Get Vitabee!

Hi all,

I am excited to announce my association with Vitabee, a new supplement and fitness product startup that helps people find, buy, and educate themselves on supplement regimens for their personal fitness and overall health goals. These guys are doing something really cool, it’s like crowd-sourcing for fitness supplements and regimens, and I can’t wait to see where this idea goes in the future!

The idea is that hoo-ha’s like myself who have figured out what works for them in their personal and trainer-professional goals, can create customized plans, and can then recommend these programs/supplements (bars, protein powders, tablets, hydration aids, etc) to other hoo-ha’s looking for some answers. They also provide a quick and easy way to purchase!

Here’s my link!

(Real talk – if you click to purchase any of my recommended products via my Vitabee page, I get a slice of the cheddar…so ya know, do that. Cool? Cool)

My Supplement Plan:

  1. Quest Bars – because they are so delicious, 0 grams sugar, and lot’s of flavors. These are really huge in the paleo circuit and I get why – try the Cookie Dough one. I dare you not to eat two in a row…
  2. Osmo Hydration + Protein Replacement – again with the 0 grams sugar, and the taste! It’s light, not too sweet, and not that pricey. I use this on long runs and it’s really popular in the cycling/triathlon world as well.
  3. Juice Plus – my mom got us started on this YEARS ago, and well, if you look at my mom you’ll see why this stuff works. It’s all of your fruit and vegetable daily needs adorably packaged into tiny capsules, but the benefits go beyond that – you don’t get sick, ever. You look amazing. You age better, live longer, have more energy, and did I mention you LOOK BETTER?

So. Why did I pick these things, you ask? Well let me enlighten! Here’s some back story thought processes I go through when choosing stuff like this…

I’ll start by saying I have never been one to use supplements at all – not even Advil for headaches (thanks dad for telling us that having the flu was all a state of mind. I’m pretty sure you were just too lazy to go buy us medicine…but I’m tougher now for it, so actually and seriously…thank you). I have always thought that proper water hydration, real food, adequate macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat in the form of real food like meat or legumes, vegetables, fruit, and nuts – basically paleo, yo) is all you need for building, shedding, sustaining, recovery, etc. I consider myself an “au natural athlete”, if you will.

One thing about training for a variety of events – from endurance to sprinting to strength to, I don’t know, general “I want to look good naked” gym-going, is that you play around a lot with figuring out how your body feels at any given time of the day, before and after workouts, etc. When I think about getting up at 5am for a gym session or a long run, knowing I have to race like heck to get to work afterward, the last thing I want to do is boil an egg or toast some bread with peanut butter. Have you ever been to a gym with a kitchen? Yeah me either. This is, in my opinion, why shakes and bars have taken off in viral popularity.

The other thing I have really become cognizant of is my processed sugar intake. There are all kinds of fascinating diet schools of thought – eat low fat! Low carb! More bacon! Juice cleanse! But, I truly believe, based on both my observances within myself and educating myself on the causes of diabetes (runs in the fam), that sugar is the root of all evil. I read this article recently and it highlights a lot of the same thought processes I’m spewing right now – start ’em living healthy young, folks! It’s too bad that sugar is so delicious, I mean that just plain sucks, but I really try to indulge infrequently and keep the processed sugar levels pretty low (when I’m not drinking wine or eating chocolate). 🙂

Finally, if anyone understands what it is like to have a busy schedule, it’s me, and trying to fit in cooking real protein or managing your diet needs when you’re out and about 80% of the time is hard. Like, really hard. I totally get why people resort to powders, pre-made drinks, bars, etc. I think finding one for your personal goals (muscle building? Get the super ultra protein stuff from Muscle Max – more power to ya – I ain’t trying to be Ronda Rousey over here. Want to maintain and maybe shed a little? Go for the low carb/calorie version and maybe scale back the intake…there really is a solution for everyone). One thing I see happen ALL the time with folks trying to cut weight or maintain “race weight” is that people use shakes, bars, etc. as “replacements”…but then they eat normally in addition to that…which means these “replacements” become “extra calories”, and the goals go out the window. Oy. :/. I get that we all have varying degrees of self control, and maybe this is precisely why companies have created low sugar/calorie versions of their supplements…and now I’m just ranting.

