Sweaty Satisfaction.

Last week was the return of hot yoga. A sweaty satisfaction that began with me paying $20 to reactivate my account from lack of use.

Whoops. Guess I haven’t been Namaste-ing as much as I had anticipated.

The girly girl in me was excited to display my newly pedicured feet in class. Don’t judge. This has been a reason in the past why I haven’t downward dogged. This lead me to think, if I were a yoga instructor, could I write off pedicures in my taxes? Seems pretty essential to me.

After claiming my spot on the floor, I laid down and tried my best to meditate before class started. With my coaching obligations over and students whom I train leaving for the summer, my schedule is back to being manageable. Back to have time for, dare I say it, ME!

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We began in downward dog and walked our dogs. Multiple sun salutations later and I felt like I hadn’t skipped a beat. This was HOT yoga mind you, which if I don’t do often enough royally suck at. Like feel nauseous, dizzy and straight up awful. Why put myself through this you ask? Because I know my potential in the practice. I know how amazing I feel afterwards. I know I’ve only gone to one class before and wished I hadn’t gone.

I’d say the odds are in my favor.

I’ve also decided to integrate more yoga into my marathon training this year. With all the hip issues I faced last May, the added stretching will be beneficial.

About 50 minutes into the 90 minute class, I was ready to begin the seated series. “Slow your roll Caroline, we’ll get there”, I thought. I kept trying to give myself positive encouragement. It’d been a while since my last practice and I didn’t feel like I was going to die! I was, however, a ginormous puddle of sweat. Maybe it was the 20-something people in the class or the 99.9% humidity outside, but I left feeling cleansed and like I’d just hoped out of a pool.

Leaving the class I felt an air of calm, relief and gratitude. To be able to focus on how my body was moving and the patterns of my breathe was refreshing. With the potential of failure looming, I took the risk of spending the majority of the class in child’s pose. But it didn’t happen. Sometimes you have to take risks. They are the challenges that your body craves.

You could definitely surprise yourself with the outcome. So take the first step. Dip your pretty little pedicured toe into the pool of potential.

I promise, the waters not too bad.

What have you tried recently that was out of your comfort zone? Were you afraid you’d fail?

-TTT

Travel Tips & Tricks.

Just this past weekend I was traveling to visit family in South Carolina. Mid flight I realized I was consciously planning out my workouts while away. I brought my sneakers and knew running was happening, but what about strength work? Classes?

Could I stay trendy on the road? That sounds like a challenge. I’ll take it.

Many of my clients come to me with these questions on the reg. They are consultants and professors going to conferences and meetings worldwide. How do they maintain their cardio endurance or strength when traveling M-F? Trips bound to business meetings and cocktails with clients seem counter intuitive for Heath and wellness. Well, let’s just say there is always time if you want it badly enough.

View from my run on Daniel Island, SC


Here are my quick tips for staying active on the road:

1.) Always pack comfy workout apparel. You never know when you’ll have a free 20 minutes for a walk or run.

2.) Do your research. Check out local deals from gyms or coupon sites. Fitness facilities want you to choose them, it’s pretty simple. They don’t need to know you are there on business or aren’t planning on ever coming back. Take their free week pass and roll with it! Is there a Groupon, LivingSocial or Amazon Deal for a Barre class you’ve been dying to take? Use this opportunity to grab and go.

3.) Between meetings and dinners you’re swamped. You’ve got little to no time and the town you’re in hasn’t even heard of the word “fitness”. Use your hotel room! Choose 3 exercises. One upper body, one lower and one core. Complete a Tabata with each exercise resting for one minute in between. 

Here’s an example:

Push-ups 20 seconds ON, 10 seconds REST.  4 min total
Rest 1 min.
Squats 20 seconds ON, 10 seconds REST. 4 min total
Rest 1min
Plank 20 seconds ON, 10 seconds REST. 4 min total

Done!!

If you rarely travel and truly don’t have time to workout, don’t beat yourself up. It is easy to get off track on vacation and stay off track. The most important thing is to slide back onto the exercise train once you get home. Yes you may feel gross and a bit flabby, but don’t let this discourage you. Hold yourself accountable and make a plan.

Now excuse me while I get back on track and schedule my workouts for the week.

