flex, force, and zip!

Terrific Tuesday! That is my mindset heading into the rest of this week. Coming off of an incredible weekend with cherished old friends, and into week one of the new gig. For my old high school friend Luke’s birthday, a large group of us went wine tasting in Livermore – which by the way, I highly recommend! Great wineries, smaller than Napa (also cheaper), and all around beautiful. It was so great to see so many people I hadn’t talked to in months or even years! We had so much fun that we kept the day going…well into the night. A few fun snaps below!

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My best friend since age 3, Nicole, and our friend (also fellow running fanatic) Madison

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the birthday boy and his lovely ladies

So like I mentioned, yesterday was my first day at Fitbit. Upon arrival, us new hires were issued a Fitbit Flex, Zip tracker, and a Force is on it’s way – those are just 3 of like, 10 products I received as part of my “welcome to most awesome company ever” kit. Along with that was a super cute backpack, a water bottle, shirt, and wireless scale.

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While I am obviously excited about the fun stuff (and to start making it my daily goal to win the daily steps leader board with my new Fitbit, of course), the best part was meeting my team, hearing about the incredible culture and growth of the company, and the fun activities; weekly Friday happy hours, in-house fitness classes, and running clubs, oh my! It’s also exciting to understand more about the impact I get to make there. One of the best things for me, career-wise, is that finding and seeking opportunities to help improve, grow, own, and contribute. On the recruiting team, there is so much that I am ready to get ramped up on, and even more that I can’t wait to bring to the table!

Today, we have a team off-site to Bar Bocce in Sausalito via Ferries, where I get to spend time in A FUN setting with this awesome group of folks…talk about picking a great week to start! It’s also Halloween this week…any fun plans? Creative costumes? I am going to be a frog. My friend Allie and I ordered those animal footy pajamas from webundies.com – she is a penguin. Cute, comfortable, and just plain fun. If only I could find Lucy a princess costume!

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Happy Tuesday to everyone! Feeling excited and blessed today…oh, and tired. I just did an amazing workout before my class this morning at BodyFi – check it out, it’s in the most recent post in the W.O.W section!

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on the evolution train

So I am on day 1 (officially) of the Evolution Fresh juice cleanse. Thanks to the inspiration of my friend Jess, and feeling motivated after a weekend of…extreme unhealthiness…I decided, over gchat, in about 30 seconds that I was going to give it a go. This is typically how I make most of my decisions, by the way. On the fly. Good? Not always. Fun? You bet.

As much as I am hard-core craving anything and everything that isn’t juice, tea, fruits, or vegetables, I’m actually feeling pretty great. I started the day with a workout at BodyFi before my class began (this is a tried and true way to “test” my classes, as well – but it definitely means really early mornings). First juice was the Essential Vegetables.

IMG_2033(like my purple chipped nailpolish?)

This juice was pretty good – the beets gave it a nice flavor, only 140 calories in the bottle, 28 grams of sugar…not great, but not awful. 30 grams of carbs, a ton of Vitamin A and Potassium as well. About 2 hours later I had juice #2, Sweet Greens, which was so awful that I had to chug it and throw it out immediately. So sorry, no photo. For lunch, I did round 2 of Essential Greens, plus I decided to incorporate a few real food additions, like fruits and veggies, also the snack bars that Evolution makes that are REALLY good. They sell them at Starbucks, too. Sweet! So I had one of those and some carrots I brought from home.

IMG_2034This afternoon I did the Cucumber Pineapple Ginger, which was SO delicious, but had a ton of sugar and a higher calorie content. Boo. But, I figured, I’ve worked out today and will be teaching class later/going on a walk, so I can handle it (I know, you aren’t supposed to workout on a cleanse…that’s a rule I am just going to have to break).

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Other than salivating as my coworkers pass around Haribo gummy bears, my head feels clear, I feel lighter on my feet, my energy levels are a bit down but overall not terrible. I think I can do this for another day! Also, I am wearing the cutest polka dot shoes that are making me super happy today.

