I find as I get older that my mom and dad were right about so much. Whether it’s safety while out running or that jerk I dated in high school, it all comes back to the advice they gave and the lessons they imparted.
I find as I get older that my mom and dad were right about so much. Whether it’s safety while out running or that jerk I dated in high school, it all comes back to the advice they gave and the lessons they imparted.
There was a brief time when I didn’t run all that much. I ran my way through college, playing club field hockey and running two half marathons. Lifelong knee problems really kicked in my last year of college. The summer before I did a NOLS course, backpacking for weeks in the Lemhi Mountains in Idaho with a huge pack on my back. I had a brace with me, but that didn’t stop fluid from building up in my knee, causing some pain on the three week trek.
After spending July in the mountains, I returned for my last year of university. Two of my running buddies from my half marathon in Lisbon decided to run another: the Battleship Half Marathon in Wilmington, NC. Training went well, the race went well, but my knee never really felt the same after that.
I finished out the school year running and playing field hockey. The summer after I graduated I completed my 220-hour yoga teacher training. I decided to devote the summer to yoga and swimming. Well, a physical therapist told me to. But still, I was thrilled that for the first time I got into really good lap-swimming shape!
That fall I moved to Colorado. I dove headfirst into the “ski in the winter, hike in the summer” lifestyle. The town of Breckenridge is at 9,600′ elevation, making anytime I attempted running, even on the treadmill at the gym, really difficult. I continued to swim laps (um, SO hard at altitude) and cross-train at the gym, but just wasn’t running all that regularly. For about two years.
I would run when I was home in North Carolina or traveling, but honestly thought maybe I was beyond my running years. At 24 years old. HAH!
After my third winter in Colorado, I was nervous for the summer. I’d fallen in love with uphill skiing, one activity that gives me a rush very similar to the runner’s high. I love hiking, but it’s not quite the same. I was nervous about missing that level of adrenaline and exertion over the summer.
My knees were sore after skiing 90 days in six months, so I turned to physical therapy. When I made the comment that I used to run all the time and assumed I’d passed my running prime, my therapist scoffed at me. He was determined to help me recover from skiing and get me back running.
We started a regimen of Graston and dry needling (holy hell the pain!), gave me a taping technique to keep my kneecap in place, and assigned me exercises to do to strengthen my glutes, hamstrings, and quads. I left for a month in Costa Rica, where I ran and did my PT every day.
Upon returning to Breckenridge, my roommate Misty announced that she was going to train for a trail half marathon and invited me to go on a run with her. I was hesitant as I had never really done any trail running and was nervous about slowing her down. But it was beautiful out and she was insistent. It was only three miles, but kicked my butt regardless! And absolutely hooked me!
All summer long I ran the trails. I discovered a trail system near town that had some long flat sections, a rarity for Colorado trails that are known for being straight uphill / downhill. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely still hills, but I could find my stride on most of this loop.
I ended up doing quite a few training runs with Misty. One was on the Colorado Trail at Copper Mountain. 6 miles there took us into a section of the woods covered in ferns and moss that made me think of the PNW. Foreshadowing!
One of the most memorable was her long 10 mile run. If you’ve been to Breck, the route will make sense to you. We ran up the Burro Trail, connected to Wheeler, crossed over the saddle of Peak 10, and down the access road. A lot of the Wheeler section was a hike as it was super steep. But at the end of the run, we felt SO accomplished! And sore. And starving. I ate so many sweet potato tater tots and cheese curds while lying prone on our living room floor.
I’ll forever be indebted to Misty for motivating me to get out running on the trails.
I’ll forever be indebted to Nathan, my physical therapist, for making it happen! His work got me running 3-7 miles probably about 5 times a week, plus running stairs at work at the restaurant and summertime hikes.
How did he do it? Here are my go-to PT exercises to keep my knees happy and my legs strong!
To kick these up a notch, stand on a step to dip down further in your squat!
Hover your right foot off the ground. Keeping your left leg straight and strong (no hyperextension in the knee), move fluidly into a warrior three position. Rise back to standing, engaging your standing leg hamstring. 8-10 reps, switch sides.
From standing, step forward into your lunge, and then twist through the thoracic spine in the direction of your forward leg. Step your back foot up and lunge on the other side.
