Priorities

Priorities – everybody has them, but we’re not always effective in prioritizing our lives or sticking to those priorities.  At the beginning of every new year, people around the world set resolutions and intentions for the forthcoming year.  Consequently, in January that gym is absolutely full.  Not to worry fellow gym rats, in the coming months the crowd will thin out.

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The beautiful thing about priorities, when executed right, is that they help keep us on track while living a fulfilling life.  For example, when you make fitness a priority, your more likely to carve at time (even if it is at 5:30 am) for our workout.  This year I’ve  committed to getting stronger.  In order to make that happen, I have to accept that the 5:30 am workouts are here to stay.  With my work schedule and the boys hockey schedule, the early morning workouts are key to meeting my goals.

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I went to spin this morning, which was fabulous.  Of course, it was miserable getting out of bed at 5:00 am, but it was well worth the short term misery.  Since I’ve worked out early morning the last two days, I’ve noticed my mornings at work are much smoother and I’m much happier.  Moreover, I’m more mentally alert.   The only drawback is by early afternoon I desperately need coffee or I’ll fall asleep.

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Post work, I headed over to Burn for aerial yoga with Monica.  Honestly, its a bit more complicated since I have to wear sneakers all the time.  I have to confess that I did take them off for the inversion part of the practice.  Aside from that I had to worry about my sneakers getting caught up on the mat or the hammock.  Like the other classes I’ve taken this week, I had to modify to accommodate my legs.  Confession time: it is super hard to take a decent selfie upside down, but I sure had fun trying!

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Despite the sneaker and tendon issues, aerial yoga was a complete blast.  We had a great crew tonight and shared lots of laughs.  Truly, I love the way the inversions feel in aerial yoga.  Its truly like a weight has been lifted off your back and shoulders.  Each week in class, I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger, which is awesome.  When I first started aerial yoga, I struggled to do a pike.  Now I can do ten pikes without struggling.  There’s nothing better than seeing yourself progress in your practice from week to week.  Its a great feeling!

Tonight’s song performed by Linkin Park is “Castle of Glass.”

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Brilliant Combinations

When it comes to brilliant combinations, you may not think about designer dressed with sneakers.  Since I’m unable to wear heels or any other shoes except for tennis shoes, I’ve had to pair my BCBG dresses and nice jackets with my kicks.  Now I love my Asics, they’re the best running shoes around.  I just don’t love the dress and kicks look.

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It is reminiscent of when I worked in the insurance industry in Minnesota.  In the winter, I would wear boots or somewhat sensible shoes into the office.  Consequently, when I got to the office, I’d put on my stilettos.  Stilettos on the ice are a sure-fire way to break your back, hip or head.  Fortunately, there’s no ice or snow to contend with here.  Unfortunately, that just makes my shoes look like a grand fashion faux pas.  I have to keep reminding myself it is only temporary.

Last night, I went to spin class, which my tendons tolerated pretty well.  Admittedly, I had to modify my ride to accommodate the injury.  For example, instead of going into 2nd or 3rd, I would stay in the saddle.  I was able to ride in 2nd position for a while, but I had to be judicious about it because too much time or resistance in that position resulted in discomfort.

Tonight I went to yoga.  Let me tell you, yoga in running shoes is pretty darn clunky.  It would have been hard to do a flow class in my kicks.   I found that I couldn’t get into my arm balances as my shoes kept getting caught up in the mat.  Oh well, it is a small price to pay for fully recovered tendons (hopefully soon!)  Fortunately, my instructors at Burn have been amazing in helping me modify moves in the classes to protect my legs.  Rather than do a flow class, Monica led an amazing stretch class.  It was exactly what I needed.

Since I’m headed to Chi-Town on Friday, I’m trying to get some great workouts in before I go.   My new year’s resolution was to start attending the 5:30 am classes at Burn.  Thus far, I’m 0-3.  After tomorrow morning, I intend to be 1-3.  Tomorrow morning is a circuit burn class, which is the same class I attend on Saturdays.  My teacher, Amanda, is freaking phenomenal.  Not only does she make sure we’re all maintaining our forms, she’s quick to provide modifications for those of us nursing injuries.  It makes a huge difference!  I’ll let you know tomorrow night if I was able to get up at 5:00!