IMG_2035And, my mom posted the sweetest little Instagram for Throwback Thursday. My mom is so with it and trendy, it cracks me up! Her hashtags are better than mine sometimes.

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I mean come on, with the bangs. Also, is one side of my hair curly while the other side is crimpy? This is pure gold.

…and the FINAL piece of randomness that I have for this Thursday is that I can officially announce my EXCITEMENT in that I’ve landed an amazing gig, and will be joining the recruiting team at Fitbit next week! I am so excited and honored to be joining a super innovative and successful company IN the fitness industry. Total win!

Wish me luck as I roll into day 2 of this cleanse business. If you are interested in trying this, and live in San Francisco, you can order online, or pick up very handy 6-packs (I WISH it was that kind of 6-pack) at their store on Fillmore & Sacramento. It is a great product, and the store has awesome salads, breakfast foods, etc. as well. Still, I’m already excited to break the cycle at my going away happy hour with SoFi (anyone have student loans? Look them up! Amazing company that is disrupting the student loan industry).

Happy Thursday everyone!

doing as the Romans…don’t do

As much as I love my little San Francisco life and being close to so many family and friends, every time I see an article about travel or photos on Facebook from globe hopping friends, I actually get kind of mad at myself for not making travel a priority. When I left living in Italy for good, I have since really looked forward to my return where I can simply “enjoy” the country and relax, while not having to work there. Basically, I just want to be a tourist. Although after living in a foreign country, or for someone who is an avid and aware traveler, that word means something a bit different, I think. To me, I see it as fully engaging your entire being into the country you are visiting; to adapt their eating habits, their cultural ways, and to appreciate the people and try out the different-than-you lifestyles they lead. Not that any of this is profound, it’s just my personal view of how folks should travel.

So I read an article by the Huffington Post this morning entitled “10 Essential Food Rules for the Americans in Italy.” I laughed at every one of the 10 pieces of advice and how accurate they were, nostalgically remembering how (yes, pretentiously) annoyed I would get when I would witness or observe an American breaking a rule. When I lived there, I made it a point to “do as the Romans do” and really, truly loved the lifestyle, but my expectation on visitors, guests I took on trips, etc. was that they immediately needed to adapt the same way I did. I felt protective over my new home and wanted everyone to respect the people and the traditions the way they deserved. Well as we all know too well in life, having expectations always leads to disappointment.

Then, I thought about my own judgements….sure, I drank cappuccini (plural for cappuccino), negroni for aperitivi, and only wine with dinner, took the proper passegiata and siesta, NEVER asked for anything ‘to-go’, and got used to the whole ‘no ice’ thing. However, one thing I refused to give up from my “American” lifestyle…was running. So maybe in my own way, I am the same as every other American traveler who just wants a sense of normalcy in a foreign land.

I’m still baffled at the fact that I swear Italians just don’t run. Maybe they do, some of them have to because I KNOW there are marathons in Italy, but even in our tiny little Tuscan town, us Backroads leaders were the only crazies that you ever saw out on the Arno trail or running through the Centro (center of town). Over time I got used to the “what is this weird American doing” stares.

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especially when I did tricep dips or jumps on a park bench. They were the BEST.

Living in Rome during college, I experienced this to an even greater magnitude. In small towns, it is more family oriented and a slower pace of life…with less people. In Rome, running along the Tiber River, or Via Vittorio Emanuele jam packed with cars and vespas, I basically slapped a sticker on my forehead that said “Yes I am American. I’m exercising outdoors. Make fun of me.” Even gyms in Rome were few and far between, and really grungy. Everyone just…walks. Everywhere (which I also adored). My all-time favorite embarrassing moment was when I returned to our apartment complex from a jog, and was doing some sit-ups and pushups in the courtyard. A few floors up, there was an elderly, tiny Italian woman (we used to be scared of these ‘angry nonas’ – trust me, the nonas of Italy RUN that country)

3 oldies of san gimi dLThey look so sweet and harmless…THEY’RE NOT.

