Liz Wilson Yoga

Goodbye summer, hello fall

By September 12, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Local Living, Travel

I love fall. Beautiful foliage, blue skies, that crisp in the air. Boots and sweaters. I’m from a place famous for fall (Blue Ridge Mountains, anyone?). Fall in Breckenridge was hard for me. Undeniably beautiful…

The seas of yellow aspens are so stunning!

… but incredibly short lived. Fully “bloomed” aspens usually only lasted a week, maybe two. And then bare trees and snow flurries desperately attempting to build a base for ski season, which could last until June.

I love being back in a place where fall is actually a real season. It’s a gradual transition to winter in Portland, something we’re very much grateful for as winter can be extremely difficult.

We’re talking hitting the fall reset button all over the place right now!

Normally, this is a great idea. But for me especially right now I’m craving the reset. This summer has been unlike any other and I’ve been gone more often than I’ve been home, even though I’ve been “home” in North Carolina a lot. I’m so excited to be getting back to Portland this week and implementing some new habits!

Detox to Retox

Summer is all white wine and fresh fruits at the beach.Gimme those hot toddies and steaks with truffle potatoes at the ski lodge all winter long.

A Sparkling Detox is the perfect way to transition from summer into fall and winter! And this week is all about the bubbles… Join me and Gerolsteiner this week by switching out all of your beverages with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. And that’s it! You can tune into the Facebook group to get some great nutrition and fitness tips, too. But other than that, it’s the easiest detox ever with great results. What other detox have you heard of that you can have chocolate cake?

Back to School Shopping

Just because I’m not a student anymore doesn’t mean I don’t want some new threads for fall! Do the kids even say “threads” anymore?… It’s time for prAna‘s new fall line to launch and we’re so excited about it!

I love cute yoga tops for their versatility! I can wear them to yoga and out hiking. And then I can wear them with leggings or jeans out to happy hour! I’ve already gotten tons of compliments on my Filament Tank from prAna, and it’s now one of my favorites I’ve caught myself wearing way too many times between washes.

Jeans are ridiculously hard for me to find. I’m short with a small waist but muscular butt and thighs. It’s a great excuse to either spend way too much on jeans or just always wear leggings. prAna to the rescue yet again! The Jenna Pant not only fits, but has been a huge hit! I’ve worn them an embarrassing number of times already and I get compliments on them every time!

Wanna get some special “back to school” clothes, too? Use the code FALY15 to get 15% off prAna!

Feeling Amazing

One thing that always takes a hit when you’re traveling or even just really busy is your diet. I love starting my day with breakfast; I always have to eat pretty much right when I wake up. I also tend to get into a habit of eating the same thing every morning until I find something new, get sick of it, or have to adjust because I’m not home. I’m not necessarily tired of my breakfast du jour (can you ever really get sick of coconut yogurt, frozen blueberries, banana, and chocolate chips?), but I am ready to mix it up.

I’ve gotten off the smoothie and overnight oats train, and I need to get back on. I can’t wait to try Amazing Grass’s new Elixirs! They are full of adaptogens. Adaptogens:

  • help with cognitive health and mental clarity for your brain
  • help optimize gut health for your belly
  • support radiant hair, skin and nails

They’re easy to add them to a smoothie or even just water for an instant boost! The new Elixirs come in three varieties Beauty (hibiscus), Brain (matcha), and Belly (turmeric).

All week long I’m detoxing with Gerolsteiner. After the Detox is over, I so excited to sip on Amazing Grass’s new Effervescents! Drop one dissolvable Green Superfood tablet into a glass of water and the organic alkalizing greens blend will give me a dose of greens that is clean energy and helps support my immune system (which is obviously a huge priority right now with my dad’s compromised immune system).

Get 40% off Amazing Grass products using the code SweatPink2017 at checkout.

 

Empower Vancouver

I love mixing things up with a trip. When I’m feeling in a rut, getting out of town is the perfect way to come back to my life feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, restored. I’ve been traveling my butt off this summer, so I’m definitely ready to be a homebody for a little while. But for those of you hankering to escape, check out our EMPOWER Retreat Vancouver with Lorna Jane! We only have TWO SPOTS LEFT! So make sure you sign up now (it’s only $200 for a weekend pass!) to get your spot for this amazing influencer retreat!

Disclaimer: I was sent product by Gerolsteiner, prAna, and Amazing Grass. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate the brands that support the Sweat Pink community! 

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I’m not ok, but it’s ok.

By September 11, 2017 Musings

Nothing can really prepare you for when your worst fear comes to life.

