work, life, and more GoRuck

Today I am to be featured on my company’s Facebook page (you can see this live later today here). Each week we highlight someone at BetterWorks and ask then a few light hearted questions, one of which is “What’s been your favorite moment at BetterWorks?” I found this question really tough to answer, because throughout my time here, there have been so many milestone moments that I have treasured! The amazing thing about working for a small company, where we all sit in one big open area and just so happen to have some of the coolest people employed here, is the fact that we laugh all the time, get to know each other well, cross-collaborate, and are constantly entertaining one another on a daily basis. One of our values is “bring your whole self to work”, and I truly think we embody that. We are so diverse and everyone is genuinely interesting! This type of environment really lends itself to creating memories and establishing inside jokes on a daily basis – from the hilarious weather microclimates within our tiny little space, to the emoji wars, to the gong that is constantly highlighting our sales and recruiting successes, to the incessant laughter on our #slack channels, to making our sales support guy into a Chuck Norris type character…these people truly do make me smile every single day.

But if I can be honest, my favorite moments “at BetterWorks” tend to occur when I am with my work family outside of our tiny little startup walls. One thing I adore is that there’s a pretty big group of us that have taken a, well, obsession with Soul Cycle. Our #grababike slack channel consists of so much hilarity, sarcasm about what a cult we are, how we are crushing on various instructors, planning our next Soul challenge, etc., and it is one of my favorite things to do with my awesome team. It is truly “work-life integration” at it’s finest, and I love that the company is so supportive of us making fitness a priority (even if it means leaving a bit early to catch that 5:30 Kamelle class…because duh, we are all “Kamellionaires” by now…and if you live in SF and want a hard class that will keep you laughing the whole time, you go and get down with this guy because he is the bees knees).

In thinking about work-life integration, I then got to thinking about “workout-life” integration. There is something so conceptually easy yet oddly difficult in making fitness a priority in your day-to-day/weekly routine. Planning your workouts to fit your personal schedule can seem easy, but I am even personally surprised how difficult each incremental day can get – based on other activities, workload, personal life, mood, etc. The funny thing about fitting in a workout every day, after a ton of situational trial and error, is that there is NO magic formula, no secret answer anyone is hiding from you. It’s pretty simple – you wake up earlier, or you go to bed later, or you replace your glass of wine with friends with time at the gym. It’s really as simple as that, just plain old sacrifice. I hear so many people say “I wish I had time to workout, but I am so busy”, and to be frank, I just don’t buy it. If I didn’t wake up at 5am everyday to get my fitness time in, or pre-plan my day to make sure I am making a specific class, or say no to things sometimes (only sometimes), I wouldn’t get anything done. It all comes down to self-discipline and time management. How boring and terrible is that? Sometimes being disciplined is just so un-fun.

That said, I am definitely one of those people (as most of you know by now) that really likes to try and do it all. I think I took this to the extreme…again…this past weekend. On Friday night, I did another GoRuck Challenge, the 9/11 Remembrance event (so truly incredible, and HARD…more on that below, in picture form), and then proceeded to have breakfast with the crew, see off the GoRuck Light challengers, head out to my parent’s place to watch football and drink beer at a local bar, and then went straight to a good friend’s 30th birthday. I was up for almost 48 hours straight…to say I slept well that night might be an understatement! I do this type of extreme living because I love it, and sometimes life is too full and exciting to say no. I realize it is not for everyone, and there are definitely times where I say no to everything and go into hermit mode…but sometimes, you say yes to everything and the memories you leave with are WELL worth the exhaustion.

I’ll spare a long and drawn out GoRuck race report, instead I’ll show off some amazing photos that highlight our challenge – overall it was a stellar crew, we had 2 amazing Cadre, got cold, sandy, tired, climbed a bajillion stairs, but had the best time. I love this community more than words can express!

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The starting point, Sports Basement in the Presidio. 2 Ranks! (I am in the teal jacket/red socks…makes it easy to see me)

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First thing we did? To the shore! “The water is deep…you will be judged!”