Lastly, we’re almost ready for Chicago.  The last of our winter wear should arrive yesterday.  I’m so looking forward to spending some quality time with Goalielocks and the Mayor.   Moreover, I looking forward to seeing my bestie Jenny and hanging out with my fabulous hockey parents.  As we held our poses tonight, I was reflecting on how lucky we are to have so many amazing people in our lives.  We’re truly blessed.   The photos I’ve included on the blog are from three of my favorite hockey trips: Ottawa, Peewee Quebec and Minneapolis.

Tonight’s song performed by Shakira at her Paris concert is a “Nothing Else Matters/Despedida” medley.  As an aside, “Nothing Else Matters” is one of my absolute favorite songs.  I loved watching this clip from her concert and witness the universal nature of a great song.  It is awesome hearing the audience sing along to it.

Podiatrist Friday

It was podiatrist Friday for this girl.  I headed there post lunch to finally have my left ankle checked out.  The office was small and quaint.  As expected, I brought the average age of the office down to 75.  Fortunately, the staff was fantastic as was the doctor.  This was a welcome surprise as it is not the norm at doctor’s offices in South Florida.

After filling out an encyclopedia of paperwork customary to a first visit including any and all allergic reactions or surgeries I’ve ever had, I was taken back to see the doc.  The offices are setup quite differently than a normal office and there wasn’t the normal blood pressure, temp and pulse checks.  As I waited, I noticed the wallpaper had cursive letters scattered randomly.  It seemed like an odd choice for a doctor’s office.  It was like an adult version of a wallpaper you be more likely to see in a preschool.

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Comparatively, the visit was quick and painless.In short order, the doctor was in to assess the situation.  I was pretty specific on the intake form that it was probably stress fracture of posterior tibial tendinitis.   She was a bit surprised that I was so specific.  I explained I had been seen at urgent care, plus friends in the business.  P.S.  It turns out I was right!

She examined both legs and was quickly able to determine the issue was the posterior tibial tendon.  On my left leg, the tendon is aggravated at the insertion point into the muscle.  Whereas on the right leg, the pain was in the arch of the foot and lower ankle.  The pain in both legs is due to an overly high arch on my feet, which causes the foot to collapse as I run.  Sounds amazing doesn’t it?

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Of course the doctor asked if I had stopped activity.  She did not like my answer. Oh yeah, the podiatrist totally lectured me.  See I thought not running and not doing Zumba would be a sufficient reduction in activities.  Unfortunately, the doctor did not approve of the spin, yoga, circuit, and barre classes I’ve done since the injury.  Unquestionably, I’m not good at taking my foot off the gas, nor do I want to as I’m in a good groove.   Surprisingly, I agree to modify my activities and forego going barefoot or wearing socks at yoga or barre.  Much like the urgent care doctor, she looked like she didn’t believe me when I said I’d be complaint.

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The good news is custom orthotics, which are the same price as a pair of Jimmy Choo’s (albeit Jimmy Choo’s on clearance) should fix the issue.  The pain in my legs should go away once the arch is properly supported, .  Unfortunately, in the interim I have to hang up my heels, being barefoot and my sandals.  For the time being,  I’m only able to wear my running shoes.  My works clothes are gonna look great with our Asics.

Tonight’s song performed by PVris is “What’s Wrong.”

 

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Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress

I’m sure we can all relate to the pressures of holiday stress.  At this time in the year, the stress level is maxed out as we hurriedly try to finish our holiday preparations.  When you’re a small business owner, you can amp that stress level up 100X as you wait for contractors to act on invoices sent over a month ago.  While they’re are definitely benefits to owning your own business, the added stress is not one of them.