I just had a conversation with one of my best friends from college about everything that’s been going on. She remembers me saying on numerous occasions that I could pretty much incite a panic attack at the thought of losing one of my parents in the near future. If (who knows, they’re adventurous, they could discover the source of Infinite Life in Jack Sparrow’s long lost cave in the Caribbean) and when they go, it’ll be 30 years from now quietly in their sleep after playing on the beach all day with their grandkids and drinking a bottle of Amarone.

For those of you who don’t know, in December my dad was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A rare form called “mantle cell,” to be more precise. In January we found out it was Stage 4. It is aggressive, incurable, but treatable. My dad went into remission after four rounds of chemo, the earliest possible timing that could happen. In June, he underwent a bone marrow transplant, a procedure paired with intense chemo that could give us years before it comes back and we have to fight again.

Christmas 2016, before we found out it was Stage 4.

We’re 9 months post diagnosis now. The fight is going well, but still going on. We’ve reached a new normal, hopefully on the way back to the real normal.

When we found out, my dad immediately insisted that I not uproot my life and move home. So I continued on. Or tried to. I had my reaction, which, to put it plainly, was not pleasant, and then tried to continue on. I smiled, found things to laugh at, dated someone, traveled.

February 2017, FaceTiming from Breckenridge (wonder where I get it from… 😉 )

That doesn’t mean everything is ok, though. I totally have moments of feeling truly happy. But the fear, anxiety, uncertainty is always present.

I’m lucky enough that I was able to come home for a month after the transplant. It’s hard to describe this time period, this experience. Being in the bone marrow transplant unit with my dad, who sipped on milkshakes while cracking jokes with the nurses and fought against a ridiculous amount of pain. Not to mention he was exhausted from literally regenerating his whole immune system after the chemo killed everything off. After discharge from the hospital, we stayed close by in Chapel Hill in an approved hotel before he was fully discharged back home to the beach. Our whole world has revolved around medication charts, blood counts, cleaning procedures, and doctors appointments. (I cannot express how amazing our team at Chapel Hill was! All of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and staff were absolutely amazing, not to mention literally life saving!)

June 2017, walking in Duke Gardens after being discharged from the hospital.

When trying to explain how I feel and what I’ve been going through, someone close to me labeled it “the vortex.” Time seems to disappear. What goes on around me is covered over by a film. My reactions seem delayed, forced, unenthusiastic, or some combination of all three. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate to do anything at all but sit on the couch and stare.

The easiest times are actually with my dad. Talking, watching a movie, bitching about Trump. It feels normal.

I don’t claim to be experiencing a fraction of what he is. His strength is unparalleled in my mind. Anyone that has someone close to them that has fought the vicious battle against cancer can claim this.

The strength of my mother is incredible. My dad and I joke that this has given her complete freedom to let her nagging flag fly (she says affectionately). She’s organized, clean and tidy, constantly moving, and a planner by nature. The perfect caregiver.

Christmas 2016.

I’m the daughter of a man who was dealt the worst blow when he was the strongest, fittest, happiest I’ve ever seen him. An unfair blow to be sure. But as the doctors tell us, we are able to fight so hard and aggressively now due to the fact that he was so strong when this happened. I was not present at all the chemo treatments, doctors’ meetings, or daily battle of fatigue. But I continued as best I could because that’s what my dad wanted. I called multiple times a week, came home to surprise them at Christmas, again in the middle of chemo, and then for most of the summer after transplant.

August 2017, FaceTiming from Tahoe

But I digress. I didn’t want to talk about all the cancer things I’ve learned, or how amazing my dad is, or how scared I was when we found out he had cancer. I needed to put all of that out there so that what I did want to talk about makes sense. And because I haven’t really put it all out there yet.

What I really wanted to share is what I’ve discovered about how to interact with a friend or loved one going through something traumatic and heartbreaking.

People have taken a few strategies with me:

  • They upfront ask how I’m doing (and my dad). They listen compassionately and offer to do anything and everything.
  • They insist everything is going to be “fine.”
  • They bring up experiences in their own lives that mirror my own.
  • They don’t bring it up, allowing me to talk about it if and when I’m ready to. I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they don’t know what to say to me, so they don’t say anything at all.

For me, I appreciate being asked about it and him. It lets me know that I’m cared about and thought of. I totally get that people don’t want to bum me out or bring it up if I’m not thinking about it. But as I explained it to someone close to me, it’s something that is always present for me. By not asking about, or at least acknowledging, something so obvious in my life, it makes me feel a little weird.

August 26, 2017, Dad’s birthday.

When people just keep telling me “it’ll be fine,” I don’t really know how to react. I do appreciate the optimism, but part of me immediately bristles. The reality is that my dad’s cancer is incurable. And I have a lot of fear. By constantly repeating, “it’ll be fine,” I feel like I can’t express those fears. Any Sex and the City fans out there? Remember when Carrie just kept saying those words to Samantha after her breast cancer diagnosis? Sam’s response was, “[But what if it’s not?] Let me talk about what I’m afraid of.”