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The beginning of “the welcome party” (aka an hour or more of physical challenge, including flutter kicks on the shore)

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Making sugar cookies out of each other

stairs

In remembrance of the twin towers falling, we climbed as many stairs as there were in one tower – 2,007! Coit Tower steps saw a lot of us that night…

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Back in the drink for the 3rd time

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Carrying a lot of heavy stuff…

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“The flutter kick!”…Cadre Sean & Derek really loved having us do these (they were awesome otherwise)

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Hangin’ out in front-leaning rest, covered in sand, at the endex of the challenge. Almost there!

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Still smiling!

log crew

Some of my favorites! Steve, Toshi, and Brad

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And after it’s all over…we drink whiskey…at 9am.

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Class 1655! What a ride. 🙂

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habits

Last night I went to a really inspiring event at the Museo Italo Americano (museum) in Ft. Mason hosted by ‘The Habit Project‘, a foundation founded by professional triathlete Sarah Piampiano (who totally retweeted me today, woot)…I wonder if she requested the event be at an Italian inspired venue? She clearly has the Italian thing going on in her name :). A guy I work-out with in Sheepdogs invited some of us because his wife is a sports agent (insert jealous face), and Sarah is one of her clients. At a time where I am gearing up to jump headfirst back into Triathlon at the first of the year, I was totally excited about the chance to attend this.

The subject matter was focused around “endurance” – obviously in sport, but in personal and professional life as well. Sarah first shared her personal story about how she became a pro triathlete, a relatively incredible story. She was working too much, smoking, not exercising, and overall was really unhealthy. She had a “trigger” moment when she raced in a triathlon with a friend…and the rest is history. She now promotes her story, and habit changing/lifestyle through her website, and is also a huge supporter and advocate for iTri, a nonprofit for girls that is really similar to Girls on the Run (oh yeah, I was recently selected to the Girls on the Run Annual Committee to help plan events, so excited! I think iTri is definitely something to look into getting involved with as well).

I love hearing about other people having epiphanies like this, and I wonder what it is inside each of us that chemically triggers the desire to habit-change or dive head first into something, be it a hobby, a career change, sometimes even a relationship why certain things for certain people, and at such varying states in our lives? I had a moment similar to this my freshman year of college, where upon racing in my very first triathlon where I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I fell into an insane love affair with the sport, the people, the boundary pushing, the HARD of it. I’ve definitely had mini habit changing moments along the way and I expect a lot more to come.

Sarah also has a really extensive athletic background, which definitely plays into her level of success, but the insane changes she made and perseverance she exhibited were insanely inspiring to her about. She also had a few other women on her panel, a founder of an online babysitter exchange website, and a former San Francisco commissioner who worked insanely hard to get to where she was, from nothing, while even losing her husband in the process. Hearing these women talk through their moments of strength, the sacrifices they made, the way they balance work and life, and the overall “endurance” it takes to really achieve your goals – even just to achieve happiness after loss – was also amazing.

I’ve taken a lot of time today to really think about my own habits, and wether or not they really align with my personal life goals. A lot of them do, but a lot of them do not. I could eat better, sleep more, be more diligent with money, and probably drink less. On the flip side, I am insanely self-motivated, wildly adventurous to the point that I really knock things off my bucket list and I don’t sit around, and I am great at maintaining relationships in my personal and professional life. These good habits came from a lot of hard work, and it is exciting to think that I can better myself by really focusing on my shortcomings. Specifically, as I train for events, I need to do a better job of taking care of my nutritional needs, to pushing myself harder and further, and to continuing to surround myself with people who support my goals. Drilling down a bit, I should eat out less, perhaps up my water intake, go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night, stay away from alcohol 40% less than I have been, and start tracking my training in a more detailed way. In my personal life and in relationships, there’s a few bad habits revolving around mistrust, abandonment, and codependence that I am committed to getting rid of. I want to start setting better boundaries, listening to my own self instead of outside noise, acting from a place of love and not defensiveness, practice a little more kindness, and better communication overall. I actually find that I am bit of a pushover…in work, in love, in my home life, with friends. etc. I tend to be a “yes” girl when sometimes I really want to (or should) say no. However, I believe there is a beautiful element to saying yes all the time – saying yes to experiences, to meeting new people, to trying things, to taking a chance on something like a love interest or a project at work that we are really nervous about, etc. How else do we grow? But on the flip side, saying yes to things that are clearly bad for us, that derail our goals, saying yes to things when we are already committed or overcommitted, etc. is not healthy. There’s a fine line and I’d like to start defining it more, as it lies for me.