I am also consistently and serially dehydrated, so finding an electrolyte to keep me hydrated that is low sugar, also that tastes good, has been a KEY find for me, especially during long GoRuck events and long runs. I also sweat, like, 2x the average human in basic exercise alone, so I need a lot of help!

Anyways, enjoy the recommendations and feel free to pass along!

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Why ABC Family is my spirit animal

One of the best parts about being an adult, in my opinion, is watching holiday movies you love on repeat whenever you want, with no judgment from others or a parent telling you to go brush your teeth and go to bed. And wine. Don’t forget the wine. And maybe even some pumpkin spiced candles (guys I got Lucy some pumpkin spiced dog treats…she loves them, trust me on this).

Needless to say, I’m single. And when I am not training, sleeping, or working, this Halloween season you’ll likely find me snuggling with Lucy watching one of my favorite tv/movie networks, ABC Family. Not only do I get to obsessively watch their made-for-tv Christmas Movies on the 25 Days of Christmas in December (I am dead serious when I say I have watched ‘The 12 Dates of Christmas’ like, 47 times, but you guys it’s SO GOOD), but NOW, they have the 13 Nights of Halloween on ABC Family. Specifically, ‘Hocus Pocus’, AKA the Holy Grail of cheesy yet awesome Halloween movies, is on my agenda…on repeat. It’s funny, cozy, mildly “scary” at times…ok so it’s mostly cheesy but ABC Family hits a soft spot with me and that’s just the way it goes. And now as an adult, I get to judge it. Another favorite pass time of mine (kidding…kinda)

But still, the experience of watching it as an adult is wildly different than as a child when all sorts of things just went right over my head. So grab some Halloween candy and humor me, because here are all the things I just thought when I watched Hocus Pocus as an adult:

  1. Thackery Binks is still hot.
  2. Why is his name not Zachary? Is Thackery a thing? [Googles.] No, not really.
  3. I’m pretty sure SJP’s character has spent a little too much time sniffing the cauldron if you know what I mean and I think you do.
  4. I wonder what a child smells like to a witch. Bacon? Melted cheese? Mmmm.
  5. Before there was The Weeknd, there was Mary:
    Left: Oh My Disney; Right:
  6. The font size in the witches’ spell book is the same size font in my dad’s phone. AKA visible from space.
  7. I miss the ’90s…
  8. But not the fashion. Definitely not tie-dyed shirts and scrunchies.
  9. “Tubular” needs to make a comeback.
  10. I’m changing my name from Lindsey to Ice. [refills wine glass]
  11. Max is seriously ungrateful for that awesome room. Just wait until he grows up, moves to San Francisco, overpays for an apartment the size of his childhood closet, and has 3 roommates.
  12. I love how these parents are all, “You do you, kids, we’re off to get drunk!” I want to be them.
  13. “Max likes your yabos. In fact, he loves them.” Every time I hear this line I giggle with fresh embarrassment.
  14. I need a YouTube tutorial on Winifred Sanderson’s lipstick look. Immediately.
    Image Source: Oh My Disney
  15. You know, if someone had just told the Sanderson sisters about a little thing called plastic surgery, no one would have to die in the name of beauty.
  16. It’s starting to get mildly awkward how many times they reference Max’s virginal state, no?
  17. “I suggest we form a calming circle.” Oh, Mary. You sniffed the cauldron too, didn’t you?
  18. I need more wine.
  19. Current tally of how many times they’ve reminded us Max is a virgin: 3,492,840,234
  20. “He has a little woman.” “Sounds tasty.” I just can’t even with these ladies.
  21. Mary watching TV for the first time is me every time my Lucy does her little sigh….THIS IS SO GREAT NEVER END I LOVE YOU! MORE! MORE!
  22. “It’s the chocolate-covered finger of a man named Clark!” [dives into the Halloween candy]
  23. Ok we totally get why they ditched the kids to go to this party. It’s awesome.
  24. Whoa, mom. Whoa. Did my mom wear stuff like this when I was like, 7, and I didn’t know about it? YOU GO MOM.
    Image Source: Oh My Disney
  25. Bette Midler mic drop.
  26. I’m totally getting a black cat and naming him Thackery Binx wait no I’m not Lucy would EAT HIM.
  27. It’s 5 AM and the parents are still out? Yep they are my role models.
  28. Damn it, Dani. Way to get snatched.
  29. Imagine if that cauldron was filled with sangria? No one would be complaining then.
  30. YES! MAX TO THE RESCUE! This kid is growing on me. There’s a little Freddy Prinze, Jr. thing happening here. Or maybe that’s the wine. What ever happened to FPJ? Ugh he was a stud. I’ll watch “She’s All That” next.
  31. Would my brother ever sacrifice his life to a witch for me? Helllll no.
  32. “I’m sorry Emily, I had to wait 300 years for a virgin to light a candle!” LOL. Guy’s got jokes.
  33. I can’t wait to watch this 6 more times.