I’m a pretty open person. When I can’t talk about something, I say so. So for me, the best approach has been, “Hey, how are you and your dad doing?” To the point. I’ve reached a point where I can talk about it without completely losing it.

But I know that doesn’t work all the time. Everybody handles things differently. But everyone needs a shoulder and some love. So if you’re not sure what someone needs or how to approach him or her about it, maybe try out, “Hey, I wanted to check in and see how you were doing with everything going on. I understand if you don’t want to talk about it right now, but know that I’m here for you and love you.” Or even just ask how you can best support them through this. It lets them know you care without being intrusive if that person isn’t ready to open up. Sometimes people just need to turn inward for a spell, but it’s always nice knowing your loved ones are there.

March 2017, after the first two rounds of chemo.

When I got home in June, the beach was a place of solace for me. I could go out and sit in the heat, the sand, the sunshine, listening to the waves and give over to that fog. I was quiet more than I wasn’t, which is very unusual for me. My body hurt. I felt so lethargic all the time. After months of fighting against all of that to continue on with normal life, I gave in to it. People kept asking if I was ok, not used to seeing me like this. Part of me wanted to stare at them and ask if they were crazy. “Of course I’m not ok! How could I possibly be ok?!” I wanted to shout. Part of me acknowledged that this was just a natural reaction to all of the emotion and anxiety we had been going through. I wasn’t really ok, but it was ok.

Everything that I laid out is totally personal and only from my experience. But the point is to talk to your loved one. Ask what he or she needs. Maybe it’s to not talk about it, maybe it’s expressing deep fears, maybe it’s making jokes. But letting him or her know that you’re there for her in whatever capacity, that you love her, is what’s important.

July 2017, after being discharged home.

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‘Pura vida’ body, mind, and soul.

By September 8, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Local Living, Musings, Travel

I’m back in the land of #bikinilife. Yup, I’m back at the beach.

As much as I love living in the mountains and truly think that’s the place for me, life wouldn’t simply not be complete without some beach time.

Science says so

Luckily science is on my side on this one. A recent study has shown that the beach does the body AND the mind a whole heck of a lot of good.

Staring at the waves can actually change our brain waves and induce a type of meditative state. Even just the color blue is associated with feelings of calm and tranquility. Blue ocean + blue skies = brain bliss!

The sound of the ocean waves can de-stimulate the brain. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated by both the sight and the sound of the ocean. In our overstimulated world, we are in a state of “flight or fright” more often than not now. The parasympathetic nervous system is what enables us to actually relax and sit back in a state of calm.

Even the smell of the ocean is relaxing. It could have something to do with negative ions in the air. Another recent study says that negative ion therapy has been used at effectively treating seasonal affective disorder. Which of course we know nothing about in the Pacific Northwest (insert sarcastic font here whenever it’s finally invented).

Feet in sand. Sometimes it’s really that simple! I immediately have to get my shoes off and dig into the sand. Some of it might be conditioning over the years, but I know I love strolling along the beach barefoot as the waves wash up to kiss my toes. Absolute heaven.

No wonder I always immediately feel more relaxed the minute I arrive at a beach! It is a real thing. It’s where I want to be when things get hard, stressful, emotional, overwhelming. It’s where I’ve felt the most calm, healthy, and stress-free in my life. It’s where my family is healing.

Lunch time wine always helps too… 

No makeup, hair sticky from the salty air, in my usual Katniss braid, sipping a crisp Pinot Grigio with lunch…

Pure natural beauty of “The Beach Babe”

I truly believe the most beautiful woman is the “beach babe.” Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing up, getting decked out in jewelry, wearing high heels, and getting my hair blown out at the salon. But I think the beach babe is just so naturally stunningly beautiful. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition is a thing for a reason.

Some of it might be the mentality of beach life that shines through. Stress free, happy, relaxed, active. True beauty absolutely comes from true happiness.

Some of it is the physicality of beach life. Sandy, salty hair and skin. Waves only the ocean could create (“beach waves” is a sought after hair style for a reason). No makeup. Sun-kissed sweaty skin. Mostly naked.

The only product I use at all is sunscreen. Literally. I’ll go days, if not weeks, between putting any makeup at all on. Most of the time I even forget deodorant.

After years of body image issues, I’m amazed that I feel not only comfortable but confident in a bikini! Baring so much skin should in theory bring my insecurities to the surface. Instead, I’ve found I love running around mostly naked. For years I always hesitated with baring my booty in my bikini bottoms, but spending a month in Costa Rica cured me of that.