The angry nona shouted “questa non ‘e una palestra!” (or “this is not a gym!”). With my tail between my legs I scurried out, because hell, she was probably a part of some mafia and the last thing I needed to do was call my parents because I got kicked out of Italy…oh wait, that happened later. Another story for another time. 🙂

I realized at that moment that I was probably breaking some “Italian cultural etiquette” by trying to be a fitness nut in a big, sophisticated city like Rome…but I just didn’t want to stop. It was that American part of me I wanted to hold on to, because it made me feel good and it was a fantastic way to see the city. I still say that the best way to explore a city is to run through it, and make a point of doing this everywhere I go! One of my goals in life is to run a destination marathon in a new travel location. Talk about a cultural crash course with a side of serious accomplishment.

Back to my point. After realizing that I had little “isms” I was not comfortable giving up when I went abroad, I started to soften my judgements on my fellow American counterparts. When one travels to Italy, all they ever want is to be engulfed in the breathtaking scenery, drink good wine, listen to the beautiful language, laugh while imitating things like talking with your hands, eat fantastic food, see ancient and historical landmarks, etc. Their goal was not to focus on “living exactly like an Italian” and that is completely ok. I found that as a cultural buffer and teacher to my guests in Italy, if they were, at any point, intrigued or tried something new, and enjoyed themselves thoroughly, it was a successful trip. My favorite part of leading was to see people vibrantly react with pleasure and awe upon things like a new discovery, learning a new word, a sip of Brunello, or coming down a hill on their bike to an unbelievable valley of vineyards. Why would I want to taint their trip, or mine, with wishing and hoping they’d just be “more Italian”? So ok, sure Mr. Smith, have that diet coke in the morning (even though that is so un-Italian and kind of weird). If it makes you happy, and it’s going to help get you up that gorgeous Tuscan hill climb later where you’ll smile and bask in and appreciate the beauty of the landscape? I think that’s a pretty good compromise. 🙂

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Breathtaking view from Fattoria Palazzo Vecchio in the Valdichiana – the Southern Tuscan Valley named after the Chianine cattle

Well, it’s official. I am adding “book trip back to Italy” on my list of things to do. ASAP. And you know what I’ll probably do once or twice when I’m there? You guessed it. I’ll run.

my kinda party

Well, it’s finally, FINALLY starting to feel like fall! Although we don’t necessarily see changing leaves, there are a few reasons I just love this time of year…

Football gamedays and tailgating every weekend and seeing those friends you ONLY see during football season. Boots finally get to come back! G-chatting endlessly with your girlfriends about holiday party dress options. Clear skies (I am sure every San Franciscan looks forward to this as much as I do after our Mark Twain summers). The gingerbread latte release from Starbucks is RIGHT around the corner. Pumpkin anything, Ribollita, and other amazing fall dishes to make!

and finally…STAGECOACH tickets go on sale.

As if my morning wasn’t crazy enough, I strategically planned it out so that I could be on my computer approximately 10 minutes before tickets officially went on sale. Teaching this morning’s class, I had an extra bout of energy just thinking about it! We did a boot camp style circuit that involved 5 burpees in between rounds of exercises. At the end of the 30 minute class, everyone had done 75 burpees all in all! It was a killer morning.

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Quite the selection!

Fast forward to 9:50am…there I was trolling Facebook, Twitter, re-reading emails, etc. My calendar reminder was set…now all I could do was wait.

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10:00am, go time! As much as I could have sworn I clicked the “buy passes” button a split second after the countdown ended, I of course was taken to a “stand-by” page. Oh Stagecoach, you really know how to tease me. Please please please let me get in, I have to see Jason live for the 6th time, I REALLY do. After a few minutes of agony, I was in, and my heart started racing with nervous energy hoping I wouldn’t screw up the registration process. I ended up successfully purchasing a ticket for myself and a friend…excitement, onset!