Break out the resistance band! Lower the booty into a squat, and step out to the side with your band around your calves. Keep moving in one direction for 8-10 reps and then switch to the other direction. Keep the squat the whole time.
YAY glutes! You might need to grab a counter or a wall to help balance here. Stand upright with the band around your calves. Slowly kick your right foot back at an angle against the band. 8-10 reps and then switch.
I no longer have access to a leg press weight machine, so I have to find creative ways to get these in. 😉 Thanks, Nic!
Keep in mind, the exercises were given to me by my physical therapist for my specific knee issues (aka, I am not a trained PT), but they’re good exercises to add to anyone’s, especially runners’, strength training routines.
We got back from an amazing, sweaty, restful, fun weekend feeling… exhausted!
Let’s first talk why I’m feeling exhausted.
We headed to Hood River for three days to teach at the OutFound Festival. It kicked off in true Flex & Flow fashion: with a dance party. What better way to celebrate the amazing view and sunset upon our arrival.
We led yoga classes that kicked off each day of the festival, getting to start the day with doing yoga in the grass next to the Columbia River with a great group of people.
Luckily the sun graced my class Friday morning, and we got to fly quite a bit in Acro with Ian and Paul before the wind and rain moved in.
Our crew came up on Saturday to yoga it up with us in the Gorge all weekend long! Flex & Flow squad rolls deep!
A key phrase for the weekend was “be open.” Be open to experience, be open to rolling with it, be open to what comes. It was a great conversation starter and theme of the weekend.
For one, the beautiful grass where we were doing yoga was covered with a ridiculous amount of goose poop. Apparently the city mandates that it not be cleaned up as it’s considered fertilizer. Normally I love to practice outside without a mat, directly in the grass, sand, and dirt. In this case, though, I was especially grateful I had my Nomadix towel to practice on! It kept me mostly protected from the poo, until Jamie picked me up and threatened to dump me down into a fresh pile of it. Get your own and get 15% off with the code “SweatPink!”
On Sunday we were able to take advantage of the sunshine and go for a hike. Interestingly, something I didn’t know before I first came to Oregon, not all of the PNW is full of moss, ferns, and waterfalls. And there in the Hood River area we had passed the point in the Gorge where the foliage turns from lush to arid. We hiked through fields of flowers and brush to a beautiful 360-degree overlook at the top. I was extremely glad I was armed with my AfterShokz headphones and Wearsafe Tag because during the hike we saw a few snakes, including a baby rattlesnake at the top. Yeah, scary. Having headphones that rest outside of my ears and use bone conduction technology, and an easy-to-access button linked to an app on my smartphone for emergency situations helped keep me calm and aware in a moment of fear. They helped me feel safe.
This weekend we did it all! Yoga to hiking to the winery, all back to back. Handful kept us comfortable and ready for anything with their amazing bras, tops, and pants. It’s the best reason to always be in yoga clothes: ready for anything at any point in time. Always got to be prepared to bust a handstand at a moment’s notice.
Even though we yoga’d and hiked all weekend long, it was actually a ridiculously relaxing weekend for us. Normally weekends are back-to-back sweat fests, from before sunup til last man standing (aka, Jamie). This weekend we slept until after 7am every day. We didn’t run. At all. We ate fries, chickpeas (oh em gee, crispy chickpeas!), and truffle pizza. We drank coffee, wine, beer, and then more coffee. And then more wine. We snuggled so many puppies. We sat in the sun at a winery amidst a garden celebrating National Rosé Day. We didn’t open our computers.
And yet we’re still exhausted. I have a few theories about why that is, but it is still a little surprising considering how rested I anticipated coming back after this weekend.
I know what always helps me: getting sweaty! Today is week 2 of the #ffyhiityoga challenge. Here is the ridiculous sequence that is guaranteed to make you sweat, your arms shake, and your muscles burn…
Oh and coffee. Coffee definitely helps me.
What are you doing to counteract any weekend hangovers?
I hate, hate, hate when people tell me they can’t do something, especially when it comes to yoga.
I’m not flexible enough, is the most common excuse.
I’m not strong enough.
I could never do a handstand.
It’s too hot.
I’m too stressed and busy.
It’s too weird, with the chanting, “ohms,” and incense.
I’m nervous; I’ve never done yoga before.