Overall, think the key to anyone’s success (or we might say to their happiness) is to seek to live your life with adventure and an open mind and heart, with no expectations, to find what drives you, and let that be the catalyst for change. To slowly weed away the things that no longer serve, grow, or support you.

…what person, place, or thing has inspired you in a BIG way to make a significant  change in your life?

Happy Friday, and Happy Labor Day weekend! I am looking forward to a weekend of Cal games, workouts, friends in Sonoma, time with my pup, and hopefully sleeping a lot :).

Blogger Survey (with pictures)

Remember those super cute email chains you used to get with surveys that you could fill out and pass to you friends when you were like, 13, on AOL? Yeah this is kinda like that. Sarcasm aside, I love interacting with other bloggers, and this was found on http://semisweettooth.com, who got it from someone else, etc. These ladies have a really similar look and feel and demographic to myself, so making “blogger friends” is always something I am open to! Anyway, this is too fun to pass up so why not…feel free to join the conversation and share/post with your answers!

A – Age: 30 :/

B – Biggest Fear: a tie between tripping and falling and knocking my teeth out, and vertigo-inducing heights

C – Current Time: 12:07

D – Drink You Had Last: Coffee from Coupa Cafe in Palo Alto

E – Easiest Person To Talk To: my girl Abby

abby

F – Favorite Song: every single song on this playlist

G – Grossest Memory: having to dumpster dive to find my car keys in college…really, a lot of things in college…

H – Hometown: Brentwood, CA (the NorCal one)

I – In Love With: my puppy Lucy and steam rooms

Lucy. What a goober
Lucy. What a goober

J – Jealous Of: people with endless airline miles…

K – Kindest Person You Know: I sat on this for a long while…and realized i know a lot of kind people (how cool is that?). But, probably my friend/former colleague Karen. She would do anything for her people. Literally anything. She just cares an insane amount and always makes you feel like a million bucks through her words. It’s quite inspiring.

L – Longest Relationship: Love, 1.5 years…but longest friendship is 27 years (Nicole) 🙂

M – Middle Name: Anne

N – Number of Siblings: One brother, 3 step-brothers, one step-sister, and one future sis-in-law!

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My brother Aj, his fiancé Vanessa, Christo, Bradley, and Paige (mom’s side)

O – One Wish: to be wildly in love…and to have a house in Jackson, WY so I can hike and ski all the time.

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: a candidate (I’m a recruiter)

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: “Are you a swimmer or a crossfitter?”

R – Reason To Smile: my next 2 months are packed with fun stuff…when I get down or lonely, I actually always make myself come back to that. My life is pretty amazingly full.

S – Song You Last Sang: “Can’t Feel my Face” in my car this morning – you’re lying if you say you can’t jam out to this every time it hits the radio

T – Time You Woke Up: 7:38am (whoa talk about sleeping in)

U – Underwear Color: dark purple

V – Vacation Destination: Coming up, Lost Coast for a night of long hikes and camping and then Texas for a family visit!

W – Worst Habit: I’ll never forget the “click click” noise I made with my mouth, a habit I used to have in a seriously annoying way. Now, probably picking nail polish off my nails.

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: My wrist, when I sprained it with Backroads, in France.

Y – Your Favorite Food: A burger with avocado and an egg. I’m determined to start a running post series of “burger and negroni reviews in San Francisco”

Z – Zodiac Sign: Taurus

Summer Camp and Double Days

Sometimes you’re just like “I want to write about so many things.” So I will, because it’s America and that’s freedom, kids.

