knew it would take a LOT of hard work and I would have to be so vulnerable in attempting something so out of my element.  Being on a college campus made it much easier being that I had access to an AWESOME pool to learn to swim in!  I also had  made some triathlete and swim friends who were older and who were so kind to give me general stroke ideas, workout ideas, etc.  I could not swim down and back without thinking I would die.  I won’t go into it too much here, but it took me forever to swim past 50 meters without stopping at the wall.  Once I learned to relax a little bit and not TRY sO HARD, I could though… (hmmmm a lesson I would and will revisit so so often in my life!)  I spent a huge amount of time on the swim my first few years of triathlon because I simply did not know if I could DO IT.  As in…. I did not know if I would be able to get in a lake and actually finish a swim.  I always worried I would have to find a life boat/kayak guy to rescue me.  This was the hardest I ever worked at swimming.  Mentally, I was open to spending much of my focus on this aspect of triathlon.

A few years in, I realized that I was consistently not dying during the swim portion!  I also realized my times were not improving too much and that overall, it was much easier to gain speed on the bike and or run rather than the swim!  To take 2 minutes off of the swim would require much  more of an investment of training time than taking 2 minutes off of my bike, for example.  So, I kind of took my swim to a maintenance phase.  I also probably began hating it a bit.  It just seemed that without the effort and investment, it annoyed me.  It was just “taking up my training time.”  HA! What a bad attitude!

I think it was more once I had kids that I honestly learned to love swimming.  This is SO SAD, but about 10 years ago, it was so nice to be in the water- where NOONE COULD GET ME! No one could tell me they were hungry, I could just be on my own.  And I didn’t really need to do huge intense workouts at this point to keep the speed and efficiency I had gained.  When I was working on my swim at this point, it was 1-2x/week only, but I always had a plan, and definitely if kids were at pool with me (if they were supervised, etc) m y workout would always be something with minimal wall time to make sure I didn’t get distracted/ have to answer any questions, etc.  I started to actually like to swim, and I still feel this way, even though swimming is always my weakness by FAR in races!  I am not the final person out of the water, but I definitely am just m idle of the pack.  Ugh… (I don’t like middle of the pack).  HOWEVER, it still kind of gives me some sort of thrill that I like something that I’m just not that good at!  It  is nice to feel this way about something and be nonjudging of myself to enjoy something that isn’t really a strength.  To just simply enjoy the movement, the freedom, the alone time, and all that I find in swimming.

I have had a few swim “incidents” over the years where I will never forget. I know it is common to have slight panic or hyperventilating in the swim portion, but it still surprises me that I have them because I don’t normally think I am going to! I’ve had them when I’ve been in races trying hard and pushing myself, and then also in races when I am just out thinking I am moderately going to just get through the swim and then hammer the bike/ run.

What I have learned is that:  they often come on when I find my LEGS feeling weird!  My legs will feel like THEY are working or not getting oxygen or blood flow, and then my brain begins a weird little panic.  I will sometimes have to breast stroke a few strokes… which usually doesn’t help much at all….. so then I just literally tell myself to shut up and calm down and SWIM SLOW.  LIKE RIDICULOUSLY SLOW for a full minute while I do yoga breathing and calming techniques.  And, I get into a nice rhythm and boom… continue my swim. 

Some swims surprise  me:  this past year I had a race where I thought throughout the swim, “ohhhh I am so strong, I feel like I am really in a good groove, on top of the water, executing my stroke and being smart with current, drafting when possible, finding good sight lines, etc”…. and then I get out and cannot BELIEVE that I had gone so slow!!  (and sometimes the course is just marked wrong and everyone was slow, so it is hard to tell!).. Either way, it is part of a sport I love so I am committed.

On top of these things, I strongly believe that I RELY even on once/week swimming to prevent injury (well to some extent being that I’ve had way too many injuries lately).  However:  I really feel when my body is in the pool that it helps work some of the kinks out (especially with some of my workouts just focusing on enjoyment/ stroke technique and form instead of tough intervals).  I feel like it allows me to bike and run better because my muscles are smoothed out from the swim, the effects of no impact movement, reduced inflammation due to the water pressure on my muscles and joints.

So….. “doing hard things.”  Basically, I am writing this as my commitment of PUTTING IT OUT THERE:  I NEED TO CONTINUE!  The pool where I have swam through the year (except summer outdoor pools) has closed and I am committed to going out of my way to go to a new pool, to keep up this sport that I do enjoy, that I do gain a physical and mental benefit from, I gain the ability to do triathlons which I love!  It is always hard to change out of your routine, to find new locations, to make a new “home” (swim home) for yourself somewhere.  I am committed to doing that- I respect that I ask people to DO HARD THINGS ALL THE TIME!  So, this is MY responsibility to go out of my comfort zone, to make change, to be uncomfortable and be disciplined to make this happen.  I will do this hard thing, and I believe fully that it is in doing these things  that we grow, expand, and that sport becomes life.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

WELLNESS in 2019


Fitness is my passion.  I love working my body to it’s extreme, it’s limit, over the line, pushing, failing, trying again, being out in the world, on the race course with others, realizing that I wasn’t the only one pushing and working all those months!


I’ve learned… (am still continuing to learn) (which is the point)…. About fitting this fitness thing into overall WELLNESS.

What is wellness, anyway?  Sure, it includes fitness and exercise, but it includes so much more.  It includes taking care of our WHOLE SELF.  It includes our nutrition, sleep, our self- care.  It includes down time, social time and a variety of nourishing relationships, time spent on hobbies and passions.  It includes spiritual health, taking care of oneself financially, etc. 