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I’ve written about missing home before, but some times in the course of doing business I really, truly miss the Northland.  It would be unthinkable up north for a reputable contractor to sit on invoices for over a month.  Whereas, here in S. Florida it is completely normal for a contractor to pay invoices on island time.  Admittedly, I’m new to this business and my hubby assures me this is normal, but I want to fucking throat punch this guy right now.

Anyway, rant over because that’s not what this post is about.  Believe it or not this post is about ways you can reduce your holiday stress.  Here are some of my favorite coping mechanisms:

  1. Run –  Runner’s high is real and it is amazing.  The world is a better place after a good long run.  f0c4c054288a64ccf399c4ef4b13cbf2--runners-quotes-funny-motivational-quotes-for-working-out
  2. Meet me at the mat!  There’s nothing like a good Vinyasa class to remove your from life’s craziness and put you in the moment.
  3. Come fly with me….  If you’re not inclined to hop on a mat and namaste, then come fly with me at Aerial yoga.
  4. Bake some holiday treats with your loved ones or friends.  If your family is anything like my boys, make sure they don’t steal any cookies from the cookie sheet.  FL Christmas 2006 487
  5. Spend time with good friends  24883571_10155106304447371_1492472535565284382_o
  6. Enjoy a nice drink (i.e. Ciroc and vodka.)  See 5.  tenor (2).gif
  7. Pay it forward.  There’s nothing more rewarding than helping those that are less fortunate.  IMG_1144
  8. Hang out with your four legged friends.  I love chilling with my puppies!  IMG_1291
  9. Spend time doing the things you love with the people you love.  There’s nothing I love more than watching my boys (even the big one) play hockey.  I was in hog heaven last night as three of the four took to the ice.

    Monday Night Mayhem
    Monday Night Mayhem
  10.   Drink more Dunkin’!  Just think soon it won’t just be coffee I’m talking about it will be beer too!

I hope my list of tricks and tools to alleviate the holiday stress was helpful to you.  Obviously, if you’re not in to running or yoga, you suck.. I’m only kidding.  In all seriousness, if they’re not your poison, make time for your favorite workout.  It will do you a world of good!

Tonight’s song is “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

Dancin' in the Rain

Dancin’ in the Rain

Is there anything more cathartic than dancin’ in the rain? I tend to think not.  In all actuality, now that I live in a place where the rain is warm, I don’t even mind dancing in the real rain.  There’s no mystery to why I teach Zumba several week nights.  First, it helps cover the boys expensive hockey habit.  Secondly, and most importantly, it is my sanity keeper.  Even when I’ve had the worst day at work, I leave my Zumba class refreshed, happy and ready to take on the world.

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Dance has magical properties that lifts burdens from our shoulders.  I see it in my Zumba students and myself.  At the start of class, we all look a little more serious and stressed than we do at the end.  To be clear it isn’t only dance that achieves this, however, dancing in my mind is a lot more fun running.  Whatever gets you moving and gets your endorphins pumping will put you in a good space.

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So if you’re having a rough day and thinking about skipping your workout, don’t do it.  Get up and give yourself the gift of dance, running, weights, barre, hockey or whatever your workout of choice may be.  I know its super tempting to sit and binge watch Stranger Things 2, but put it off for at least a 1/2 and get moving.

“Dancin’ in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I’m happy again!
I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain”

 
Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all the ghosts and goblins in the blogosphere!  I hope you had a delightfully ghoulish day and an equally fantastic night.  I love the fun of Halloween.  At work, there are several people that go all out with amazing costumes and creations.  Unquestionably, I admire their creativity and bravery.  Not only do they dress up, but these guys go into character.  I mean, I can wear a costume, but it is tough to get into character.

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One of my co-workers, our marketing guru, goes hog wild for Halloween. Every year he pulls off a wildly different and authentic costume.  Last year, he was John Lennon.  This year, he was the Godfather.  As is the case every year, he absolutely nailed it!  His officer was awesomely decorate with all the accouterments one would expect from the Don on the day of his daughter’s wedding.  Twinkies, poker chips, beverages, music, playing cards and framed music.  Everything about the execution, pun intended, of his character and his office was absolutely pitch perfect.  Undoubtedly, he has inspired me and my leadership team to up our game next Halloween.