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See this? It’s why every country fan in America is impatiently counting down ’till April 25th.

Stagecoach, which is a 3-day Country Music Festival in the spring (same location as Coachella – but way, way less hipsters and many, many more cowboy hats) is legitimately one of the greatest 3 days I have ever experienced. As not only a country music fanatic, but also a college party girl at heart, this is pretty much heaven (in fact, my Stagecoach friends and I call it Heaven). You forget about life down there in that extremely hot desert, let loose, play drinking games with your crew of 20 and tons of random strangers from 9am onward, only to get gussied up in the evening to walk a mile into the dusty field where the shows are. Lose-your-voice singing your heart out, checking out the drugstore cowboys for as far as the eyes can see, hanging at the back bar with your friends, dance parties on that stumbly saunter back to your RV (or wherever the party is)…it’s just so fantastically fun. You wake up after the first night of the concert with a giddy laugh because guess what? You get to do that for TWO MORE DAYS.

I’ve created a very special bond with my “Stagecoach crew.” There is something about concert festivals in general, I think, that really brings people together. Everyone is in a good mood (is there a reason not to be?), living a little wild, and forgetting their troubles together. Not to mention countless fun & sentimental country songs, Coors light on a hot day, lawn games, kiddie pool parties, and people in bathing suits all day. It’s something I look forward to EVERY year, and couldn’t be more excited about what the 2014 3-day love fest will bring with the Stagecoach fam!

sandy soreness

While waking up and waiting for my 7:00am TRX class folks to get here, I just had to share this awesome workout. Last night, my very good friend Eric and I did a circuit down on Baker Beach, near the Sand Ladder. For those of you that don’t know about the Sand Ladders…these are not for the faint of heart. One set will get your heart rate way up! Although our set didn’t involve any stairs, I knew it would be a toughy. Eric plays rugby for the Olympic Club, and he and his friends do crazy workouts like this a lot. I was lucky enough to get to experience it myself! The incredible backdrop we had was well worth the physical kick in the rear…I didn’t have my camera (it would have gotten way too sandy), but I had to share what we got to work out to…

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(can you see how hard these look?)

OK, on to the set! My warm up was just jogging down the sand ladders to the beach, and a few dynamic stretches

Round 1:

1 Minute: Core (forearm – to hand – to forearm, 20 each side)

2 Minutes: one person sprints a sand hill; one person does 3 sets of jumps up a sand hill

1 Minute: Core (plank)

2 Minutes: Alternate exercises

Round 2: 

1 Minute: Core (in plank, opposite arm-leg step outs, switch, repeat)

2 Minutes: one person does 10 KB swings (we used a 30 lb), run to beach, 10 burpees, run back; one person does army crawl up a sand hill (this is where i got REALLY sandy)

1 Minute: Core (side plank swing-thru, 20 each side x2)

2 Minutes: Alternate exercises

Round 3:

1 Minute: Core (lie on back, leg/arm raises, 10 each side x2)

2 Minutes: one person does reverse squats, 8 each side, up sand hill x2; one person does back peddling up a sand hill

1 Minute: Core (lie on back, criss-cross extended legs)

2 Minutes: Alternate exercises

Round 4:

1 Minute: Core (hip bridges, 2 on each side)

2 Minutes: one person does sand hill sprints, one person does bear crawl up a sand hill

(no core the last round)

2 Minutes: Alternate exercises

PHEW. My quads were burning with onset soreness about an hour or so afterward. Eric, like a crazy person, jumped in the water afterward, while I played with Lucy and admired a view that seriously looked JUST like:

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This is from our exact vantage point, at the end of the set. We then had to climb the lovely sand ladders back up to the car, but what a great set for the books!

Lastly, a huge shout out to my beautiful, amazing mom, Kelley… HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you!

