Dream Big Things. Do Big Things. Make Big Impact.

Often when life presents you with a tough situation you fight going with your gut or following the logical path. I’m not one for going with the norm, I’d rather set my own trails and push the boundaries to find the road less traveled, to make the biggest impact, and to become a better version of myself.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 2.49.04 PMI have shared that quote by Steve Jobs on many occasions as it’s become one of my life mantras. I don’t (and won’t) live someone else’s life. I don’t (and won’t) follow someone else’s dreams. I don’t (and won’t) allow other’s opinions to drown my own. I will only wake up each morning and live my life, follow my dreams and take the risks that truly set my heart on fire.

 

On Friday I had one of the hardest and scariest, yet easiest and most comforting calls of my life. For that I am truly grateful. It was a call with my boss to discuss the end of my time with the company (for now). It was in no way an easy conversation for either party but I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing team at such a wonderful company and do hope our paths cross in the future.

 

But I’m not leaving my job to sit on my butt. I’m leaving so I can set out on the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken (and that’s saying a lot)! I’m leaving so I can pull together a huge community of people and lead them to make a big impact! And it’s called 50 States In A Year!

50 states in a year graphicI’m not even kidding. 

 

50 States In A Year is a charity fundraising tour where a friend and I will be traveling to all 50 states over the course of a year. We will be traveling in an RV (or hoping to, working on getting one of those!), staying with friends, and seeing what this beautiful country has to offer. But more important, we are raising money for the CrossFit for Hope charity. We will host fundraising WODs at boxes across the US to bring the CrossFit community closer together while all working towards the same goal – giving back!

 

This may be one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever had but when something feels right and when you can’t forget about it, you keep pursuing it, you keep dreaming it and you keep fighting to make it happen. I am fighting to make this happen. I am calling to the universe to help the pieces fall into place. And I’m thanking every person in my life who has stood beside me and said “how can I help you?” in support of this idea and this mission.

dream big imageI’m on this earth to make big change. I truly believe it. And while somedays I don’t always know what that looks like, in my heart, I honestly feel this is one of them.

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I look forward to the journey that lies before me and I hope each and every one of you will join me, will feel the power to share and support, and are excited for what we, as a community (whether or not you CrossFit), can do to impact the world around us.

—–

To anyone interested, here are the 50 States In A Year links to follow:

Instagram: @50statesinayear

Enjoying the Journey

I sit here on a cloudy Sunday morning, drinking my coffee in the corner chair of our living room. The house is quiet as my roommate is still sleeping. I’m looking back on the weekend I’ve had so far, filled with such a large range of emotions. I turn on a little music to break the silence.

10347227_10100220182793919_7126760802574675028_nSince I re-discovered Angus & Julia Stone this past week after seeing the deluxe version of their new album came out, I turn that on. I first listened to the oldie but still a goodie “Big Jet Plane”..

 

 

As Spotify played song after song, the quiet, calming music took me through the morning. Almost like riding a wave or sitting in a hammock, rocking back and forth. Sipping my coffee, eyes closed and reflecting on what’s happened, what’s to come and just allowing myself to enjoy the journey.

 

 

This was the first Sunday in many (many many many many) months that I didn’t wake up before the sun to fuel and set out for a long run. The quiet morning and the gray sky set the perfect tone to just rest, relax and reflect.

 

 

There’s big things coming in my life. Big changes, both exciting and scary. I’m a mix of emotions but I know this is right. That’s why I follow my gut.

 

I’m going to leave you hanging but I’ll share more as the week progresses… ;)

 

How was your weekend?

What are you listening to to start your day?

My First Week Without a (Planned) Long Run

I’m not sure how to thank you all for your kind words on yesterday’s post. Choosing to defer my marathon entry has been one of the hardest decisions for me to make and while I know it’s right, sometimes I still want to train and see if I can pull it off. But I know better.

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Making the decision to defer took a huge weight off my shoulders. It’s allowing me to put that energy towards myself, towards my work and towards dreams bigger than me.

 

I love running but it’s been nice to step away from it the last few days. I’m going to try and work on incorporating more yoga back into my practice again as I think that will help both my mind and body.