Well, maybe after this bag of peanut m&ms; is gone.

-TTT

Weighing in on the WOD.

About a month ago I purchased a Groupon for four weeks of unlimited CrossFit and bootcamp classes.

For $49.

Even though I had some reservations, I couldn’t resist and felt I needed to try this trending workout before judging it.

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As some of you know, I hired a personal trainer of my own last fall. As a CrossFit coach, he helped me understand the concept of CF by breaking down the lifts and really teaching me proper form and technique. This was crucial to me. I didn’t want to just throw weight around. I wanted to complete each movement pattern and truly grasp the lifts.

Instead of just doing, I always sometimes over think things. As a trainer myself, I can only imagine how much fun this made me to train.

I really enjoyed the one on one attention in conjunction with the Olympic lifts I learned. At the end of our workouts we would do a WOD, workout of the day. These would kick. my. ass. From 100 wall balls to box jumps and burpees, having a trainer pushed me harder than I ever push myself.

Fast forward to my 4 weeks of CF.

I began on a Friday in the CF Basics class. And guess what, I was the only one. Boom. Individual attention. Again. My coach was impressed with my knowledge of the lifts and immediately bumped me to the class. I made the commitment to go at least 3x/week for 4 weeks. Just like when I did Bikram, I knew I really had to apply myself to the sport or I wouldn’t gain the complete experience.

Day 1: Monday, 6:30AM
I was nervous, a little tired and didn’t know what to expect. We began with a warmup run followed by dynamic stretches. Next up was the skill or strength portion then straight to the WOD. Maybe I was just pacing myself, but I didn’t feel like dying or throwing up. Win!

The day after. Ouch. Sore in my upper back, core and bum. I guess I really did push myself more than I had thought!

Day 2: Wednesday, 6:30AM
More of a combination warm up, stretching and form comprehension. I was impressed with the time the coaches took to teach proper technique. Our class was small again, probably around 8 people, so he was able to come and correct as necessary. The WOD was slightly more difficult, I believe it included some killer combo of cleans, lateral burpees and pull ups.

Let us fast forward again… to the end of my four weeks.

I was certainly getting into the groove of waking up a little earlier so I could drive myself to CF. I actually began to like the routine of driving home after, listening to Matty in the Morning and drinking my protein shake. The traffic never seemed to bother me since I was still on an endorphin kick.

It wasn’t until one of my final classes, that I began witnessing what many say is wrong with CrossFit.

We were doing front squats as part of our WOD. I don’t remember what other exercises were a part of it or if it was AMRAP (“As many reps as possible). I loaded up the bar to #65. Challenging, but still doable for me. In this very close workout space, it’s hard to not see what others around you are choosing as their weight for the WOD. Not to mention, the set up was so that I was squatting facing their backs. The girls in front of me kept adding plates to the bar as we were setting up. I remember being impressed and hoping to one day soon get there myself.

Time on the clock. And go.

My bar goes up and I begin to sit back into my squat. Hips back. Core tight. Heels down. I repeat as if burned in my brain.

We weren’t even 5min into the WOD and all I could see were heels high, knees forward and instability in the lower body. I was continuing my reps, but this became a huge distraction. This was the PM class, one I had never attended before. It was a larger group, meaning less interaction with the coach. I wasn’t even sure if he could see her teetering on the balls of her feet. All I knew was that it was making me uneasy.

I realize this is just ONE example. If you do CF, you’ll probably read this, “x” out of it and go to your 6AM class tomorrow morning. If you’ve never done it and are thinking about it, well… that’s where I come in!

Here are two fantastic articles that I would highly recommend if you are thinking about going the CrossFit route.

Mike Boyle’sWhy Crossfit May Not Be Good For You.

Jen Comas Keck’sCrossfit: The Dark Cloud With a Silver Lining

Both have very important messages; pros, cons, the whole nine yards.

The bottom line is it’s important to educate yourself on what you are doing with your body. As Jen puts it very appropriately,

We need to focus on education and guidance for lifting newbies so that they can make intelligent choices, be safe, get results and have a blast. We are all adults and we have the right to do whatever makes us happy, regardless of what others think.”

That being said… 

Have you ever tried CF? Tell me about what YOU think. I’d love to hear 🙂 
-TTT