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(how cute is she?)

an ode to the crazy

A few days ago, I read a blog post titled How Social Media Skewed My Thoughts of Running Fast. Hollie, a fellow fitness blogger, writes about how social media can attribute to the manifestation of many of our fears around accomplishment, and we ultimately end up putting ourselves down by “dumbing” ourselves down. This post really got me thinking…not only about the competitive (yet extremely supportive) nature of the endurance sport community, but more so about how we are often called “crazy” by so many non-runners. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stave off comments and questions that I immediately go into defense mode about. Things like “you’re running WHAT?” or “really, it’s Christmas morning…you’re going for a jog?!”. Social media definitely does curve our habits when it comes to race reporting…I’ve also found that for me, I have often felt the need to censor my activities and accomplishments from certain family members, friends, and people that just don’t find that same satisfaction from what I do.

Lately (meaning the past few years), I’ve tried to make an effort to dig deep into why I go into defense mode, and how I can just accept why I love doing certain things. Am I really nuts? What inside me is driving this desire to run? What in the world am I thinking when I’m hungover, or even slightly injured, to want to go break a sweat? I think that when it comes down to it, the way I feel about myself and about life POST run are really the driving forces behind those decisions. I use running as a way to feel better, both physically and mentally, and have worked hard to really channel that feeling in hard times. There have actually been a few instances that I’ve been so upset or shocked by something that it physically numbs my entire body, where I couldn’t even imagine throwing on shoes to go for a run. It was as if I needed to deal with the pain RIGHT then and there before I could go reward myself (I know, I know…running is a reward?!).  However, in times like this, I’ve realized that forcing myself out the door, throwing my music on extra loud, and mentally giving myself 5 minutes to see how I feel does absolute wonders. I always, always end up staying on the route, and come back feeling better. Running through my pain has since become the best medicine, therapy, and clarity provoking moments of my life. The endorphin rush, the sense of accomplishment, and the confidence all seem to have a very positive effect on my attitude as well.

Of course, body image has a lot to do with it too. When I run, or bike, or do stairs, or TRX, I feel physically amazing. The harder or the longer I go, the more awesome I feel. Seriously, runner’s high DOES exist. This also means I can eat and drink wine with less reserve. I mean, who doesn’t run for wine and chocolate?! Even the See Jane Run 1/ Marathon has coined that phrase! With exercise comes muscle, and while I have my water polo days to thank for my shoulders, I am also learning to actually appreciate my quads and calves. Though they might be larger than other girls, I also get to bask in how strong I am, or how I often times can beat men up a hill on a bike or up a set of stairs. It’s pretty empowering…I actually had a client tell me this morning that I needed to “dumb it down” in front of guys sometimes if I ever want to keep a guy around. I say screw that, let me find someone who can keep up. 🙂 Anyways, I have learned over time to try and take pride in my muscles and my ability to compete in endurance sports. I hope that every female athlete that struggles with the fact that they have ass-kicking muscles can somehow, some way, be able to say the same. Because let’s be honest, it’s pretty awesome.

Over time I know that exercise has become somewhat of an addiction (which is not abnormal, hence the reason I am not too ashamed to say it), because when I go a few days without sweating, I feel it everywhere – I become more paranoid, self-conscious about my body, stress levels rise, and my muscles actually get…sore. The second I am back on the wagon, it’s like a huge weight has been lifted and I feel like myself again.

So, the answer to my question – what do I do when I feel myself going into defense mode? I know the answer, but I am working on the execution. Owning my decisions and my reasoning, showing confidence in and taking pride in what I do, and essentially NOT caring what other people think…those are all elements of the “answer.” I haven’t found so much that I am ashamed of reporting my times, rather my activity log. I don’t have a ton of close friends who are as into this stuff as me, so our basis of comparison is a little off. The exciting part is not only starting to “own it”, but to vulnerably put my lifestyle out into the world. Blasting out the fact that I am a bonified fitness nut in this post is one way. There’s a thrill in the act, and it’s one step closer to full acceptance. So for anyone that struggles with an insecurity related to success and choice…I encourage you to OWN what you do…yes, it’s great that mom and dad like to tell their friends about all of your accomplishments, but I think it’s time we all own up and be proud of ourselves.