I’m not in shape at all.
Here’s the thing, the secret that’s not a secret, that will officially debunk all of your excuses: There’s a style of yoga for everyone!
Whether you’re looking for hard core power vinyasa to kick your butt, or a dark room to meditate in, there is literally a style of yoga for everyone for every purpose you could think of. High energy flows, stretching, meditation, hot or not, solo at home with a computer, partner yoga… You get my point.
The minute you tell someone you do yoga or that you teach yoga, all kinds of reactions come through. A lot of times there’s connection. A lot of people do yoga these days, so it’s great common ground. A lot of times the “Oh I wish I could do yoga, but…” statements come out.
After nearly ten years of practicing yoga and 6 years of teaching yoga, I have down pat my response to whatever excuse is given to me: There’s a style of yoga for everyone.
We all fear what we don’t know, and we all have anxiety over trying something new for the first time. But unless you plan to do the same effing thing every day for the rest of your life, you’re going to have to try new things at some point. You have to get over that fear enough to show up and give it a go. Jamie, Nicci, and I field those fears a lot when it comes to new students at our studio, Flex & Flow. We get constant emails that positively reek of nerves and uncertainty. We always respond the same way: Just come in and try a class. For our high energy studio, we truly believe that if you challenge and push yourself, that you’ll surprise yourself with what you’re capable of! We all have that athlete inside of us that wants to throw down and rock it. Sometimes we just have to get over a little fear of the new and unknown to tap into it.
Dive on in and get sweaty! Join us for the 4 week #FFYHIITYOGA challenge! A new sequence is released each week. The goal is to do it three times during the week (doesn’t sound like a lot, but give it a go and then decide) and follow along with the prompts on Instagram throughout the week, too. Here’s week 1’s sequence:
You can also join us on Instagram Live this Friday at 9am PT to talk details about this challenge and why you should dive on in (the sweat is fine)! We’ll also be talking about our new HIIT Yoga Membership!
Needing something a little more on the mellow side? Even if you’re more inclined to the high energy stuff, we all should balance it out with some yummy, chill yoga too. I got together with some of my favorite photographers, the Starks, and we created a blog post featuring our favorite poses for brides on their wedding days. These poses and simple flows are designed to help calm any feelings of anxiety before walking down the aisle. This is going to be super helpful for all of my friends getting married this summer, but is also super useful for anytime someone is dealing with stress or just needs to chill the eff out. Check it out! (How-to videos and write ups are in the post, with one example below.)
Don’t forget, we do yoga so that we feel good. Sometimes that means flowing it out and getting sweaty, sometimes that means lying on your back and breathing. It’s all yoga.
What are your excuses keeping you from yoga? How will you overcome them?
I run, so I’m a runner.
I think we all have this image that pops up in our minds with the mention of a “runner.” I am not that stereotypical image, that’s for sure. I’m not long and lean (generally no running in a sports bra for me! Hello, tatas!). I don’t run marathons; actually, it’s been years since I’ve run a race at all (which is about to change!). Sometimes I have more days that I struggle taking steps than days where I can find a nice long, easy stride. I don’t go to running stores. Until recently I didn’t really have much run gear and didn’t belong to a run club (those have definitely changed now – fave gear highlights below).
Even so, I AM A RUNNER!
This is not a new theme for me to ponder on. There was a brief span of time a few years ago that I wasn’t running that much (foreshadowing for another post to come!). So when I started running again in Colorado (hello amazingly active and fit people) and moved here and became friends (and running buddies) with an ultra marathon runner, I fell in love with trail running but felt a little out of my league.
Last year I had just started dating someone new. We were chatting about running and trail running. At this time, even though I was healing from two injuries, I felt good about my running habits. I was happy to share with him that I ran 4-7 miles multiple times a week. He looked at me blankly for a moment and then said, “Oh, is that all?” Granted, we were with his friend who is also an ultra runner. But still!
I felt insecure. For like a second.
Is there a certain mileage requirement that determines who can call themselves a “runner?” Are there certain trails, races, gear, pounds, body types, anything that qualifies you as a runner? I give that a big, fat NO!
I move my feet and body in a running fashion on a regular basis, so that means I’m a runner, plain and simple. So suck it, dude.
I enjoy running. I like the runner’s high, like that I can take it with me wherever I go, like how fit it keeps me, like it for training for other activities.
