Thursday, September 26, 2013

Remember Where You Came From

Today I want to take a walk down memory lane and look at why and when I started my fitness journey. I haven't been in the mood to do any of the things I love lately and I think looking back at why I started this lifestyle will be the motivation I need to pick it back up.
The first time I ever walked into a weight room was at 18. I was a freshman in college and the gym on campus was designed for women (I went to an all-girls college.) My roommate and I said lets go ride the bikes. That's where it all started. We would spend an hour on the bikes then get ready for our next class. This wasn't a sweat inducing workout at all...I mean we texted and watched TV the whole time. Then one day I went in and it was empty; just me. So instead of getting on the bike I decided to do some basic crunches and free weight squats. This is where my love for the gym come in. College was stressful enough, with 2 jobs it was almost unbearable. So to get some "me" time and release some stress, I would hit the gym. I would go at 1AM when I finished my last shift or get up at 5AM to make it to the gym before the day started. I loved it. I think I would have been less relaxed if the gym had been co-ed. I know even my first time stepping into a gym with men there was intimidating and I had been lifting over a year at that point. When I moved to Iowa, my love for lifting only grew stronger. I still love going into the gym. Pushing myself beyond what I think I can do will never get old and seeing how much my body has changed in just a few years is astonishing.
But a girl can't just lift right? So what was my next big adventure in this fitness journey?
What have I been missing for 19 years of my life. Why didn't anybody tell me how perfect running is? It's a shame I went so long without knowing what it feels like to be in the moment of pure bliss. This is how I feel when I run. Where did this start you may ask? Well one cold rainy morning, I set my alarm earlier than usual. For whatever reason, I rolled out of bed, put on the only pair of tennis shoes I had and hit the door.
Believe it or not, I used to say this ALL the time. And I meant it. That one day changed it all. And it was awful. The whole entire MILE I ran was slow, cold with a lot of walking. And you wanna know what, I really have improved that much since then. I know I know I'm not giving myself credit. That very first mile last about 18 minutes. And for someone who never ran a day in their life, I thought that was amazing. Over the last 2 1/2 years, I have bought actual running shoes, a GPS watch, an arm band for my phone and sports bras. I know these things don't make a person a runner but for me these things help me run better. I have slowly increased my mileage over this time span...from one mile to 3 or 4 miles. I'm not a distance runner...yet. Trust me, this post already makes me want to get out there and log a good 10 miles. I love running. I love races because the moment you cross that finish line is a feeling that only a runner can describe. Running never takes more than it gives and it requires no special skills or equipment. Running is running. As humans, we are built to run. I think a lot of people forget that or fail to realize it. I know I did for 19 years. All it takes is that 1st step out the door and you're hooked. I know there are some days when stepping out that door feels just as hard as it did the 1st time I did it. I also know that there have been a few miles that felt exactly as daunting as that very first one but as runners we keep going. We learn to analyze what went wrong, what we could have done better and then just leave it. When we hit the pavement, we give it our very best and then leave it on the pavement when we're done.I have a feeling 5AM runs need to start happening more often.

Ok so we have weight lifting, running....what else can you do? What more do you want to put your body through? This last thing is my reward to my body. It is my way of saying thank you for all that you have do and will do. This wonderful thing I'm talking about it yoga. I remember the very first time I stepped into the only hot yoga studio in Cedar Falls IA. My friend had asked me to join her for a yoga class. Why not? I had always done light stretching for lifting and running but an actual class. What could it hurt? Plus the 1st time was I wasn't losing anything if I didn't like it. What my friend had failed to mention was I would be in what felt like a 2x4 box with other people in a 105 degree room. I was shocked and thought "OH HELL NO!" Little did I know that I would find more peace within myself in that one hour that I have ever in my life. I felt every ounce of stress, pain and worry melt off my skin just like butter...because I know butter would melt in that room really fast! :)
AND I WAS HOOKED. It's funny how all these things are addicting. The endorphins are like a fix that you have to have all the time. Yoga is that fix for me. After lifting and running, the best way I can repay my body is melting into my yoga mat and deep breathing until everything is all ok again. Yoga has helped me in so many ways, with little worries to major life decisions. I know when I need the answer to something, I just have to roll out my yoga mat and go to that place where it all makes sense. I've moved away from the hot yoga studio, the price is a little too steep for me. But I have moved it into my living room where I grow stronger and experiment with what I can do. I love yoga so much I have Namaste tattooed on my spine to remind me that I am one with the universe and everyone in it.