tough love is good for you

Your calves are so stiff you almost feel like you’ve got peg legs. You feel an awkward limp coming on after every run because that area on the outside of your quad – or your knee – is killing you (that’s called the IT band – Iliotibial band, for you anatomy freaks). Or, maybe you’ve got some serious trap tightness from that killer shoulder circuit…any of these sound familiar?

We all get “trigger point” tightness, from either overusing a muscle or wear and tear over time. Runners like me tend to get these knots in places like their calves (pretty sure I’ve got chronic calf issues), hamstrings, quads, and the IT band. SO. I’m here to convince all of you that the pain and stiffness you experience, well, it CAN GET BETTER. That the way to get un-kinky is just one funny looking movement away. How? The amazing, fantastic, magical foam roller…

For those that aren’t familiar, a foam roller is about the size of a large PVC pipe and can be one foot to three feet long. You literally “roll” your muscles back and forth across the muscle, putting all of your weight into the directed area. Need a visual? Think of a rolling pin ironing out knots in dough, and those knots are the same as the crap built up in your muscles…kinda gross. Also kinda cool.

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The idea is that these pesky muscle knots are best relieved through direct, intentional pressure from your body weight (note that tears, breaks, and fractured joints/muscles/bones should NOT be a reason to use a foam roller). This is not exactly a pleasant experience, nor does it look graceful, but the tingly satisfaction you feel after a few back-and-forth rolls is just ohhhh soooo good. So just grit your teeth and bear it.

BENEFITS:

– A great addition to your warm up AND warm down regimen

-Increased muscle recovery

-Breaks down scar tissue

-Prevents Soreness

-Increases circulation

-Feels really, really, really painful…and then really, really, really good.

So how exactly do you use the thing? Take your calves for example:

1. Put the roller under a calf.

2. Rest your other foot on the floor, keeping your weight bearing on the calf atop the foam roller.

3. Roll from the ankle to below the knee. Rotate the leg in, then out, getting the outsides of your shin, your achilles, and your soleus. Stack ankles to add pressure.

You can do the same thing with your hamstrings, your quads (you’ll be facing downward on top of the foller), and your back.

MORE SAMPLE EXERCISES (in pretty pictures):

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I recommend about 45 seconds or so on each tight spot, rest, then go once or twice more over. The best places to purchase these lovely DE-kinkefiers are sporting good stores like my personal heaven, Sports Basement, gyms (like Crunch), or online at Amazon of course. My favorite is The Grid.

Happy rolling!

bears lose, beers win, and we hike for cancer!

2 days of weekend goodness that I’m just aching to report on! I’ll let the photos do most of the talking today.

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Saturday game day @ Memorial.

HIGH: Family time – hanging with ALL the fam – mom, dad, grandpa, and uncles. The love and admiration I have for every one of these people only amplifies with every encounter…#blessed.

LOW: The bears lost 44-22, and due to the loss of a bet, I now have to do 20 Chuggers in a matter of 2-3 days. For those of you who know what those are, please feel sorry for me.

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Saturday beers @ Biergarten with old friends, followed by a 30th birthday party for another old friend. Large beers + many greyhounds + great people = a nice, caloric heavy way to end a tough Bears loss (thank goodness for that 9 mile run in the morning…Lucy’s first off-leash run! This is a big win.)