And our wellness is never perfect. We are always basically dividing the pie of our overall circle of life/wheel of wellness into all of these components and we need to regularly come back and see if the amount of the circle that we are spending, energy and time-wise, on the components of our wellness are in line with our values, desires, and what we are comfortable.  There will be times when our exercise component of wellness may not be at its optimal.  There will be times when this is our conscious choice- an awareness that we have gone too far in training, when for our overall wellness, we need to back off.

That was this past four months for me. Instead of making training/ reaching/ pushing my 40% (or more) of my wheel of wellness, I honestly needed to cut it back to the essential.  To maybe 10%... 10% in the form of walking two puppies and nourishing my need of movement with yoga.

I have taken this past month to… ummmm… indulge in my nutrition component of wellness.  Not necessarily eating bad meals, but indulging in TREATS.  And, this is no surprise: it was and usually is my plan starting from November on!!!  I enjoy eating treats, you will find me with bagels during this time!  My weight creeps up, I don’t feel great, but DARN IT GETS ME MOTIVATED come January 1!

And now is the time when I look at my wheel of wellness and am excited to blend back into my physical healthy habits- making nutrition and exercise more of a priority.  Other things will slip.  They will have to.  We pick our priorities, we choose our time commitments. 

What does your wellness look like?  How are you dividing your WHOLE SELF?  What are your priorities, needs, and wants, and are you conscious in your actions in daily life that take your time?  What is missing?  What is snuffing out other things? 

I firmly believe in New Year’s “resolutions/goals” I do not care what you call them.  It is not because we are trying to become PERFECT!  That is many times the argument: that we are not accepting ourselves fully if we are trying to make these changes.  I think that is absurd- we should always be evaluating, aware, living consciously!

I don’t think these goals always need to be done at this time of year- any month/season is a fine time to reevaluate.  I do love the new year though!!


*Begin training again with PURPOSE (which to me makes it fun, inspiring and frankly exhilarating!)

*Eat overall well.  I will still have wine.  I will still have occasional treats.  But they will not be nightly!! Or after every lunch!  (good grief, it is so easy to get into a habit when you eat lunch and then think you need to have like a cookie or something to hit that “spot” that feels like it hasn’t been fulfilled!)

*Sleep/ keep track of my sleep.  I know I will not get “enough”… but it will be a priority.  I will track it and notice patterns and work hard to do my best.  I will allow myself naps when I need to since I wake up so early.  And when I wake up from a nap, I won’t act all pissed off at myself for napping.
*I will do core, yoga and a handstand every day. I will pray that my back allows me to move throughout the year.

*I will keep up a general level of EXCITEMENT FOR LIFE.  Each morning, I will (still have coffee) but I will also have lemon water before 10AM, I will remind myself of at least one AWESOME THING that I “GET TO DO” today!!  I will make sure that some of that is work because I am lucky to do something I love for work!  I will make sure that also at least 5-10 minutes of that will be devoted to “self care”… even if that is while doing something else like walking the dogs (which is also kind of self care for my heart!) Most of all, I will be intentional and intentionally aware of the state of my heart.

*I will remind myself to release what needs to be released.  I am here to LIVE OUT LOUD, and “not one drop of my self-worth depends on anyone’s acceptance of me.”~quincy jones.  With this, I will soften my defenses and remind myself to not spend a single WATT of my energy(!) on negative interactions with others. 


*ME GOALS!  I will:  (see that I am not writing “I will try to”… I WILL!!!!!)

             -play  music as often as possible

             -spend as much time laughing as possible (honestly… laughing just makes me so happy—lately      I’ve been watching the intro to Stephen Colbert for some funny outlet once/day while I’m on treadmill or bike!)

           - once/week: make protein balls, make crockpot meal, have fish

- consolidate to get rid of a small desk that takes up stupid space in kitchen

- Get a wall cut if possible in my bedroom so I can easily get my arm to part of my closet that I honestly just don’t really FIT getting to  my clothes.  So annoying and I am constantly feeling like I’m “too large” to even get into my own closet. Ugh.

- Repaing/stencil front porch this spring and instead of white porch with grey stencil/ switch it to grey porch with white accents.

- Finish seashell projects with  my shells from Sannibel a few years ago.

- Plan summer better.  Instead of waiting to see where planned downtime fits in, block off a week or plan something so our vacation isn’t just a one night beach trip again.

- Financially:  make an appointment before May with financial advisor.

- January:  30 days of getting rid of at least one thing per day!

- Continue reading/ visit library more though!


I am going to write more.  I’m going to blog more, I’m going to stick with writing a once/week “Training talk” newsletter, reach out for opportunities to write about fitness, training, yoga, wellness.

I am excited to get my videos off the ground.  I will continue this monthly, adding videos.

I am looking to NOT ADD any classes to my schedule, but KEEP and really NOURISH the ones I have!

Personal training:  I have room to add a few appointments each week- probably only 4 more per week.  I have loved beginning doing more partner training this past year- what a nourishing part of the week it is for people to combine friend time with a crazy awesome workout!

Triathlon and Run Coaching:  I haven’t been coaching as much this past year. I miss doing more of this and hope to do some outreach to remind people of all levels that I can help them, that training with a plan is so fulfilling- each DAY you get to achieve goals!  I am not strong at marketing myself and putting word out about my training, so I need to do that.  I will.

DOG TRAINING, podcasts, GARDEN GOALS, CROCHETING PLANS, spiritual plans AND MORE… I do not need to bore you further…