So last weekend I went to “Summer Camp” with my GoRuck weirdo tribe down in Santa Cruz. For a cult (yes, a cult) of people who tend to spend 90% of their time together working out really, really hard and 10% of their time drinking beer after working out really, really hard…this was a really wonderful opportunity to get everyone together to swap those percentages. We ate, drink, kayaked, beach’d, hot spring’d, drank more, laughed, danced, adopted an Uber driver, and overall had an amazing time together. I love feeling further integrated into such an awesome group. I also just realized that if every time I write I reference how awesome the GoRuck people are, you are all going to get annoyed and stop reading.

The one thing I’d really like to highlight (don’t worry, a workout comes out of this rant) is that as much drinking damage and debauchery that ensued, there were a handful of us who decided to get together to do 1.5 hours of some pretty hard PT (physical training). The “ring leader” of the Santa Cruz ruck crowd puts together workouts every Wednesday for anyone who wants to join him, and organically over time they have become known as the Famous DeToma Stairs workouts. He gladly inflicted pain on us Sunday morning; it’s a killer set for anyone who has something heavy to carry and some stairs and some space:

Warmup:

4 Rounds:

24 burpees + 400M run

…”warmup”…

Main Set:

400M walking lunges with weight (a ruck, a sandbag, anything)

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5 Rounds:

50 Ruck Squats

Down the stairs

50 ruck squats (or 50 flutter kicks, or tricep dips…)

Run/Ruck Up the Stairs

…and then we drank more beer, and then we went home.

I’ve been feeling pretty stagnant/crappy lately and I know I am hitting great workouts very consistently, and that it is likely due to my lack of conscious nutrition efforts (aka wine and beer for every occasion! It is festival season after all), I made a personal commitment to clean up my act this week with more water and less wine, and a personal challenge to do double-days every day this week. I am mixing it up with strength training with the Sheepdog crew, runs with Lucy, yoga classes, and cycling. Yesterday morning I did a strength complex circuit that consisted of quick paces but heavy weights, so I did a yoga class last night to balance things out. More strength/heavy weights this morning, doing Cycling and “foam roll release” to get some of the lactic acid from the weights out tonight. Tomorrow I will run with the pup and do a yoga class, Thursday will be another Sheepdog strength session and a heated yoga class, and Friday I will do cycling. I definitely start to feel inflammed/bulky after too much strength back to back in a short period of time, but I know that the inflammation goes down after a few days, and i ultimately look and feel better. I am hoping that throwing some pure cardio and stretching through yoga will help to speed up this process as well. And more water. Wow, am I terrible at drinking water…it’s actually pretty fascinating how bad I am.

My main goals these next 2 months are endurance-strength so that I can really do well/feel good during the 2 GoRuck events I have coming up, particularly the 48-ish hour HCLS in November. I want to be really strong, really able to move with ease, and for my only pain to be sleep deprivation. I already feel like I am in a great starting spot, looking forward to seeing the effects of this week of doubles! Once these events are over, it’s mostly going to be running, biking, and swimming with light weight training for Ironman prep all of next year, and ultimately leaning out, so I am genuinely trying to enjoy feeling like a super badasss CrossFitter who lifts heavy crap for the next few months, regardless of how big my muscles get. 🙂

While I can’t believe it is Labor Day Weekend already (already?), Cal Football starts on Saturday! September is my favorite because of football season, and even thought it is only a preseason game, it’s a chance to throw on my blue and gold, tailgate with some amazing people, see old friends, and visit my gorgeous Alma Mater. I love that my mom and stepdad have a really fun group of tailgate friends that have adopted me into their crew as well, and it’s really special to get to spend that time with my mom.

Off to workout #2 for the day, and then drinks with my most favorite old roommate. Yeah, so much for this clean week and water drinking thing…sometimes life is just too fun…but hey, that’s my kind of balance. On the plus side, everyone is at Burning Man this week so the city is DELIGHTFULLY empty and traffic free. 🙂 Happy Tuesday to all!