There’s an ease of bikini life when it comes to style. Being able to throw on shorts and a tank or a barely-there sundress over a bikini and run around town for errands or drinks or what have you is absolutely freeing and makes things oh-so-easy. Pair with some flip flops and piling my hair into a huge top knot, and the look is complete.

Caught in the act running errands in Costa Rica.

The simplicity of style is so freeing. When I pack for a beach trip, I always throw in run clothes, sneakers, flip flops, one sundress, and a ton of bikinis. That’s it.

Active and healthy living

I’m constantly on the move at the beach. Right when I wake up I sweat somehow: running, surfing, bike riding, paddling, yoga. I love going for a run and then surf or paddle afterwards. And all before breakfast.

Then we head to the beach. I take breaks while basking in the sun and devouring my favored beach reads (ahem, romance novels) of rolling around in the sand and calling it yoga, strolling along the edge of the surf, and swimming beyond the break. I love an evening stroll and beach yoga practice too.

Beach life gives me a lot of quiet time and rest. Constantly reading, quiet walks on the beach, stretching in the sand, watching the sunset while sipping a glass of wine. Sometimes I’ll get crazy and even throw an afternoon nap in, maybe while “reading” on the beach.

I love the food at the beach. Everything is fresh! Tons of veggies and fruit (all. the. watermelon.), fresh local fish, some chocolate, crisp white wine, and I’m a happy girl.

Not to mention tons of water! I’m constantly chugging out of my water bottle. Recently I’ve added sparkling water to my beach hydration ritual. The bubbles are so refreshing after being out in the sun all day! Love a big glass of Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water with a huge wedge of lemon.

Pure, natural beauty. Atmosphere made for relaxation and stress reduction. Fresh foods and active living. Beach life is the best life. 

What’s your favorite part of the beach? Where do you go to relax and hit the reset button?

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New PR: Best run streak of my life!

By August 23, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Local Living

I PR’ed last week.

No, I didn’t win a race. Or run the fastest mile. Or run a marathon.

But I ran 35 miles last week!

Since leaving for North Carolina in June, my distance has taken a hit. The heat and the humidity of summer in the South interrupted the increase in distance for my runs. Just a few miles taxed my lunges, legs, and had sweat absolutely dripping everywhere.

The travel since hasn’t helped get back to my training plan. A week in Vegas heat for BlogFest meant no running. I snuck a few trail runs in and then we were off to the Bay Area for EMPOWER Race. Organizing an event doesn’t lend itself to partaking really, but we snuck in a handful of runs.

For some reason, the stars (or rather, the sun and the moon (eclipse jokes)) aligned this last week and I got in some of the best runs of my life.

It started with Flex & Flow run club last week: 6 road miles along the Skidmore Bluffs. I was out with 4 super speedy runners, so I took it at my own pace. But it was nice to be out with my people on one of our regular routes.

On Tuesday I headed out for the trails. A few miles in, including the first mile straight uphill, and I was dying. I kept fighting the urge to turn around and call it. My mind kept wanting to wander, and I kept trying to force it back to focus on my breath and my pace. I finally gave in and let my mind wander. I allowed it to daydream. Next thing I knew, 8 miles and done. Except for that first hill, the rest of the 7 miles were sub 10 minute mile pace, and a few were even sub 9 minute mile pace. Woah. It worked.

Thursday rolls around, my legs feeling surprisingly good, and I wanted to test this new strategy. In the back of my mind I would have loved to run farther than Tuesday, but I was just heading out to get some miles in. At the top of the initial mile-long hill (it always kills me!) I started to let my mind wander and daydream once again. It worked! 10 miles later, mostly sub 10 minute mile pace, and I’m not hobbling back to my car!

Saturday, run club day again. We headed out for Timothy Lake at Mt Hood. The write up predicted 15 miles yet the trail head said 13 miles. My legs were feeling good but I was aware that I was hitting the trails with some serious runners (aka, some of my friends that willingly run 50-100 miles for fun). I set out with the mantra “slow and steady wins the race” at the forefront of my mind. Maybe not wins, but survives at least. Holy moly did I survive! Turns out the trail around the lake was 11 miles. Less than we thought but still a lot of miles, and I felt great!

This was by far one of the best runs EVER! A rolling trail around a beautiful lake with an amazing group of people, and I loved pretty much every step. And devoured a burger afterwards like it was my job…

That made for my 35 mile week! I can’t believe I got all those miles in and felt as good as I did. Thank goodness for ice, tennis balls, and magnesium-rich Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. I may be skewed having a ultra marathon runner as one of my best friends, but I’m pretty stoked on this run streak.

Bonus! Monday rolls around yesterday and after teaching HIIT Yoga I still wanted to get out for a run. I kept it super slow and my legs were finally feeling pretty tired, but I still got 7.5 miles in. And then proceeded to die in Jamie’s power vinyasa class last night.