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!

9.11 6

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

9.11 5

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

9.11 7

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

9.11 3

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…

9.11 2

Back in the drink for the 3rd time

9.11 8

Carrying a lot of heavy stuff…

9.11 10

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

9.11 12

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

9.11 1

Still smiling!

log crew

Some of my favorites! Steve, Toshi, and Brad

9.11 4

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

9.11 11

Class 1655! What a ride. 🙂

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!

IMG_4433
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)

FullSizeRender-2

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!

My Sheepdogs

Do you ever find yourself in those moments where you ask yourself “how did I get here?”…not in that waking up lost and hungover with a bruise on your leg and you don’t know how it got there…but let’s be honest that has totally happened to me. No, I am talking about the kind where you take a really self-aware look at your current situation or surrounding, smile really big, and thank the universe for bringing that wonderful thing into your life. That’s exactly the kind of revelation I had this morning sitting amongst my sheepdogs.

Who are the Sheepdogs? Well, they are my workout group. My tribe. My inspiration. The people that push me and make me laugh and make me lift heavy things and get me up at 5am three times aweek and they just get me. We are all collectively insane and we train hard, sometimes we drink beer together, we compete in stupid-hard events, and we support each other. in this insanity. We call ourselves the Sheepdogs because in life, there are sheep and there are wolves, and then there are the protectors of the sheep against the wolves – the sheepdogs. They are fearless, strong, protective, and they use their power for the greater good and not for evil. The symbolism is really powerful, if you think about it.

A brief (personal) history of how I found these weirdos, if I may. Back in November, I did my first GoRuck event and discovered an enormous community of people with the same brain deficiencies as myself, aka they love to masochistically push their limits through physical feats of strength, and they like to party just as hard (hello soul-mates). The more time you spend doing events and around the community, the more folks in this “world” you get to know, and that’s how I found the Sheepdog crew. My first month working out with them (as the only girl, mind you) kind of reminded me of joining some sick secret society. I was in an ongoing conversation with the head honcho, on trial for a month, and then I had to read through a whole manual on what it meant to be a Sheepdog and why the training we did was so important…and then I finally got indoctrined. I won’t lie, part of what was so exciting about this group was that I really enjoyed being the only chick working out – and holding my own – with a bunch of super strong dudes (we have since added another badass lady). We work out thee times a week at 5:30am, and Troy, our “leader”, is really methodical in how he puts together various SealFit/CrossFit style workouts. We consider each other’s event goals, injuries, personal goals, etc. We sweat hard and get strong fast and basically empower one another to get better every day…not only that, but these guys are hilarious and we actually enjoy each others company outside of the workout room. It’s basically the best little fitfamily one could dream up.

While my goals personally range from a GoRuck HCLS (a 48 hour event) to a ½ Marathon to a full Ironman, next year, I enjoy the strength training I get to do, and I feel insanely powerful. Compared to many other workout groups, it is pretty impressive how hard we work. We set the bar pretty high overall, making it an incredible group to be a part of! These guys are there to support and push me in getting better, faster, stronger; I’ve learned that training is not just personal, and it is never meaningless. We apply the mental, the situational, and the diversity into our training that allows each of us to achieve each goal with a very high level of preparation. It’s a mindset that is really apparent in each member (there are roughly 10 of us), and it is one of the most inspiringly positive groups of people I have encountered.