The act itself can be incredibly challenging or incredibly meditative. I hate / love that every run is different, and you kind of never know what it’s going to be like. Sometimes I head out dreading the run to come and end up feeling amazing and extending my miles! Sometimes each step takes every ounce of energy and pure stubbornness I contain.
For example, the week before last I headed out for a trail run in Forest Park. I let my mind wander and day dream and breezed through 8 miles. I went out today with Jamie and Nicci and struggled with every freaking step. My legs felt like lead and my lungs burned with every breath. It was all around a pretty painful run, and only 6 miles of that route from two weeks ago. Same path, same forest, same shoes, same runner, very different experiences.
Even on the most challenging days, I’m glad I headed out for a run. I’m glad I don’t let the haters hate. I’m glad I have friends that push me and woods that call to me. Today, to celebrate Global Running Day, I hit the trails with my favorites and got it done. As runners do.
It’s rare for me to head out running with no gear whatsoever anymore. Here’s some of my (and my team’s) favorite running gear right now, more to come later.
Not only will I be in North Carolina for quite a while (hellllllloooo humidity!) and will I be amping up my running to prepare for my half at the end of the summer, but there are so many ridiculously sweaty things happening. Are you with me?!
We’re planning on getting sweaty together all summer long at Flex & Flow! Each Sunday, we’re sending out (and posting on the blog) a suggested workout for the week featuring classes at the studio. Can’t make it into the studio in Portland? There will be alternative workouts on offer so you can keep training along with us!
We’re kicking it off this Saturday, June 3rd with a party in the park! Join us at the studio at 11:30 to run over to Overlook Park for a sweaty bootcamp session in the sunshine with Tasha and Jamie. We’ll run back to the studio for a nutrition talk centered around fueling for training with Barb, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. We’ll also have cookies from Morsel Code Cookie Company and tea from Stash Tea (they have an iced chocolate nitro tea that is amazing)!
In one week, we’re Hood River-bound for OutFound Festival, an adventure sports and outdoor innovation festival! The Flex & Flow crew will be teaching vinyasa, inversion, acro, and bootcamp classes there all weekend long. Get your tickets this weekend and catch OutFound’s last chance flash sale of 50% off registration. Here is the FFY class lineup:
June is Running Safety Month! All month long at Sweat Pink we’ll be talking gear, stretches, rest day activities, cross training favorites, self defense, tips for running newbies, and more. Join in on the conversation! Let us know anything and everything that keeps you safe out on the trails, road, treadmill, and everywhere else you get in your miles.
Going into the summer, which is sure to be hot and sweaty for me at the beach in NC, I’m super grateful for these sun safety tips from Organic Runner Mom! Luckily I do some of these already, but I’m taking notes as I’m gearing up for longer runs on hotter days in sweaty, steamy Carolina. Hydration pack, here I come… What are your favorites, runners??
We’ll also be hosting giveaways of some awesome gear throughout the month, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Can’t wait to enter the giveaway to get some awesome gear? Get 70% off Volume Maker RunBud wireless and Bluetooth headphones with the code SWEATPINK!
Part of the month’s celebration includes National Running Day, which is next Wednesday the 7th! I definitely plan on gathering my running buddies and hitting the trails for some miles to celebrate sweatily.
My ultimate running inspiration Jamie is sharing all of the ultimate motivation for tapping into the inner athlete beast. On National Trail Running Day last week, she spoke about running ultras at our local Columbia store. She also was just featured along with a number of other amazing ultra trail runners on NordicTrack to talk all things ultra running. Check out these posts!
Not only will I be using these as a reference when it comes to my own training and motivation, she is also encouraging me to tap into my inner athlete! After playing sports for years, it became ingrained for me what being “an athlete” meant. That definition has shifted so much for me in the past few years. I don’t play team sports anymore and am not a professional athlete, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not an athlete. Everyone has an athlete inside of him / her! I’m so excited to be participating in the month-long #AthleteInside challenge with Designer Protein, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Ben Zorn (I’m not a Bachelor watcher, but some of you might recognize him as that Ben Zorn). This whole challenge is geared towards embracing your inner athlete through fitness and nutrition in order to achieve your goals. Check out more details here. Perfect timing, eh?