HIGH: A reminder how lucky I am to have such a wide-ranging and  fantastic group of people in my life

LOW: Sunday morning…the drinks – 1, Lindsey – 0. However, I am admittedly insane in that the way I like to rid of hangovers is by sweating it out…so at least I had that on the horizon because…

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Sunday morning, my mom, Aunt Terry, friends Kathie & Hillary, and I trekked out to Mt. Tam to participate in the Breast Cancer Foundation Peak Hike

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Sporting pink, of course…

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We were fed Luna product after Luna product (I was not complaining)…

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We hiked 7.5 miles in and around Mt. Tam with hundreds of other supporters. In honor of many immediate family members and close friends, all of us had a reason to partake in this wonderful event (and good job on the matching uni’s, mom!)…

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…and we got to hike amongst views like this!

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…and properly reward ourselves with Bloody Marys.

HIGH: Time with the fam, friends, exercising my hangover away, and the post-hike burger at Balboa Cafe.

LOW: Hiking DOWNhill. Cranky Lindsey comes into full effect as soon as descending begins. With a semi-torn TFL it was not a pleasant addition to the day…

I feel compelled to highlight this particular weekend, as it left me with a few things to think about and be grateful for – something I encourage everyone to do daily. Sometimes there is nothing like a heart to heart with your mom, seeing your aging grandfather crack a joke while on an outing with “his boys”, or a nice compliment and/or hug from someone unexpected to force you to take a step back and appreciate what you’ve got. My Monday blues-breaking inspiration? To really remember that we ALL have crappy days, tough moments, unmotivated thoughts, and things that just don’t go our way. It’s about reprogramming our brains to see the good in ourselves, in others, and in every situation we end up in throughout this crazy, crazy ride we’re on. That…and don’t drink too many greyhounds. 😉

“get comfortable being uncomfortable”

 – erica pantle, varsity swimming head coach, LHS

So, I’ve been through a job interview or two…or three, or four, or like fifty-six. My generation, especially in big tech-savvy cities like San Francisco, is very well known for bouncing from job to job, typically never staying longer than a year or two at the same company. It’s often frowned upon, particularly by my parents and their friends. Well, hey! That’s me too! Except here’s the thing, I don’t frown upon it. I actually really value and embrace the crazy lows and highs I’ve had in the business world – some incredibly enjoyable, and others, well…they’ve taught me a lot. A LOT. But that’s besides the point. The point is, I feel like I’m starting to master the art of interviewing & networking, leading to usually landing jobs in record time. It’s rather fun, I must say. Also on the plus side, I have finally, FINALLY, moved past that nervous pit sweat that you get during those nerve-wracking interviews. Word to other sweaty interviewers out there – always wear a top that is black. I’ve had to do the awkward arm-stuck-to-your-body-so-you-don’t-see-this-awfulness goodbye handshake on more than one occasion. It’s mortifying.

Anyway,  some of the best advice I have ever received, in the professional sense, was from a very good friend/mentor/personal training client (shoutout to the amazing Karen!). She said “Lindsey, never, ever stop talking to people. I want you to have a ton of things going on or in motion ALL the time.” Well Karen, be proud. At this point I have so many balls in the air I could be a world class circus juggler. So thanks. 🙂 Even if you have a job, one you might love, never stop networking. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I have opened up for myself just by keeping in touch with people consistently, making an effort to be outgoing and talkative, saying YES to things, and always thinking about the next step.

Her advice has also helped me in my goal to conquer being fearless. In the three years I have been back in SF after leaving Backroads – which deserves an entire blog of it’s own – I have worked at a few different start-ups and thus interviewed with countless people, and my personal elevator pitch has somehow evolved into “I am fearless.” And people seem to like that! I think fearlessness stems from improving self-confidence, getting over a fear of rejection, and building emotional “forza”. It’s something that takes practice, and it takes being conscious of what is actually going on inside your body when you experience times of anxiety. Being fully aware and acknowledging your reactions is a very enlightening practice. What I’ve come to learn is that the reality we make is only in our head. For example, when thinking about reaching out to gyms to get my teaching career started, I could have very easily told myself “no, why would they hire a recently certified instructor?”. It’s that self-confidence thing. When you approach opportunities with a strong head and are confident in your abilities, doors fly open. FLY.