This morning, the Sheepdog crew all gathered at 6:30am at a café instead of a gym to celebrate one of our members’ participation in GoRuck Selection. Selection is often referred to as the toughest endurance event in the entire world, and it is not for the faint of heart. Stephen’s courage and drive to even TRY competing in this is beyond admirable, and he not only participated, but he made it to the final 4 contenders – unbelievable. So we, with eager ears and pride for our teammate, dined over eggs and waffles while we listened to his stories, his trials, his victories, his thanks for our support, and we offered up as much praise and support as we could muster through words. I truly cherish my time with these guys always, but this morning hit home for me and inspired me in such a way that I took a step back while sitting at the table to really be thankful for having these people in my life. Stephen’s incredible story, alongside the overall greatness of each person there, reminded me that I am doing something right in this life. They say you are a by-product of the top 10 people you spend most of your time with…

I have chosen well.

Summiting Mt. Diablo, sidewalk blisters & discovering Yoga to the People

I had decided that after my body-ruining bender weekend at Outside Lands the weekend prior, this next weekend was going to be completely dry, full of healthy eating, and super action-packed with runs and yoga classes and hikes and lots of sleep. Well, true to my nature, I managed to pull a change-up and break those rules, sneaking in a little (ok a lot) of grapefruit beer and wine and cookies in. But a crisp Chardonnay, you guys (wow I am so my mother’s daughter). Also, seriously, grapefruit beer…how have I not discovered this until now? It is quite possibly the perfect summer drink, and since all of the Bay Area – San Francisco included – was blessed with some blazing hot summer weather, I justified a few of them while lounging by my mom’s pool giving my dog swim lessons and getting a real tan. Whoops.

I did in fact manage to keep most my promises to myself though, and got moving quite a bit this weekend. I revisited an old favorite, got some unexpected exercise in, and discovered something new!

Saturday morning was spent running 6 miles with my dog to sweat out a hangover from Friday night’s antics (this is a necessary evil, in my book), so I called it even-steven and loaded Lucy up and drove out to Danville to spend the weekend with my mom and get away for a while. Mom and I had lunch at a darling pub restaurant downtown in the bubble (Danville) – this is where I discovered the grapefruit beer that will forever change my summer booze lineup. We laid by the pool, swam with the dogs, chatted, and later had my brother and his fiancé over for a fantastic home cooked meal and chocolate chip cookies made with a banana instead of an egg. They were incredible, and I ate 4 of them (ugh) – take note of that banana trick, if you ever find yourself midway through baking and realize you’re out of eggs! I was in bed by 9:30. Why? I had aspirations of an early wake-up, I was off to summit Mt. Diablo in the morning before the heatwave hit.

I’ve climbed Diablo a few times, and every time I seem to “forget” that the last 2 miles are relatively, and by relatively I mean terribly, hard. Although if you keep coming back for more, the pain you experience must not be SO bad that you forego the activity altogether. But still…they are hard. The hike is a 5.5 mile uphill battle that begins at the South Gate of Mt. Diablo National Park. You take the Summit Trail all the way up, so as far as navigation goes, it is a piece of cake.

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The route has a decent amount of exposed trail and almost zero water stops along the way, it is 80% uphill with a few flats thrown in to string the hills together, but it’s gradual enough to make it manageable. My super awesome Spotify playlist and I left the trailhead at about 6:45am, still vey cool and I was feeling anxious to sweat. The thing I really like about hiking solo is that I don’t have to stop. I really, really genuinely hate stopping mid-hike. There is something about the momentum that I crave, that fast-paced and almost impatient feeling when I am climbing. It’s like an adrenaline rush, and when you have to stop, it’s a buzz kill. I had set out to get 2 straight hours of HARD, and it felt so incredible to do just that. I sweat through everything on me, probably smelled terrible, but I felt so great blazing that last killer mile to hit the top (3,300 ft. total elevation gain). Done, yay! I am SUCH a junkie for the high after you push yourself really hard, like “I feel like I can take on anything and life is beautiful and tell me all your problems I can solve them all right now and…wait, do I have to hike down now? Oh man, that is the worst…nah. I’ll hitch hike.” So I did. 🙂

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From the Summit!