Friday 8/8

Bench Press: 5-3-1+ 70# (4)

WOD – 10 rounds for time:

Sprint 100m

10 push-ups (purple band)

time: 8:24

 

Saturday 8/9

Rest

 

Sunday 8/10

2.25 mile run

2 mile walk

 

Monday 8/11

strength: split jerk 2-2-2-2-2 (85#)

WOD for time:

50 deadlifts (65#)

50 slam balls (10#)

*EMOTM 5 burpees

time: 5:56

 

Tuesday 8/12

Back Squat: 3-3-3+ 85#(8)

WOD w/ 12:00 on the clock…

900m row

AMRAP

-5 power cleans (35#)

-10 hand-release push-ups (red band)

-40 single unders

score: 5+3 push-ups

 

Wednesday 8/13

Strength: Strict Press: 7-7-7+ : 50# (4)

WOD for time:

21-15-9

Overhead Squat (25#)

Pull-ups (green+red)

Overhead Walking Lunges (25#)

Sit-ups

time: 8:59

 

Thursday 8/14

Rest

 

I’ve got a 5k mud run tomorrow (with Amanda!) and then I’m not sure what Sunday will look like. My first week where I’m not planning on a long run in many many months, it’s crazy!

 

What’s your weekend look like?

A Tough Decision

No one said the right decisions were always going to be the easy decisions. In fact, I’m pretty sure they are usually some of the hardest.

They become even harder when our egos get involved. When friends and a million opinions get involved. 

And even more so, when our hearts are involved.

Not only do I remember the days of gym class and the dreaded mile run, but I remember when I first started running and how I gradually built up my distance from walking & running intervals to a mile unbroken, to two, then three and just last year, 13.1…a half marathon.

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As I finished that run, my hips hurting and my exhaustion high, I wasn’t sure I’d ever run another half marathon, let alone consider a full. But as to be expected and once the post-run high really set in, I not only ran a second but I also ran a third which was a huge PR.

10390500_10100174564169009_1676837458730737101_nWhen I was picked for the lottery for the Chicago Marathon, I took that as a sign. I took that to mean I was ready and that I could finally cross off this bucket list item that at one point, I was pretty sure was never possible. And honestly, I do believe I’m physically ready (read: capable with the proper training) but unfortunately, I’m not mentally ready.

 

I’ve been hinting for the last few weeks that I’ve been pretty stressed and that I’ve had a lot on my mind. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen some photos from the trail depicting some harder moments.

10551012_10100210299125869_9113608557499989326_nBut the truth is, I haven’t been able to get past 2 miles of my long runs for the last 3 weeks. I made myself sick trying to handle some of the stress and pressure I was putting on myself and used that as an excuse. I ran 4 miles last Thursday that was the best, easiest and longest run I’ve had in weeks. I was hopeful that I was on the upswing and making my recovery. I skipped out on a show Saturday night to get plenty of sleep and woke up Sunday morning ready and excited for my 15 mile run (yes, excited). I told myself I was doing three 5-mile runs and that I could rest after each 5 miler. I grabbed all my gear, fueled up and hit the trail running. I felt good for a mere few minutes and before I could even hit 2 miles I was stopped and in tears. I pulled myself together and took off again for another ¼ mile until I saw a bench, sat down and started crying.

 

I was facing the reality of the situation and it hurt. After a few minutes, I decided just to run back to my car but once again after another ¼ mile, I was stopped and in tears. I sat myself down on the side of the trail and tried to just take a few minutes to breathe.

10481883_10100215424285009_612623663767993595_nRunning is a mental game. In fact, I’m sure most runners will tell you that it’s just as mental as it is physical and both pieces must be in place for success.

 

The mental piece isn’t in place for me right now. The mental pressure of training to run 26.2 miles is too much with everything else that’s going on. I have to take something off my plate; I have to ease my mind; I have to look out for myself.

 

And unfortunately that means I’m deferring my entry into the Chicago Marathon.

 

I’ll be totally honest, I’m heartbroken. It was not an easy decision to come to and it took a lot of back and forth for me to finally come to this decision. I’ve had a lot of people tell me “you can do it! I believe in you!” and while I love the support and while yes, I can physically do it (and do plan/hope to someday!), the mental puzzle piece isn’t in place and if I don’t cut myself some slack it’s going to affect my health. It’s not an easy decision but for right now it’s the right decision.

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I’m out the entry costs for the marathon (bummer!) and while I’ll have to pay again next year (double bummer!), I won’t have to enter the lottery if I decide I’m in a better place to train.

 

The marathon weight has been lifted off my shoulders and while my ego may be struggling, I know that once I get past the initial hurt, I’ll be able to pick it off the floor, dust it off and carry on.

 

Have you had to make any tough decisions lately?

Joining in for Thinking Out Loud.

(Some) Eats Lately

Once again I was hoping for that new “day in the life” with my eats…and then once again I forgot to actually take the photos. Where is my head lately? Actually, don’t answer that, I’ll tell you tomorrow. (teaser – come back tomorrow!) Thankfully, I do have some yummy and delicious and random eats to share with you. Hopefully they’ll spark a few delicious ideas for you! :)

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Tea and truffles with a friend of mine during one of our brainstorming sessions.