I have no idea what the trick of last week was, but I’m hoping to keep the streak going!

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California Dreamin’

By August 9, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Travel

Until recently, I’d only been to California twice. Once in college for a field hockey tournament in Santa Barbara, and another weekend in San Diego when I was debating where to move after Colorado.

And yes, there were those two trips to LA for BlogFest. Except for one afternoon in Santa Monica, both trips were largely contained in the downtown area and convention center. Thanks to Caitlin, I know there’s so much more to explore outside of DTLA. But I’d say we definitely made the most of downtown!

Speaking as a non-Californian, there seems to this aura around the Golden State, a California-versus-the-world mentality. I’m not saying that in a bad way, just that as an outsider that I’ve never really “gotten” California and it’s sunny aura.

When I think of California, I think of sunshine and palm trees, bikinis and blond hair, and celebrities and vineyards.

Yes, all those things exist in California. But there’s a lot more to it than that. I have lots of friends that are from, live in, or have lived in California. I hear the stories, but just couldn’t quite understand what made it SO special that so many hoards of people would live there and deal with the high cost of living, traffic, and drought.

I’ve had reason this year to spend more time in California and have been loving it! Without actually living there, I think I’m starting to get it. Sonoma in March was perfection. Sunny and 75 amidst the cold, rainy Portland winter was such an unbelievable breath of fresh air. I remember Nicci, who used to live in LA, telling me as we were packing up the car after the retreat and dreading returning to the gloom, “This is why people live in California.” Ah.

What wouldn’t be amazing about sunshine, trail running, and wine?

This past week we road tripped to the Bay Area for the Empower Race. Most people can’t believe that I’ve never been to San Francisco, and I’m right along with ’em. I was so excited about finally getting there with two longtime SF’ers. For our weekend, I got to experience the life of a California girl!

Hitting the Road

I feel like road trips are a very West Coast thing. I always think of winding along the coast on the 101 with the Pacific next to me and the top down, or driving through the desert with nothing but open road and cacti as far as the eye can see. Things are more spread out here. We have to drive longer distances to go for adventures. I myself have had some great road trips in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. But I always love hearing Caitlin tell stories of putting John Mayer and Tom Petty in the CD player and hitting the road for Santa Barbara and Joshua Tree.

Side note, last week on the drive down I listened to my very first podcast, thanks to my podcast-loving partners in crime and road trip buddies.

The Liquid Trifecta: Wine, Coffee, Water

It’s so important to stay hydrated while traveling. We made sure to keep ourselves well stocked with all the water and all the coffee. We made sure to bring some beans from our favorite PDX roasters with us. But never fear, Alyse, our resident coffee snob, made delicious coffee for us in Tahoe and we hit up some of the best places in the Bay Area for our caffeine fix (ahem, Philz!!).

Best way I kicked off my mornings (and afternoons) in Tahoe: Gerolsteiner bubbles and Four Barrel brew.

Thanks goodness for my sidekicks from Takeya (affectionately dubbed last week “Take Ya Everywhere”) and lululemon.

Not to mention all the wine toasts along the way after long days of travels and sweaty days of running.

 

#floaty and bikinis

I did mention bikinis were a big part of my California vision, right? We made sure to strip down and suit up to enjoy some Tahoe sunshine. Major plus, it was National Watermelon Day, which we got to celebrate with a huge watermelon floaty and a mini beverage watermelon floaty. And of course we couldn’t leave out our everyday unicorn floaty. 😉

Mountains AND Water

We made sure to get plenty of trail running in on our trip. In classic mountain form, our runs went straight uphill and then we got to stride it out on the way down. Talk about sweaty and dusty jello legs.

One of the best parts of California is the close proximity of mountains to the ocean, my one gripe about Colorado. We went from the beautiful mountains of Tahoe to the beautiful views of the Bay in just a 4 hour drive.

Lawn Lounging

One of the highlights of the weekend was upon our arrival into the city on Sunday we headed straight to Off the Grid in the Presidio. The whole lawn is full of people stretched out on blankets with friends throwing footballs (which Abbie thought was a personal torture directed to her), puppies playing, and kids breakdancing. Not to mention eating amazing food from the food trucks that lined the entire lawn.

Scrumptious Eats

Yum, yum, and yum again. I’ve heard tales of the delicious food in the Bay Area, and I have to say everything was super delicious. We met up with our Sweat Pink squad for delicious small plates and drinks at MUA in Oakland, ate our faces off at Off the Grid, downed some of the best pizza in the Marina, and ended all the eating with a huge slice of toast topped with two poached eggs.