At Zumba, Halloween is always a fun week as I breakout Michael Jackon’s Thriller.  The girls and I love dancing to a little MJ.  It’s a nice change of pace from the usual Zumba music.  Not to mention, its a bit nostalgic.  I think we all remember when the Thriller video debuted.  It was incredible.  There’s nothing like it on MTV today, which is a shame.

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Meanwhile on the home front, Jake’s spending his Halloween at work.  Goalielocks went to a friend’s house for a party and trick or treating.  Lastly, the Mayor reluctantly went trick or treating.  I couldn’t believe he didn’t want to go!  I remember growing up we’d go as far as we could to get as much candy as possible.  It wasn’t always easy because the weather in Minnesota was bitterly cold and snowy.  Nevertheless, we’d make my mom take us miles and miles.  Halloween was all about getting the biggest candy hull possible.  Apparently, that isn’t the case with today’s kids.  If I were a kid now, I’d go to every house in my neighborhood not just our loop.

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Lastly, as the trick or treaters wind down, we’ll start binge watching the second season of Stranger Things.  Can I tell you how excited I am to be current on the “hot show?”  I mean, we just finished “Big Love” like a year ago and that’s been off the air for over six years.  Amazingly, the entire family is into this show.  The hubby and I love it because it reminds us of the movies of our youth.  It’s like the awesomeness of ET, Goonies, Stand By Me all in one.  Not to mention the soundtrack is amazing.  Moreover, the girl that plays Eleven is simply incredible.  It is some of the best acting you’ll see bar none.  She’s amazing!  I won’t post spoilers here because that will ruin the fun for others.  Meanwhile, I’m happy to be starting season 2 tonight.

Was there ever as doubt as to tonight’s music video?  I thought not… Enjoy MJ’s epic Thriller

Thirsty Thursday

Thirsty Thursday

Here’s to you thirsty Thursday!  We spent our thirsty Thursday at the rink for Goalielock’s 8:30 pm game that started at 9:00 pm.  Thankfully, the rink has a liquor license and plenty of beer and wine.  I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right its borderline sacrilegious to drink beer or wine on national vodka day.  I, however, have an alibi.  Since I had to drive myself to the rink post-Zumba, I couldn’t be drinking vodka all game and driving.  There will be plenty of time for vodka during the tournament this weekend.

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I have to say that a late game is far better, in my estimation, than the 6:00 am games of mites, squirts and apparently peewee. First, nobody looks at you with the stink eye when you drink at an 8:00 pm game.  This is not the case for an early morning game.  Although if we’re honest with ourselves, is it ever too early for mimosas? I don’t think so.  Plus a mimosa is a fashionable way to accessorize any hockey mom outfit.

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There’s an upshot to switching up my drink of choice tonight and that’s the fact that beer is a great re-hydration beverage.  Amazingly, beer has the optimal mix of carbohydrates and electrolytes that re-hydrate the body more effectively than water.  However, there’s a caveat here and its a big one.   The benefits, however, are erased when you drink more than two.

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Ciroc makes a new french vanilla vodka that I’m dying to try in my coffee with a little Bailey’s Irish cream.  It may be the perfect compliment to my morning coffee.  Plus it takes the edge off of U-14AA hockey, which is a definite plus.  Tonight one of our kids got rocked badly at the end of the second period.  I love my hockey fast and fierce, but there’s no need for head contact or knee on knee hits.   Fortunately, our player is going to be okay.   He did, however,  make us pretty nervous for several minutes.   I’m pretty sure there will some Doug Glatt style hockey next time we play that team.