10592707_10100213164443749_3230709058983082127_nYou all know how much I LOVE RxBars so I was super stoked when this package showed up at my door! YUM!

10577037_10100213776651879_7952768378841091200_nThis is Mexican Cauliflower Rice with salsa, avocado and pan cooked salmon. SO delicious!!

dinner2My parents gave me a giant bag of produce last week with fresh produce from their garden. I sautéed zucchini and kale and topped that with a little tahini and over-easy eggs.

diner1More eggs!! Plus broccoli from my parents garden and roasted plantains. Oh my…this was a delicious meal!

 

I love that I’m slowly getting motivated to cook more and I think having fresh produce from the garden is to thank for that. I have a lot more zucchini and some beets (from a friend) so I better get cooking!

 

What have you been eating and loving this week?

Any new recipes I should try?

Taking My WOD Up a Notch with Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

I remembering showing up to my first Foundations class for CrossFit. Nerves aside, I felt ready and prepared. I was wearing my gym shoes and workout clothes and had my hair pulled back in a pony tail. I was all set…or so I thought.

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As I finished Foundations and joined the regular classes, I couldn’t help but notice everybody else’s shoes. Aside from the fact that I loved the look, I noticed a few of them sometimes swapping out what they were wearing when we went from the strength portion to our daily WOD. I also couldn’t help but notice my shoes seemed so much bigger and bulkier than everyone else’s…because they were.

 

After a couple weeks when I knew I was really committed to this whole CrossFit thing, I bought myself a pair of the Nano 2.0s. Immediately I started noticing a difference in my WODs and lifts. The shoes were light and the minimal nature of the shoe allowed me to ground down better when doing my lifts. I suddenly understood why everyone was wearing them. The only thing I didn’t really love was running in them.

nanos

So when I was presented with the opportunity to try the new Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0’s, I jumped at the chance! I was really interested in comparing the two and seeing how this new shoe could continue to enhance my workouts.

10569077_10100213628718339_1420004874939753942_nThe first WOD in my new shoes was an EMOTM for 8:00 of 100m sprints, max wall balls and max knee raises (I don’t have the toes to bar yet…). I was kind of nervous to wear them for the run but also knew it was the perfect opportunity to test and compare the two. Immediately I could feel the difference! The soft midsole cushioning and lightweight guidance gave my knees and joints the comfort they needed while running, while the 4mm heel to toe drop gave me the stability I needed during those wall balls.

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Throughout the week I continued to wear my new shoes, putting them to the test with each day’s WOD. Falling in love with them more each day. And while I may not (always) love burpees, I do appreciate the toe wrap to protect those little babies with each jump back as I throw myself to the ground.

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I was talking with one of the owners of my box about the progression of the line of Nanos. While I haven’t had the chance to try the 3.0s and can really only compare from my 2.0s, it appears with each line of a Nanos they just keep getting better:

-They’re more breathable by changing the mesh under the cage to allow for better air flow during workouts

-They’re lighter and more flexible thanks to a re-engineered duracage.

Of course if you watched the Reebok CrossFit Games this year then you saw all the athletes decked out in their Nano 4.0s and other ultra cute Reebok gear (I want it all, please!).

I may be no Rich Froning or Camille Leblanc-Bazinet but at least I know I’m wearing them best while doing MY best!

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What are your favorite shoes to wear when working out?

While this post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Reebok, as always all opinions are strictly my own. 

Thank you for your support. ;)

The Cool Kids

I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. Every high moment and every low moment. Every person who comes into our lives and every person who leaves. They are all there for a reason. Some are to help lift us up and reach our fullest potential, while others are to teach us one of the many great life lessons.

 

As I look toward the big decisions sitting in front of me, I can’t help but also look back and see how far I’ve come. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been “on my own” for awhile now but sometimes it feels like I just graduated high school yesterday.

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Don’t mind the wet dog look…we had an outdoor graduation and the rain moved in FAST and started pouring!

I had on a Spotify playlist the other day when “Cool Kids” by Echosmith came on. I found myself immediately drawn into the lyrics.

She sees them walking in a straight line, that’s not really her style.

And they all got the same heartbeat, but hers is falling behind.

Nothing in this world could ever bring them down.

Yeah, they’re invincible, and she’s just in the background.

And she says,

 

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,

‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.

I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.”

 

He sees them talking with a big smile, but they haven’t got a clue.

Yeah, they’re living the good life, can’t see what he is going through.

They’re driving fast cars, but they don’t know where they’re going.

In the fast lane, living life without knowing.

And he says,

 

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,

‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.