blogmotivation

One of the best books I have ever read, and still come back to sometimes, is called ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer (see it here). It teaches about these things and so much more. Aside from using it in my professional growth, I’ve been able to apply it to every single aspect of my life. Choosing to push the limits, stand up for your true self, and constantly improve who you are takes guts, it really does. It’s just so easy  to remain status-quot and go about your day to day, to give in to the no-stress, fun way out…and hey, we all have days we are feeling either lazy or unmotivated or frustrated. But remember that YOU chose your life. Nobody else can make things happen for you…and if you want my advice, well, it’s going to be recycled but here goes – do one thing EVERY day that gets you just a little bit outside of your comfort zone. Or, as my high school swim coach used to say, “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. Get out of your own head and remember that your reality is what YOU make of it, and not what other people do TO you. So choose to create happiness, choose to live healthily…choose to run for just 20 minutes instead of sitting on your computer!…and finally, choose to live life fearlessly, one small step at a time. I promise you won’t regret it!

I Love Lucy

Welcome, folks! Ah, the dreaded first blog post. What do I write about? Should I start with a sample boot camp workout, the one I threw together for my clients this morning? Or maybe a personal story pertaining to some life lesson I acquired way back when…OR, a recipe that is quick and easy and totally paleo. Nope. All too overwhelming. So, I’ll write about my current favorite thing in the whole wide world – my dog, Lucy.

Actually, this is great. One of the very reasons I got Lucy is to have a permanent running buddy, to motivate me to keep pounding the pavement when I’m feeling in a funk. “Motivation” – one of my blog goals! Score. Well, she’s that and more. The gal is simply fantastic on a leash; can run an 8-mile trail run and still want to play. It’s incredible. Someone is actually showing me up on the energy scale…I never thought that would happen to me, ever! So, little did I know that I had picked out THE PERFECT dog when I got her…

lucy1

(she ran the Muscle Milk Woodsy 8-Miler with me…came first in dog!)

lucy2

(seriously…the cutest)

In my (ongoing) quest to diversify my life a few months ago, I decided to start volunteering at the SF SPCA in hopes it would lead me to a new little mut to take home. I saw Lucy on day 1, and had her at home about a week later. It was magical. Although I about near had a heart attack before I went and picked her up, so far it’s been an absolute joy and I’m completely in love. My brilliant mother got me a leash that clips around your waist so you can run hands free, and she loves it! I love it too, except when she decides to jolt after birds and lizards, causing me to trip forward/sideways on occasion. We’re working on that. 🙂

So, running with a dog. Luckily I live in the Presidio, so trail runs are everywhere! The best route we’ve found is the Bay Area Mountain Trail, and it’s proven time and time again to be the best medicine for stress relief and tough times. It’s also perfect for getting my nature fix in this chaotic urban jungle. Here’s my route starting from the Marina:

BA Ridge Trail

It’s the perfect ~5 mile trek that takes you in through the Lombard Gate, up and back past the softball fields/tennis courts, through eucalyptus forests, spitting you out oceanside for super money shots of Baker Beach & the GGB, past the “secret” Moss Beach (a destination you must all look up!), down to Hopper’s Hands, returning along Crissy Field. It’s my most recommended route for all you trail runners, absolutely perfect for a dog, and a total SF staple.

Lucy and I will typically reward ourselves with a latte (for her, a cheesy bacon cookie) from the Presidio Starbucks post-run. I’ll tie her up outside, and she’ll immediately start yapping like a maniac the second I walk inside (alas, the rescue aftermath), where I’ll give a fake “ugh, who’s dog is THAT” look on my face to blend in with the other cranky patrons. I shove my head down and play with my phone, pretending she isn’t mine. But, as soon as my tall SKVL is on the counter, I run outside to get “you didn’t leave me!” kisses from my little lady. Who cares if she barks louder than a siren? She’s the best running partner ever…and that yapping, well, we’re working on that too.