All these milestones in my life have lead me to this. I haven't ran since the Warrior July. Part of the reason is because I didn't train/hydrate/prepare for that race to be as intense as it was. I was dehydrated and delusional by the end of the race and I knew I would need time to recover. Now I'm recovered (have been for a while) and just can't seem to hop back into it.
I haven't lifted in three months (SAD SAD SAD.) My gym membership ran out and I just haven't gotten a new one. This def. needs to happen sooner than later.
Yoga: Oh my sweet yoga! This  is one thing I haven't abandoned. I do this as often as I can and especially whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed.

So this is my journey. And I know it will continue, I have no doubt about that. I love fitness way too much to ever give it up! We're just going through a rough patch right now, a breathing period if I can. :)

Unrelated news: I start fertility testing on Monday. Fingers crossed all goes well.

Question of the day: When was a major fitness milestone for you?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Feeling the Burn

Ah my legs are extremely sore today. On top of my legs being sore, my desk job left me sitting all day so I couldn't stretch them out properly! So now they are like balled up and twisted! 

And I love it! I miss the feeling of being sore after a great workout. All of this is from my hot filled weekend at Sol Yoga! 
Saturday I did hot yoga how the 1st time in months...and it was just as great as I remembered! Sunday I woke up bright and early for my 1st ever barre method class...and I am in love! I have to do it again! The core work is phenomenal and my legs felt like they were going to snap off from the squats and lift we did on class. It's upbeat, energetic and so much fun! The perfect way to start out a Sunday morning! I'm used to the heat from my times at hot yoga but I was up and moving and even dancing a little! I cannot wait to go back. :) 

A few days ago I was practicing yoga and finally nailed a pose I've been working on for a while. I love seeing my strength grow with each practice, whether it's running, weight training or yoga! 

Today I walk with my new puppy. She's 8 weeks old and she can't run quite yet but she's getting there. We jogged a little but mostly walked and that was ok! We will get up to running in time. I love having a new waking/running buddy. She doesn't talk, quiet and stubborn at times. :) 

I'm still trying to implement the new changes in my life, it gets easier every day! It's nice to look at the positives even with all the negativity in the world. 

Tonight my heart goes out to all the families effected by the shooting at the Navy base today. Such heartless crimes make me so sad. I don't understand the world full of hate and never will. Prayers will be headed that way tonight! 

Question of the day: Are you a lone runner or do you enjoy having someone to run with? 

It depends on the day but most of the time I will run further if I have somebody with me. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Steps In the Right Direction

HELLO! It's Friday...thank goodness! I have waited for this day for an entire week :)

Today, I want to talk about things I am going to start TRYING to change in my life. These aren't big changes for Me to make but I have a feeling they are going to make a huge change in my life...positive changes.

If you have read my recent blog post, they haven't really been upbeat, cheery happy blogs! Some may say they are downright depressing (Sorry blog readers!!) 2013 has been a rough road for me with more pot holes than I would ever care for. But this post isn't about the negativity. This post is about me becoming a more positive person and finding the person I used to be, before life knocked me on my side.

Things I am going to start changing in my life to be a more positive person:

1. Stop looking back at the past, stop looking and worrying about the future.
I am the worst at never living in the moment. It doesn't matter what the situation, I am usually looking ahead to plan the disaster that is more than likely never going to happen. This causes a lot of anxiety and unwanted sadness in my life that can easily be eliminated. I need to start catching myself every time I start removing myself from the moment. Do you know how many potential memories I miss out on by not really being in the moment. I basically live my day-to-day life days ahead. I will stop this.