I ended up getting a lift down to my car from a lovely gent named Jim who was visiting from GA because he works for Cisco. His daughter was a senior in high school and looking to study engineering at Gerogia Tech. I definitely got on my post-hike high/recruiter soapbox and told him his daughter needs to join a fellows program and get an internship at a tech company like mine and oh how great, we need more female engineers. Always be closin’, yo.

After my hike, my mom and I grabbed lunch at another Danville watering hole and got manicures & pedicures (ahhh, that calf massage after a hike) before Lucy, a plate of taunting chocolate chip banana cookies (no Lindsey NO), and I headed back to scorching San Francisco. I took her to Ocean Beach to run around and play fetch for a while; the little rascal cracks me up. She has no fear of running up to a random stranger and plopping the ball right down in front of their feet like “so you gonna throw it, or what?” She’s so cute that typically most will oblige and humor her. Funny little baby.

After an hour of getting sandy, we walked back to where I THOUGHT my car was, but because I had exhaustion-brain and was probably texting half the time I was supposed to be paying attention to the streets I parked on, I totally forgot its whereabouts. Lucy and I literally walked all over the sunset looking for my car, meanwhile my sandals broke and I now had to walk barefoot, freaking out that it got towed for some stupid “only in San Francisco” reason, raking in sidewalk burns on my feet. But we kept walking…and walking…vigorously…and about 45 minutes, another workout, and a few blisters later I finally found it (doh). And then I ate a cookie. I gave Lucy half. We deserved it.

Heart rate now back to a normal pulse rate, I headed to the store to get ingredients to go some baby tomatoes my mom sent me home with from her garden. I wanted to make homemade pasta sauce; there’s something so comforting and soothing about cooking on a Sunday evening to me. It takes away the Sunday blues a bit. Add a little Buena Vista Social Club jam session in there and you could have put that little scene in a movie. And the sauce turned out phenomenally!

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…to this! It was like a soup, no pasta would be needed (there will be pasta, that is just ludicrous….but gluten-free pasta). I miss cooking. I need to do more of it. I need a man to cook for. I’m conducting interviews, by the way, so please send referrals. 😉

After sauce crafting, I was off to evening yoga, semi-begrudgingly because I was tired and settling into the fact that I got to sleep soon, but was meeting a coworker and really, these tight lats of mine needed some love. So off I went, and WOW am I glad I did. We did Vinyasa at a place called Yoga to the People in the Mission…the view…no seriously, the view…

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The icing here was also the very good looking chap behind me that I got to sneak a peak at every time we down-dog’d. We sweat, released, stared at the gorgeous SF skyline…’what a beautiful, needed couple of days’ I thought to myself! More health in my life! More hard hikes! More beach days with Lucy! More cute guys at yoga! You are going to rock this work week! (are we noticing a trend here? Exercise gets me annoyingly positive).

This weekend served as a helpful reminder for a few things. My takeaways: sometimes unplugging, letting go of the pressure we self-inflict, and just being exactly who we WANT to be in the moment is a really valuable thing…that to do the things you want to do and eat and drink because you know what, you just WANT to, is ok. It’s ok to not be perfect, and it’s ok to mess up a little bit. Learn to be present with each minute you have, and allow yourself the opportunity to discover new things by leaning into opportunities to say yes. Slowly but surely…

…and I sit here writing this blog post insanely hungover, even after a workout this morning (insane decision, by the way) I decided that Monday night was a GREAT night to go out and listen to live Bluegrass and drink at 3 different bars and stay out until 1pm and eat 2nd dinner and basically act like it was Friday and I am immune to the effects of alcohol.

I guess I call that…balance. Because you know what, I wanted to.