Last, but certainly not least, this Monday kicks off our HIIT Yoga challenge! A weekly sequence will be released every Sunday from June 5 – June 30, daily prompts will be posted, and a weekly Instagram Live session will be held every Friday.
This challenge is to celebrate the release of HIIT Yoga workouts online in July! So no matter where you are or what time it is or how much time you have to work out, you’ll be able to get sweaty with us! HIIT Yoga is by far one of the sweatiest and most kick-butt workouts I’ve ever participated in. Challenging in and of itself, it’s also one of the best cross-training exercised for running!
Sounds sweaty enough? Stay tuned for all things running and sweaty to come: cross training, restoration, gearing up to run, all things HIIT Yoga, fueling up to train, staying safe in the sun, and more!
What are your summer goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
My Sunday was full of mud, silks, hula hoops, and downward facing dog.
Only at Wanderlust!
Yesterday I got to attend Wanderlust 108, a pop-up Wanderlust festival here in Portland, OR. It’s a version of a triathlon, featuring running, yoga, and meditation. Though I taught at FFY in the morning and couldn’t attend the run, I got to participate in the afternoon, and was reminded why these festivals are so much fun!
I’d attended Wanderlust about 5 years ago the first time they hosted it in Copper Mountain, CO. This was an unusual venue for them as no one lives permanently in this resort town. Everyone had to commute in for the festival weekend. The classes were amazing and I got to train with some incredible teachers, but I think the turnout was a little low from what I’ve seen in pictures from Whistler and Squaw. I think the festival thought so as well as they haven’t continued to host the festival here.
Yesterday we gathered at the main stage (post-rainy run) for a yoga class with Chelsey Korus. This is where I got to join in, rolling my mat out on mud partially covered by a wet poncho next to my friends. I got the best parts of the practice: pigeon, happy baby, and savasana. 🙂 Flowing with hundreds of yogis while rolling around in the grass and mud under stormy skies with a DJ spinning tracks in the background… Talk about #SundayZenday.
After making sure all of us had gotten our faces painted (when in Rome, or yoga land)…
We toured around the mini village. That’s one of two main differences I noticed this time around, a smaller village area. Luckily the rain held off until after wandering around time when we got to mingle with friends and explore the attending brands. Right as afternoon workshops began, the rain began to downpour. We were in the safety and scenic Dome shopping the awesome Wanderlust swag (another time I was so impressed by a brand outside of my norm! Great job, adidas!) and could view the rain from the clear “skylight” in the tent.
I think the rain scared a lot of people off. Understandable as most of the workshops were outside. We hopped into one of the covered flows, and by the time the class was over the rain had stopped and the sun emerged. Full classes now had available spots. So we got to fly with AIReal Yoga and hoop it up.
The beauty of the mini festival structure is each class was 25 minutes. We had the opportunity to experience all of these new activities without having to commit to a full-length class. I have tons of friends who love aerial, and now I see why.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I played with a hula hoop, and we actually got to work on a routine of sorts. The jams, the sun, and the laugh was all on fire!
This has all gotten me so excited about our TWO upcoming festivals:
Want more Wanderlust? Check out my Instagram Stories story from and recapping the day:
As much as I love to try new things, I’m also very much a creature of habit. I find something I like and I stick with it. I try out a new tank, love it, and get it in three more colors. I’m very loyal to my favorite brands. You can usually spot me dressed in lulu and Patagonia, wearing Birks, Frye boots, or Nikes, and accompanied by my faithful Nalgene.
One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to discover brands and test out products! I’ve found some of my new favorite things are items that are outside of my norm, and I absolutely love it! Let’s explore…
I ALSO just got this amazing tumbler from Miir. I’ve felt guilty for quite some time about how many disposable coffee cups I use, so I’m so excited that this go-cup works for cold and hot liquids, is dishwasher safe, and makes me feel like I’m drinking out of a real cup. And it doesn’t sweat and fits into coffee cup holders. So in love! Seriously, I don’t leave home without it now. Miir also gives back!
On a side note, I recently had some great customer experiences where I was expertly educated by salespeople, and ended up leaving with items that I LOVE but wouldn’t have picked out myself.
Gotta love trusting the experts. I’ll only say it once, right here, right now: You were right.
Disclaimer: Some of the product listed above was provided by the brands. All opinions expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.