2. Stop trying to please everyone else and putting others happiness ahead of mine.
Guilty Guilty Guilty is how I plead to this! I am so guilty of putting myself on the back burner for the people I love. At first you may think it's not a bad thing, to be so unselfish and giving to others. But what happens when you no longer know how to make yourself happy without the happiness of someone else. If that makes sense?! My favorite thing to say is "Oh what makes me happy? Making other people happy." STOP IT! If you cannot make yourself happy, how can you possibly make others happy? I have to start putting myself 1st every once in a while.

3. Stop blaming someone new for the things someone in the past did.
This is a huge one for me. Past relationships have taught me to keep my guard up and one foot out the door and over the years this has become a habit. Always ready to run, that's me! And I always seem to keep anyone new at arms length....never really letting them get close enough. And we won't even talk about trusting. But from this day forward, I will let those walls down and open up because if I don't, I'll keep living in the past. Time to let it all go and realize not everyone is going to hurt me...some people really do want to be in my life for me and that's all!

4. Stop falling off the damn wagon.
I feel like I always fall off the fitness wagon. Not on purpose, but I just slip and slip until BOOM I'm on the ground looking at the dust that used to be my fitness goals. I know there are a lot of people out there who experience the same thing but it's still no fun starting back over. I always think, if I had kept going I wonder how far I would be now! It always takes something big to get me back on the wagon. Like my clothes magically "shrinking" for the 1st time in years. I can only blame it on the dryer so long before I have to face the cold hard fact that I am getting fluff in areas that really don't need any more fluff. The 1st step to reaching this goal is to get a new pair of running shoes since my pair got destroyed in the Warrior Dash (which I still need to do a post on, I promise it's coming!) So I'm looking at a pair of Brooks stability shoes because the girl at the runners' store told me they work best for my severe pronation. Just one thing is standing in the way of this goal...I'm a working gal with bills and $150.00 for running shoes is better spent elsewhere. So...If any of you ladies have ANY suggestions what-so-ever for shoes that are comparable to Brooks but don't require a 2nd job, PLEASE PLEASE comment and let me know!

5. Figure out what I want to do with my life!
This is my biggest problem/worry/fear is that I'm going to spend my life rotting in a desk chair. Yes, I am college degree holding woman that has no idea what I want to do with my life! I am standing here at 21 years old spinning in circles with a very confused look on my face. I know it needs to be fitness related. I am so passionate about fitness and nutrition, this has to be involved in my life. When I talk about these things I get excited and passionate! So, yes I know all the fields I can enter into..I just have to stop procrastinating. So this is another thing I am changing in my life...starting right now!!

All of these positive changes and new mindsets have me dizzy but excited. To start off my new way of thinking, I am hitting up the hot yoga studio this weekend for a hot yoga session tomorrow morning and trying something new, the hot barre method class Sunday morning. I'm so excited and all classes are free this weekend to celebrate the year anniversary of the cedar valley's 1st ever Hot Yoga Studio. Check out to see what classes they offer, if you will be in the Cedar Falls area this weekend! Let me know if you're going to stop in the early AM classes!!

And now to bombarded you with my favorite Pins from this week....well because it's my blog and I can! ENJOY!

So I NEED this for my fall/winter running! I will have it just wait :D

New hair cut? I think so!!!

Words to live by!

There has never been anything more true!


Question of the day: Have you made any positive changes in your life lately?

Anyone know of any great, cheap stability running shoes?

Thursday, September 5, 2013


A must read for all those 20something people out there reading this:

The Topic No One Discusses But Should...

Life lately has been....frustrating to say the least.

Sorry I have been away for a while. Work has been slammed, home has been more about relaxing and just taking my mind off all the outside things in life. I know it's better to face your problems head on but I feel like burying my head in the sand is a much better approach right now.

As some of you may know, I have been struggling with infertility issues for 32 months now. It's not an easy subject to talk about but it's an issue that should be talked about more often. Life struggling with infertility isn't easy. While many women can try and succeed, women who struggle with infertility issues aren't so lucky. We get it in our mind that we want a baby, try and try and try with no luck. There is no way to describe the frustration, anger and hatred that come out of a life in infertility. You are frustrated month after month when nature takes its course with no baby in sight. Anger because you have no idea WHY and you blame yourself for not being able to do the one thing you were designed to do. All women should be able to have a baby. It's what our bodies were designed to do. You grow to hate yourself more than you ever thought possible. This is where the hatred comes in. You hate yourself, you hate other women who can so easily get pregnant, you hate families that have kids to spare; you hate everything.