Special shout out to Nic, the queen of the toasts! 😉

City Living

A former self-pronounced city girl, I love the energy a city has to offer. A lot of people predicted that I would love San Francisco and the Bay Area, and I have to say that they were right. I loved the funky vibe, the delicious food, beautiful architecture. People were nice and everywhere was dog friendly. There was so much diversity and culture. Having trails AND the Bay on either side of the city was incredible. As a current self-pronounced mountain girl, it made me wish that I loved living in cities because San Francisco would definitely be calling to me…

Sunsets over the water

Yeah, this is Lake Tahoe, but we still saw some beautiful ones over the Bay. I love those Pacific Ocean sunsets!

Meeting Awesome People

We met some amazing people this weekend! A distinct “pro” to being in a really crowded area. Off the Grid was an amazing collision of squads. Jamie, Nicci, Alyse, and I met up with Jamie’s friend CJ, who also ran with us that morning. We found our PDX friend Robyn and her boyfriend with their squad, made up of some people we know and some new people we got to meet. Four of Nicci’s good friends that live in SF also met up with us on the lawn. Throw in three adorable pups, and our giant squad was complete.

We got to reunite with and meet some amazing people at our EMPOWER Race Series. Sweating and smiling faces are my favorite!

Getting EMPOWERED

Seeing the crew that pulled together around the theme of EMPOWERMENT was amazing! Women of all ages came out to run 5k or 10k and do all the yogas together. We saw PR’s made, new poses attempted on the mat, people coming to the event stag that made new friends. It was truly an inspiring event.

 

Girlfriends

Love, laughter, and my ladies.

 

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Hitting the #BlogFest highlights

By July 31, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Travel

I can’t believe it’s been a week since we’ve been home from BlogFest in Vegas. The week of decompressing and adjusting back into the world of Portland has flown by in a blur. It’s wonderful to get to remember specific moments of such an amazing weekend.

We kicked the weekend off on a high and sweaty note! I jumped into booth set up (after a big reunion hug with Jamie, Nicci, and Alyse), which of course included photobooth shenanigans (we had to test out the photobooth after all), swag bag unveiling, and breaking into the red vines. It’s always nice having a prep day with the team, to reunite, set everything up, get our feet under us, and enjoy ourselves.

The weekend was full of awesome educational sessions, team twinning, and funny faces.

It’s great to see how the information we discuss at BlogFest is applied by our community of influencers that have been blogging between months and years. While a new blogger may be full of fresh ideas, but eventually they’ll be putting to use Katy Widrick‘s session of making old content new again. Talking SEO might sound like another language at first, eventually Lindsay Valdez‘s top 5 SEO Elements will make sense. And everyone always loves learning about how to make money with their blogs; thanks, Amanda Vogel!

Contagiasm

This year’s keynote speaker was led by Todd Durkin. Talk about getting amped up! We saw him accept the Jack Lalanne award the day before in front of thousands of people (Elaine Lalanne even gave his onsie-clad booty a little slap as he completed the push-ups she challenged him to), and then we got to see him the next day in our BlogFest room. He’s incredibly inspiring, and has coined the term “contagiasm,” the idea of being contagious with positive energy. He believes, as I do, that what happens in the mind, body, and soul is contagious, whether positive or negative. He showed us videos of his workouts and personal videos he sends his clients that got me positively amped to get in the gym and get after it. He also talked to us about his life philosophy, that life isn’t a marathon, but a sprint. A series of sprints to be more exact. Moments in life cause us to go hard, so we much recover just as hard to prepare for the next upcoming sprint. We must take care of ourselves, physically and mentally, in order to be able to truly be present and give it your all.

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The best part of the weekend is always the community. This being my third BlogFest, I knew a lot of sweaty, friendly faces and immediately started running into them Wednesday afternoon upon arrival and lasted through Sunday evening.

The squad is always up for all the fun pictures.

We always love to sweat with each other! This year’s Strong by Zumba workout, led by Jeanette Jenkins, was ridiculously fun! It wasn’t a dance workout by any means, but we still got our dance on.

By the end, we were full of big smiles, dripping sweat, and about to be so sore for the next three days that we couldn’t sit down without assistance.

We made sure to get our dancing in, though! Our booth was right next to the Les Mills booth, so we could jump in on their workout demonstrations when the music kicked on.

Wouldn’t be BlogFest without a twerk competition…

Not to mention the IDEA World Dance Party! We had so much fun and absolutely broke it down! Plus, it’s always fun to see everybody all dressed up and not in sweaty spandex.

Friday night happy hour is always a fun occasion as sessions are over and we get to relax and catch up with people, and network with our awesome sponsors.

Come Saturday morning, coffee was a MUST! We went off the strip and found the cutest breakfast place and loaded up on avo toast and coffee. You know this place was good because they had a throw pillow with a llama in a VW van. Such a great segue back to Portland life.