#tbt to 8 years ago, just a young little chippy studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain.
For years I’d been a runner, mostly playing sports and training for those sports. But I ran a lot.
Even though I’d exercised, trained, and been very active for most of my life, I thought I maxed out at 3-4 miles running at one time. Even though field hockey players run 6-8 miles during the course of a game, I just thought I’d never be one of those people that could run long distances.
While living in Sevilla, I loved running around the city as a means of exploration. And staying fit while eating all the yummy Spanish things! I was saying “yes” to pretty much everything while I was there: trying all the food things (anybody ever have cola de toro? It’s bull tail!), weekend trips with people in tiny Andalusian towns, evenings out to see flamenco, grand adventures to Morocco…
So when a group from my program decided to run the Lisbon Half Marathon, I hesitantly said yes. Hesitant about the running aspect, not about the trip to Lisbon.
Six weeks out, I had registered for the race and jumped on board my friend’s training plan.
This was before Strava, Google Maps, and smart phones. So I used MapMyRun to plan out my routes once my mileage was increasing beyond my normal loops. For the most part, this was a pretty painless process. I got to explore new areas of the amazing city in which I was living, which was luckily also flat and at sea level.
The only issue I had one day was taking the wrong connector street. Barrio Santa Cruz is literally the ancient part of the city where the old city developers hardly used a grid plan. Streets are very narrow and wind around in a very confusing manner. I knew I was headed up to a major street that divided the old and newer parts of the city, so when I couldn’t discern which street I really needed to turn on, I just kept running in the “right” general direction. Well…
From Barrio Santa Cruz on the left, I was supposed to run up toward Calle Maria Auxiliadora, and connect with Avenida Jose Laguillo to head towards home, the pink line. Well I ran up a parallel street towards Calle Maria Auxiliadora, but at the point of that giant curve in the street, which dumped me out way far north, the blue line. What was supposed to be a 7 mile run turned into 10. But I got to explore Sevilla just a little more! Funny enough, I was never nervous. I knew I’d make it back to somewhere I knew. I was more worried about missing lunch, which I did.
25 people from my program ended up traveling to Lisbon that weekend. About half of the group was running the race. It was an absolutely incredible experience! We road the bus over from Sevilla to Lisbon, about a 6 hour ride. I met a man that does that every week. At the time, the economy is Portugal was really struggling. So he worked in Sevilla during the week, road the bus home to a little town outside of Lisbon to spend the weekend with his wife and children, and then road the bus all night Sunday night back to Sevilla for work Monday morning.
Upon arriving in Lisbon, we immediately went and checked in for our race and then explored the riverfront area.
We got to see some of the course we’d be running the next day. We ate good food, good pastries, and just generally enjoyed the day in Lisbon.
The actual race itself went a hell of a lot better than I expected! We started across the river at the Jesus statue, ran over the bridge, down to the waterfront, and ran a figure-8 into the finish line. No big hills or anything!
I was still SO nervous! It was the longest I’d ever run, and this race is legit! It’s one of the largest races in the world, so there are TONS of people from all over that have come together to run this race. Like some really serious runners. The one thing I didn’t really like about this race is that with the figure-8 course layout, I could see runners crossing the finish line as I was looping around for the other half of the “8.”
But what a fun way to experience my first half marathon, and to explore a new city! We got to start at the iconic Jesus statue, run over the bridge, and end at the beautiful Mosteiro dos Jerónimos Monument.
I started the race wanting only one thing, to finish without stopping to walk. So I paced myself really well. Too well actually. When I hit the marker telling me there was only 3 miles left, I realized I had quite a bit of juice left, so I kicked it into high gear.
The only thing I wish I’d done differently, other than pacing myself a little better, was buying new shoes when I started training. I brought used shoes to Spain with me, and continued to run and train with those. Shortly into the actual race, my feet started hurting like whoa!
Some of the group had to hop on the next bus back to Sevilla (holy soreness!). The rest of us wandered around the city and ventured to the aqueducts. As sore as we were and as much as we were moaning and groaning walking up that huge hill, I think the adventures thoroughly helped prevent serious soreness from setting in. The desire to explore during our last evening in an incredible place helped to keep us moving.