What a Weirdo

One of my favorite things about a kick in the ass by life is the few days/weeks you take to “re-evaluate” yourself. I literally can’t tell you how many times I have “re-evaluated” myself since the last time I posted something. I am quoting this because I try to approach this with a sense of humor and an air of lightness; life is supposed to be fun no matter how many times we pivot, right? I’ve been much better lately of letting go of rigidity, and it’s made my life a lot more enjoyable. Over the past year I do more flying by the seat of my pants, acting out of character and being ok with it, and letting myself give in to that “beautiful disaster” side of me because frankly, it isn’t going anywhere so why resist it? I’ll always be an extremist, but really it comes down to letting go of expectations in general. Mom, you were right. Again (ugh).

Anyways, below are a few take-aways since it seems as though I’m treating this “I’m back!” post as a reflection before I dive into way more fun topics like my favorite podcasts and talks I’ve heard, or the weird and crazy workouts I’ve been doing, or that I actually got a tattoo, or my obsession with the Iron Cowboy. Consider them updates on me, if you will, since my last time hanging out here on this blog.

-I signed up for a FULL IRONMAN. Next year. 2016. In June. Oh heck yeah (oh lord help me)

-I picked up yoga. Not like the boring, “this is supposed to be relaxing but I hate it” type but the “this room is heated and my legs actually hurt and I’m sweating my tail off” kind. I go to Yoga Flow SF, and I am obsessed. I feel great, move better, they play funky modern music and my favorite teacher, Howard, knows me by name. Never in my life did I think I’d be a yogi. It’s quite fun.

-I lost my Aunt Sandy and my Grandfather, which has taught me (or rather enlightened me) about how important my incredible family is and just how lucky I truly was to have meaningful relationships with 2 of the most amazing people that ever came into my life. Also, how much I miss them.

-My brother got engaged and I’m getting a beautiful, amazing sister. Along with her comes another insanely large and fun family. That totally outweighs the unfairness that the younger kid is getting married first, right?

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How cute is she and how lucky am I?

-I spent my big 3-0 at Stagecoach, and made the LA Times for the 2nd year in a row!

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(my father was so proud)

-I joined BetterWorks as the only recruiter and have found not just a great job, but a FAMILY. I’m in love with the people and my role, and have grown my career and presence in this tech world an insane amount.

IMG_6038  BetterWorks team at our first ‘Goal Summit’

-I spent probably more $ on my car this year than I paid for it. Please, please don’t ask my why or how many things happened but they did. It was very real. And it was not super awesome.

-I found GoRuck, and thus an enormous community of weird fitness enthusiasts like myself who now are a huge part of my life in San Francisco

-I’m planning a solo trip to SE Asia in December, a bucket list trip of a lifetime, and I literally can. Not. Wait.

I want to talk about GoRuck today. So what is it? I get this question all the time. Well technically it is a branded line of military-esque backpacks/gear created by formal special forces folks. The company is now really well known for the challenges it puts on, led by a Cadre, that are either 6 (the “Light”), 12 (the “Challenge”), or 24 (the “Heavy”) hours in length. You carry weighted packs around (20# for girls, 35# for guys) and do all sorts of long-mileage walking, everything is about teamwork, you carry really heavy crap like weighted sandbags and logs, etc. It sounds really hard and masochistic, and it totally is, but is it SO fun. Fun for weirdos, you might be thinking (you might be right). Go Ruck allows you to meet some truly amazing people (we call ourselves “weirdos”, rightly so), you get really really…really tired, work hard, learn a lot about yourself, and get a taste of what it is like in the military.  Here’s a few GoRuck event shots…

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Memorial Day GoRuck class in May. This was an amazing and super athletic crew of weirdos!

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They call this the “welcome party”…an hour or more of physical challenges to tire you out and test your grit before the event “begins”

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The ladies and our Cadre (Doug) of GoRuck Reno Challenge in June

Since last November I have been hooked on the events and the community of people. I’ve literally never been to a Christmas Party that gets as rowdy as that group does. A bunch of work-hard, play-harder people? In. It is also how I found my workout family, “the sheepdogs”, but they deserve a post all their own so I’ll explain more about that later.