We get to booth babe it up all day long on Saturday at the IDEA World expo. It’s always such a fun day in our booth with all kinds of shenanigans and walking around to other booths.

This year we celebrated Alyse’s birthday on Saturday night! We got all dressed up again, went off the strip for dinner, and returned to the strip to bust a move in true Vegas fashion.

On Sunday, the PDX team was flying out later in the evening. We were able to enjoy some sunshine by the pool and discover an amazing taco place off the strip. Such a relaxing day (in Vegas, no less!) after the craziness of the weekend.

What an amazing week in Vegas, full of sweat and friends. I miss it all already!

 

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Rest hard today to play hard tomorrow!

By July 27, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Local Living, Musings, Travel, Yoga

In a society that’s go, go, go all the time, it’s hard to prioritize rest, relaxation, and recovery.

Summertime is often such a busy time of year, filled with patio dates, music shows, hikes, trips, and all the things. I was warned it’s especially frenzied in Portland. There’s an energy in the air once the sunshine appears after months of rain and gloom. Not to mention we have daylight here from 5 in the morning until nearly 11 at night.

But there’s a theme in the air right now about slowing down. About resting. About recovery. Seriously, it’s everywhere.

Fitcation

If you’re like me, you have to sweat a little bit in order to really relax. So a fitcation is the perfect balance. Our upcoming EMPOWER Race Series in the Bay Area and EMPOWER retreat in Vancouver are the perfect opportunities to sweat, relax, and have a blast with a great group of people.

Jamie, Nicci, and I had so much fun on our road trip to Sonoma in March, and I can’t wait for all the fun adventures next week to SF! We listen to music, talk about crazy things, eat amazing snacks, stop for run breaks. It’s a great pre-cation to the retreat, an opportunity to relax a little before we have to turn it on.

Rest days

There are so many fun things to do in the summer! Hiking, running, biking, swimming, surfing, paddling… Most races happen this time of year, which means a lot of us are training and training hard. I love the energy that brings, but then there’s also the risk of overtraining. Alyse and Elle remind us to slow down and NOT overtrain! Alyse was so excited to be running, that she went a little too hard, to fast and injured herself. Now that she’s back to pain-free running, she’s taking it slow and easy to keep it that way.

Mix it up, stretch it out

We need to make sure we’re taking true rest days, but also cross-training, finding the right workout routine for you, stretching, and taking care of ourselves physically.

I’m trying to make more of an effort to roll out my sore muscles. In class this morning I got stuck lying on my Plexus Wheel (aka I didn’t want to get off of it). And I’m SO excited that we now have The Beam in the studio!

Post HIIT yoga Beam bliss!

After flying and traveling for weeks, I have so much neck and shoulder tension that lying and stretching on The Beam is going to just melt away for me. Brittney has some great ideas on unwinding after evening workouts, including gentle stretching using The Beam and a hot shower. So relaxing!

Get 20% off your own Beam with the code flex&flow.

Todd Durkin said so

When we were going hard at BlogFest in Vegas this past weekend, Todd Durkin gave our keynote speech. (He also won the IDEA World Jack LaLanne Award this year! Onesie goals, for sure.) A theme of his speech was the importance of recovery. Physically and mentally. If the guy who sends his clients videos of his workout at 5am to challenge them to get up and sweat tells you to unplug to get a break from life and take rest days to let your body recover, then you know how important it is!

Life is a series of sprints

This is a topic that my love and lady boss inspiration Jamie is dwelling on right now as well. I know it’s a real thing if she’s feeling the “slow down” vibe too. In that same keynote speech at BlogFest, Todd says that “life is not a marathon, it’s a sprint. It’s a series of sprints.” In order to get back from one sprint to sprint harder the next time, you have to recover hard between rounds.

Turn inward

Last month while I was home was a time of quiet. A time of turning inward. Of recovery from months of intense emotion and stress. I still got my sweat on, but largely felt low energy, didn’t talk much, and just wanted lots of quiet time. Without intentionally turning everything off, I naturally just slowed down.

Fuel up

I always need a good reminder to fuel up to hit it hard. Sometimes I get so busy running around that I either eat whatever is convenient or don’t eat. This week we’re getting nutritious and delicious with the #EBKitchenChallenge! We’re pairing Eggland’s Best eggs with some fresh summertime veggies, and featuring them in our own unique way. Join in for all the yummy inspo and you could win some awesome prizes! 

Disclaimer: I work with the aforementioned brands in affiliation with my role at Sweat Pink. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.

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The stoke level is rising

By July 18, 2017 Travel

I leave for Las Vegas for BlogFest tomorrow! I can’t believe it’s that time already. It’s going to be quite a switch for me, coming from a month of being in a bikini at the beach to a fitness conference in Vegas.