As you can probably imagine, this takes a huge toll on your life. You slowly start to isolate yourself away from anyone and everything. The way I see it, no one wants to be with someone they can't start a family with. Who is going to love me? I am broken beyond repair. Then you get the rare glimpses, the person who says it's what they want...they will try for a few months but then you start to isolate yourself again. Push yourself away from that person until the relationship cannot stand anymore. Then you're left alone. This cycle just repeats and repeats. I blame myself; it's my fault. I can't give them what they want, they should go find someone who can. Then you start to feel like you don't deserve anything special because you will just destroy their life in the process.

People will say, "Oh give it time." "It will happen." "God has a plan for you." "It just isn't your time." All these words make me even more angry. Don't try to make the situation better. Don't try to soothe me with your weak words. That is not going to work...unless you have been through this battle, you have no idea what I am going through. The best thing to say is nothing. Just nod if I'm venting and take it for what it's worth. No words will help me at this point. In the beginning, I believed these words. They were my comfort in my darkest days. Now, after 32 months of struggling and failing, these words mean nothing to me.

On top of all of this, I did receive a blessing. In February of this year, I found out I was pregnant. My first positive pregnancy test in a little over 2 years. To say I was happy is an understatement. In that instant, I planned a whole entire life. From the first breath to the wedding day I knew what I wanted. 3 months later, waiting to hear the heartbeat, I was told there was none. If you've ever experienced a loss that makes you literally feel your heart breaking I am sorry. When you hear those words, it's like the earth stops moving. You go deaf and blind all at the same time and the only thing you can feel is your world falling apart. There is no way to describe the pain I felt that day, or still do to this day. I put on the biggest smile and I laugh but the person I was before I was told my baby had died is gone. I will never get her back. Looking back, I miss that person. She was truly happy. The kind of happy that radiated in a room, happy in a way that people would gravitate towards me to steal just a little of that light. That's not me anymore. My happiness is forced and anyone who used to want to be around me no longer does. I have dulled to the point of nonexistence. To have your every blessing given to you and then ripped away is not fair. They say life is not fair, but this is unimaginable. The cruelty behind that plan just sucked the life right out of me. When my baby died, so did I. Or the person that I was anyways.

Today, I have an amazing man. He is by my side for all of these moments and he has no idea what he does to me. He slowly brings out the old me. He makes me forget my worries and cares for just a little while and that is enough. That is the greatest thing he can give to me and he doesn't even know it.

But how long will it last? How long until he realizes I'm too broken to repair? Of course I am prepared for the moment he realizes it...I always will be. I'll spend at least a few moments every day bracing myself for the impact. As positive as I try to be, the negativity consumes me. Will he ever see that I go through the motions every day because I have to not because I really want to? Ever hear the pain behind every laugh and the pain behind my eyes? I have began dreaming about our son and he is so sweet and perfect in my mind. He has his eyes and nose and hair and he is beyond beautiful. But that's the pitfall in my life...hope, dreams and wishes.

To help cope with all these feelings, I am trying to make it a priority to do yoga every night. I just set up my mat in the living room and find the place where my heart, mind and soul collide. This time is for me and I am very selfish with it, but I deserve it. Even this little thing makes the days a little brighter. I get to push my body and shut down the internal monologue that consumes my life, even for a little while. Also, nothing beats snuggling on the couch (even when I should be doing something more productive!) :)

I know all of this is a lot to take in at once. But welcome to my life. I didn't know about sharing this because it is so personal. These are the thoughts I keep to myself and only drag out in the depths of the night (probably why I can't sleep to save my life!) But the whole reason for this post is to help. Maybe there is someone out there who feels the same way I do. Or maybe there's someone who can help shed light on how to move past this and start to be more positive.

They say God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. The one positive note is that I know I am strong. I have been dragged through Hell and back repeatedly but I'm still standing. I may be broken and more than once I've hit my knees thinking I would never give up but each morning I wake up knowing I can face whatever is thrown at me because I have been through some terrible things and it hasn't killed me yet.