I’ve done 3 of the “Challenge” events (the 12 hour ones) this past year and I’ve got a 4th on the way. The holiday events (Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, September 11th) are quite special because there is a significant presence of honoring the fallen throughout the event. My 4th is the September 11th Challenge. It will be a great, hard 12 hours as well as a reunion of many of my GoRuck friends! I am also signing up for my very first HCLS – ready for this? Heavy, Challenge, Light, Scavenger. That is quite literally 42+ hours of working out. Do you see why I love this stuff? Nothing gets me more excited than really fun people doing crazy hard things followed by a crazy fun party (well sleep then party, but you get the gist).

On that note, it’s Friday and I have a lovely weekend ahead of me filled with excessive sleeping, long runs with Lucy, swimming the bay, yoga-ing, and drinking wine with my mom. 🙂

It’s great to be back. Cheers to more writing in my life!

Happy Weekend e’rybody

Every ‘Step’ Counts!

Hi everyone! I am back after what might be the longest blogging hiatus ever. Life is hard, man. As you all may know, I am climbing Mt. Shasta with the Breast Cancer Fund, and over the past few weeks have REALLY started to ramp up my fundraising efforts. I feel like this event, both fundraising for, talking about, and training for, has been occupying much of my downtime…among other random things. Over the past few months of radio blog silence I have also:

-given up Facebook for lent

-been published in a national ad campaign for Dick’s Sporting Goods

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-had my nails done more times in 2 months than maybe ever in my life

-joined a masters swim team primarily for the very good looking coach

-took a boat cruise on the bay

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-Fell in love with an up-and-coming country singer named Sam Hunt

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-made my first attempt at gluten-free pretzels (fail).

Oh ya, and I made this with Fitbits…

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Cute, right?

It’s been a great couple of months! I’ll be racing Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside (that means it’s a half ironman – 70.3 is the total miles in the whole race) in 1.5 weeks – AHHH. I’m equal parts excited, nervous, anxious, and terrified. More on that, and my training, next week!

Ok, back to my climb…so first of all, thank you so incredibly much to everyone who has donated to my climb, and to the amazing cause of preventing Breast Cancer, thus far. I am blown away by the support I have received in such a small period of time!

Training is going very well; I am relying on my triathlon training a bit for mileage…but hiking is a different beast, as I remembered this past Sunday! I went on my first team training hike with most of the folks that will summit Mt. Shasta together. We did a 9.5 mile loop through Muir Woods and the Dipsea Trail. It was SO great to meet and bond with all of them, hear everyone’s stories about reasons we are associated with the BCF, compare delicious snacks (Cliff gel shots were the favorite by a landslide!), and enjoy the incredible views. We also received some AMAZING gear from our sponsors The North Face and Osprey – we are so stylin’ now, and ready for any weather.Overall it was a great day, and I am so excited to spend 3 days on the mountain with these inspiring people. See some of the crew below!

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So! As the next phase of my fundraising begins, I want to start off with a challenge! Here’s a fun question to think about…would you be willing to forgo your weekly morning coffee to prevent breast cancer? Or maybe even that cookie at lunch?…Hmmm

Since in my fundrasing efforts for ‘Climb Against the Odds’, I hope to raise a minimum of $6,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund (which is no small feat), I challenge you THIS:

Just as I will climb one step at a time, I CHALLENGE you to “sponsor a step” and donate $1 to my climb! 

(of course it takes more than 6,000 steps to get to the top of Shasta, but sky is the limit…and that isn’t even a whole coffee!)

Also on the horizon, I will be hosting a Guest Bartending event, complete with some GREAT raffle prizes, in early April…come grab a drink at one of SF’s favorite bars and enter to win a Fitbit Flex, a Cinta Salon gift card, a Sports Basement gift card, wine, etc. All proceeds from the raffle, and all tips on drinks, will go toward my fundraising so come and get “tipsy” with us!

Links to donate are below…

1. “Prevention starts with a single step”…support my ‘Climb Against the Odds’ official page!

2. Want to make your donation social? Use Fundly: https://fundly.com/climb-against-the-odds-for-breast-cancer-prevention

Happy Wednesday!