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Struggle Is Real

The Struggle is Real

The struggle is real.  By the time we get to Thursday.  I’m fresh out energy, both mentally and physically.  Life as a hockey parent can be freaking exhausting.  Through the week, we run from the morning drop off at the bus stop, to work (pit stop at Dunkin), get the kids, head to the rink, teach Zumba, conquer homework, try to get in a workout and coerce the kids to shower before bed.  Rinse repeat day in and day out.

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By the time we get to Friday, sleep deprivation is hitting its peak and our energy is hitting its low.  The exhaustion is all encompassing, yet we press on.  We derive our inspiration from our kids, while our energy comes courtesy of perpetual coffee.  We should likely have stock in Dunkin’ and Starbucks.  Any hockey mom that’s been around for more than a season knows exactly where to find her favorite coffee near every rink.

Notice how I say we because I’m fairly certain that I’m not alone in my craziness.  It’s not just me… Seriously….  Ask any hockey mom or day and they’ll tell you. As I left work today, I let out a smile as I realized this weekend’s games were home!  Winner, winner chicken dinner!  The realization that  I don’t have to drive to Tampa this weekend was almost transcendent.  Of course at this time of day on a  Thursday, I’m looking for any win.

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I headed home feeling a bit uneasy about life and my path.  Its easy to feel that way when exhaustion fits in.  Thank god for my beautiful, energetic and incredible Zumba girls.  These ladies rock my world (not that way you pervert) and always bring a smile to my face.  There’s nothing like a great workout to clear your head and remind you how great life truly is.  Thank you endorphins!

 

Closing out my Thursday with a rocking Zumba class is the best way to launch myself into productive and happy Friday.  Not every moment in our life is picture perfect.   Moreover, there will be times in our lives where our progress doesn’t align with where we envisioned ourselves.  That’s okay.  So maybe you’re not where you want to be professionally or personally, who cares.  Ultimately the control over where you land is with you and only you.

When Life Happens

As we get older, leave college, get a job, get married, etc, we quickly settle into our routine.  When life happens it is easy to lose our creativity.   We become so busy that the creative outlets of our your get pushed aside.   Here’s the problem with all of that.  Our creative outlets be it writing, photography, painting or singing not only relieve stress, but they stoke the creative fire of our minds.  Even creative outlets, like painting for me, that are sources of painful reminders of art class failures can stoke that creative fire while healing the soul.

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When we let our creative self go dormant, our thinking becomes constrained.  We get stuck in the rut of life and the rat race.  The issues is you don’t know what has been lost until it has been rediscovered.  As a matter of dealing with grief, I started this blog and began writing again.  The consequence is the way I think and approach the world is changing.  It is broadening with my creative outlets and I’m finding myself thinking more creatively and productively about the challenges I face at work or home.

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Note about the pictures:  I picked the pictures of Jake for this post because of the creative composition of both poses.  I took the the featured image was on Mt. Ulricken in Bergen during this trip.  Jake’s best friend took the photo on the stairs in Venice.  The painting was my second attempt at paint and sip with Debbie and family.  I redid the Eifle Tower about 80 times, but it still looks like a rocket ship.  I took the last photo while on the boat in Flam.

Finding Balance

We all have an Achilles heel that can trip us up as we pursue our fitness and health goals.  Sometimes, it is only a minor slip up that causes our healthy habits to start to taper off.  If you’re like me, a cheat meal can easily converts into a cheat week.

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So how do we stay the course without driving ourselves nutty?

  • Allow yourself latitude to miss a workout or eat a treat. It’s okay to not be perfect.
  • Don’t cut out whole food groups completely. Ditching carbs is certainly effective, but not practical long term.
  • Don’t give up everything you like. I can give up almost everything, but don’t make me give up or change my coffee!
  • Have a battle buddy.  Together you can keep each other on track and disciplined.
  • Sign up for a race or event, so you have a milestone to work towards.
  • Practice yoga, it will reduce stress (and stress hormones) and help you avoid injury by keeping you flexible.

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These are just a few tips you can use to taper off your unhealthy habits and convert them into healthy habits and on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

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