And then we got to collapse…
I ran this race before I really knew anything. I got my first pair of running leggings for this race. Didn’t buy new shoes for training. Didn’t have a handheld water bottle. No Strava or smart phone to track my mileage, pace, route, or take pictures. I just showed up, set my mind to it, and put one foot in front of the other!
I’m actually so excited about my upcoming half marathon! I haven’t run an official race in such a long time. My second half marathon was the Battleship Half Marathon my senior year of college. Then I ended up training quite a bit with Misty, my roommate in Colorado, for her trail half, but never did the actual race.
This time I’m coming into it in much better shape, knowing so much more, having better gear, and with a killer support system and training buddies. We’ll be gearing up all summer long with HIIT Yoga and the Summer Sweat Series at Flex & Flow, summer hikes and trail runs, cross training with swimming and SUP-ing when I’m at home… And then the main events for the EMPOWER Race Series and Molalla Trail Race!
While we’ll be running the show at EMPOWER in SF, rather than physically running, it will be so incredibly inspirational and empowering being with all those amazing, sweaty women! (We’ll definitely sneak our own runs in, don’t worry!) Wanna join in on all the yoga and all the running in the Bay Area? Use the code FLEXANDFLOW for 20% off race registration at empoweredraceseries.com! Not in the Bay Area and can’t make it there that weekend? Sign up for the virtual race, too!
I’m in a slump. A funk. A I just wanna curl up on the couch in a snuggly blanket mood.
I think it’s somewhat universal, at least up here in Portland. We’ve had maybe a few days of sunshine in months, let alone a warm and beautiful spring season. It’s hard to maintain a bright and chipper demeanor when it’s been raining nearly nonstop for months.
Not to mention Mercury was in retrograde last week, again, and it was a full moon. All the crazy, emotional cycles in the world were linked up.
I don’t have time to deal with all that s***! Without going into my to-do list and inserting my schedule, everything I need to do is demanding of my time, focus, and energy. I can’t exactly show up to teach yoga morose, or plan all of the amazing events we have coming up without excitement.
Seriously, ain’t nobody got time for that!
So when things are sad, stressful, lacking energy, or when I just don’t wanna, what do I do to get motivated?
I truly believe we have a reasonable amount of control over our energy level and happiness. Not because bad things don’t happen or stress doesn’t exist, but because of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
They say that if you smile, even if it’s forced, it can increase genuine happiness and decrease stress. In my line of work, I pretty much always have to be happy and energetic. Not that I can’t have my bad days and be authentic with that. But overall, teaching power vinyasa yoga and working in the fitness industry, I spend my days motivating people. That can be a pretty damn hard job, even on the best of days, but especially when my RBF feels like it’s been carved by Michelangelo himself.
So sometimes I paste that smile on and wait for my brain to catch up. Sometimes I literally shift everything upside down. By kicking up into handstand even for a moment, I get that head rush and get the blood pumping in a way that only inversions can. I lift back up out of it with a feeling of freshnenss and rejuvination.
My closet is in a desperate way. Things are generally where they need to be, but a purge is SO necessary! Things are piled and wedged and layered such that I end up wearing the top layer over and over once it’s been laundered and have completely forgotten about the hidden items underneath. I know minimalism and purging is kind of all the rage right there. There are so many theories out there for organizing and weeding through objects. I haven’t yet developed a strategy of balancing holding onto nostalgic items and purging unneeded things that don’t actually serve a purpose or make me happy.
It seems that this need to organize and purge is part of a general sense of spring cleaning! My #sweatpink sister Katie is on board the anti-hoarder train. Becky, as usual, is pretty much the most organized soul I know. Not only is that motivation enough, but she reminds me that after ruthlessly spring cleaning and purging, you usually get to go shopping! Alyse reminded me today that the general shelf life of a sports bra is 12 months, which for most of us means we need to purge all those old items we hang on to for dear life. I have SO many old pieces of activewear that are lying around, unneeded might I add. Why would I need to hold on to an old sports bra that no longer ever supports the girls when I have AWESOME new bras from lulu, prAna, Handful, and more! (Obviously I don’t need to hang on to these old things at all!)