 

If you asked me 10 years ago if I wished that I could be like the cool kids, I would have said “yes please!” but I look back now and while sometimes it’s hard to still feel like you don’t “fit in” with what’s “normal” for others your age, it’s just not my style. I am me. I dream big dreams. I climb big mountains. I push new boundaries. And it’s because of that, that I believe I’m going to bring big change and impact to the world around me. I don’t always know what that looks like but with each day, each idea and each step forward, I know I’m getting closer to figuring it out.

 

 

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about an idea I had. I said “some days I question myself thinking I’m crazy, other days it just feels RIGHT!” Her response? “I’m fairly certain that 100% of people who have done something that breaks the mold and is successful felt that exact same way. ;)”

 

So I ask then, why be normal? Why fit the mold or try to be like the cool kids? Why not stand out, march to your own beat and break the barriers? I know I’m trying to do just that!

The Accent Vlog

You all are in for a treat… For the last few months I’ve been meaning to do the accent vlog that has been making it’s way around the internet but just never got around to it. Lucky for you, when I finally decided to sit down and do it, it’s a Friday night when I’m sitting around watching House Hunters in my pajamas and with no make-up. HOT stuff! ;)

Photo on 8-8-14 at 8.43 PM

If you wanted to follow along, here is the list of words/questions for The Accent Vlog: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

•What do you call gym shoes?

•What do you say to address a group of people?

•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

•What do you call your grandparents?

•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

 

 

Okay and for the record…it’s a freaking DADDY LONG LEGS! What is wrong with me?!

 

Now it’s your turn…pick a couple of the questions and answer them in the comments!

Weekly Workout Check-in

I can’t believe how quick this week went, but let me assure you…I am NOT complaining. I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead with a mix of time with friends, running and relaxation. The best balance as far as I’m concerned.

A little Sunday evening self care.

It’s been nice getting back into my fitness this week after being sick all weekend. I’m so thankful that I’m feeling better and have been able to manage my stress this week to help get my health back in check.

 

Friday 8/1

2 mile run

1.5 mile walk

Saturday 8/2

Rest

Sunday 8/3

1.25 mile walk

Monday 8/4

wod080414

Tuesday 8/5

4x400m (w/ 2 mins rest)

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Wednesday 8/6

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I fought my ego and fear and was unable to establish my 2RM for Snatch and ended up giving up. Not my proudest CrossFit moment.

Thursday 8/7

4.27 mile run

 

How were your workouts this week?

What plans do you have for the weekend?

The Unexpected Benefit of CrossFit

I’m going to be honest here (not that I ever try not to be), I’ve always been very self-conscious of my legs…or at least for as long as I can remember. Not that I’ve ever really had a reason to be, they’ve just always felt like one of my “trouble” areas. Not because they’re see-through (aka super pale ;) ) or because they bruise easily and show every spot, ding or scrape; I didn’t like them because I didn’t like their size or shape. It’s taken me years to learn to love my legs, to see their size as a sign of their strength and ability to carry me through life and run 13.1 miles (hopefully 26.2 someday).

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Regardless of having learned these lessons, I’m not someone who you’ll often see in shorts and even if you do, chances are more often than not, inside my head I’m wishing I could put pants on instead.

 

Since I started running and working out consistently a few years ago, I have bought gym shorts and will wear them from time to time but I still mostly wear leggings or capris. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but what I’m getting at is the realization that I came to earlier this week as I dressed for some sprints…

 

I threw on my Lululemon shorts, sports bra and a tank top; put my hair back in a ponytail and slipped on a headband; then socks and shoes on my feet.

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I was debating going to CrossFit later after work and wanted to work from the coffee shop for a few hours after so I figured I’d skip my shower for later. I had decided to attend one of the later CrossFit classes when a friend asked me to hang out. I told her I was going to workout and feared if I went home after to shower that I wouldn’t leave my house again so if she didn’t mind me coming as I was, then I was totally down. She didn’t care so I packed some post-WOD fuel and when I was done working for the day, made my way to the box.

I understand for many this may not be a big deal but for me it was. Not that I was walking around town in my post-workout sweat (fyi-my friend promised she couldn’t smell me!) but that I was walking around town in shorts. And not just any shorts…I was in my short and tight workout shorts – booty shorts if you will. That’s when it hit me…

 

I am so much more confident in my skin and in my body!

And while years of hard work are definitely to play, my biggest strides have come since starting CrossFit in May…I’m sure of it!

 

To some I’m sure this boost in confidence makes total sense but for me, this is all coming as a huge, unexpected (but welcomed) surprise. I know not everyday will be great or that I’ll feel as confident, but it’s nice to know that I’m headed in the right direction and rockin’ this body that I’ve been given!

get fabletics

 

Are you a shorts wearer?