Nothing makes me feel better about my weird moods than knowing I’m not alone. Luckily I’m surrounded by likeminded people, GSD, motivated, ladybosses that have Superwoman Syndrome and want to do everything they possibly can to the best of their ability. My PIC Nic and I work side by side on most things. She co-manages Flex & Flow with me and we work on many projects together. When one of us feels harried and stressed, the other will look at her with a matching “holy shit” facial expression. My bosses/colleagues/friends/general ladyboss inspirations Jamie, Alyse, and Becky all somehow balance every possible thing in life and manage to do it all gracefully (and sweatily). Starting, owning, and growing thriving businesses (note that that’s plural); marriage; babies; law school; travel; rocking out all things sweaty… When Becky was in a similar “holy shit how do I do it” place, she opened up about how she gets motivated to be the “doer” that she is, including outlining to-do’s, setting and sharing goals, surrounding yourself with an amazing community, and sweating!
I’m a big fan of to-do lists. Of writing things down that I need to do, and even the tasks that I’ve already done. We get a sense of fulfillment by accomplishing tasks and crossing them off the list when we do.
Often times my to-do list is overwhelming, and I sit staring at it not knowing where to start. Or I start doing everything else first before the few tasks that really need to get done and I just don’t wanna. Luckily I’m not alone in that overwhelmed procrastination. Alyse and Autumn at A Whole Story recently talked about the mental games we can play with ourselves to increase productivity. A few standouts:
“I cannot watch another episode of Gilmore Girls till I write for 10 minutes.”
“Must respond to two emails before I mindlessly scroll FB and IG for an hour.”
Alyse even rewarded herself with cheese for writing that very blog post! Takeaway? That cheese is a worthy goal for humans and lab rats alike, yes. AND that we all struggle with productivity, but there are little mental games and reward systems we can use to counteract that.
I love having goals to work towards! It helps motivate me to put one foot in front of the other, even when I don’t want to. One of the big goals right now is that I have signed up for my first trail half marathon, the Molalla River Trail Race in September. I’m a little nervous because it will be right after I will be at the beach for a few weeks. But I have some awesome steps in place to help me train for it:
Jamie ruminates on one of my favorite topics today on her blog: the benefits of getting outside of your comfort zone. Doing so means that we’re learning, growing, experiencing new things. Too often we give into the sense of discomfort when it comes to learning new things, and we chicken out and choose to stick with what we know. To me, that just sounds like a quick recipe for getting into a rut. We have to keep challenging ourselves in order to grow and continue to feel fulfilled.
I was lucky enough to take Alissa‘s Hands On Assists workshop last weekend. It was a small group of teachers and advanced practitioners that came together to discuss and practice, well, touching each other. Some of the assists were ones that I knew (in my comfort zone) and some were new that I got to practice on bodies. Taking part in new activities and further education trainings like this is a great way continue to grow.
Monday morning, I walked in to teach the 7:30am HIIT Yoga class at Flex & Flow. I was tired, lethargic, low energy, and only wanting to be curled back up in bed. But I turned it on, motivated by the amazing crew that showed up ready to go hard. After an hour of flowing, breathing, and sweating like whoa, my I’m-a-high-energy-yoga-teacher smile and demeanor was a legit sweaty grin! Ian teaches the class before and after me on Mondays. He told me that he loves seeing the change in my energy on Monday mornings, like a light switch. The endorphins, the sweat, the movement, the community all works together to kick my Monday off in the best way possible.
We’re so excited to get things turnt up and HIIT it this weekend! We’ll be getting sweaty and learning all the HIIT Yoga things with amazing people all weekend long. Doesn’t that just sound like the best recipe for a great time? There’s no way we won’t be leaving the studio after the weekend not feeling motivated and all kinds of yoga high!
You can still join in! Use the code LASTCHANCEFFY, you’ll get 15% off this week’s HIIT Yoga Teacher Training (Expires Friday 4/28).
I love hearing astrological explanations for weird phenomenon and emotional trends. Like Mercury being in retrograde (doesn’t it seem like it always is though??). I took class this morning with Alissa, who is in touch with astrology and energies. She informed me that today marks the new moon in Taurus, which has a fixed quality, grounding energy. It is a moon ruled by Venus, bringing in lightness, happiness, and sensuality. In theory it’s a great time to be setting intentions and making plans.
So how am I going to motivate myself to do the opposite of what I feel like doing?
What are you working on right now? What are your tips for revving your lackluster motors?