From quiet beach walks, sandy yoga sessions, bikinis, family time…

… to Vegas and BlogFest! Dancing, spandex, ENERGY, and maybe dressing up a night or two.

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, enjoying some restoration, self care, and lots of family time. Conference is all about upbeat energy, sweat, and FUN! To help me amp up for this energetic switch, I’m getting so excited about a couple of things waiting for me in Vegas!

Carrying out traditions

We’ve developed a couple of traditions over the last two years of conferencing that I’m excited to carry on this year. I love “then and now” pictures!

Todd Durkin’s keynote speech

The keynote speeches are always so inspiring! Two years ago Gabby Reece rocked our worlds, and last year Jenna Wolfe followed suit. If his goal setting tells us anything, I can only imagine the gems Todd Durkin is going to have for us this year!

Reunion

I can’t wait to reunite with my loves! Only one day now!

The pounce is going to be legendary, I tell you!

Reunion take two, three, four…

It’s always so much fun getting together with members of our community, IRL!!!

Twinning

We always coordinate our outfits as a team. #unicornsquad FTW!

This year the Sweat Pink team will be twinning it up in some awesome prAna outfits!

Booth shenanigans

The Sweat Pink booth always brings the noise!

I totally won this dance battle!

Drop it like a squat all over that Twister board!

Zumba

We love to dance! Sometimes it happens at official Zumba and Bollywood workout classes, sometimes it’s just because it feels right to shake our booties. (PS, Jamie looooooooves Zumba!)

Vegas shenanigans?

No matter where we are, LA, Indianapolis, Sonoma, we always have the best time!

We always fit in some fun run-plorations.

We find the best art.

Always grabbin’ the booty…

Vegas, baby! 

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Two Worlds Collide, in Vegas

By July 13, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Travel

In one week from today, BlogFest 2017 kicks off in Las Vegas!

I simply can’t believe it’s that time again. It feels like we were just in LA for last year’s conference. With our amazing photo booth, protein shake shenanigans, DTLA run-ventures, so much sweat…

I had to start thinking about my packing for BlogFest early and very strategically. I’ve been away from Portland for almost a month now. I had to pack for a wedding, the beach, sitting in air conditioning for long periods of time, and BlogFest. Whew.

It was quite the packing process. I basically did my laundry (which had gotten piled up (imagine heaps of sweaty spandex) next to a hamper full of clean clothes) while I weeded through and purged my closets. As I went through everything I made piles of everything I thought I might need. And then narrowed it down to essentials and then whatever else would fit in my duffle.

Amidst all of the spring cleaning and organizing mayhem, I made sure that I included some key items for my trip and BlogFest:

(Not yet sweaty) Spandex

Even in the summer, spandex is an integral part of my wardrobe. No matter the time of year, I only do yoga in full-length pants (except on the beach, obvi). When preparing for something like BlogFest, you have to think through packing in terms of sweat sessions rather than days. At this conference we go from workouts into educational sessions, during which the air conditioning in the conference room is pumping! I hate when my sweat dries while I’m sitting in AC, to go from dripping sweat to freezing. I always bring extra clothes with me to change after workouts. Gotta keep it fresh!

The Sweat Pink team is going to be twinning in style with these awesome outfits from prAna!

Jake was a big help while packing!

And let’s not forget the assortment of Sweat Pink and neon pink tanks and bras that I’ll have with me!

Sunshine Screens

Even though I’m a sun addict, I make every effort to protect my skin. Coming from a month in the sun at home at the beach, I definitely have my base tan ready to go for the desert. But I also have my sun protection gear locked and loaded.

Polarized Sunglasses

We’re big fans of Sunski. Cute, polarized, and affordable! Jamie has also recently discovered Nectar and Quay Australia.

Sunscreen

I don’t step outside my house now without SPF on my face, even in dreary Portland. I’m also a fan of anything that helps me get out the door quicker and easier in the morning, especially on quick-paced conference days. Most mornings while at BlogFest we try to get an early morning run in and then head out for a long day of sweat and sessions. Enter FRÉ moisturizer with SPF, one of my favorite products! Get 15% off with the code SUMMERSWEAT.

Trucker Hats

I never head out for a run, or really to hangout in the sun at all, without a hat now. My Sweat Pink and Flex & Flow truckers are always my #1 run accessories that always make their way into my travel bag.

Bikini

Kind of the opposite of sun protection, but at least I’ll be wearing sunscreen! One of my favorite Vegas memories from 5 years ago is going to a pool party at the MGM. I don’t expect that we’ll have time to get “wild and out” at a pool or anything. But last year we got to squeeze in an hour of lying by the pool, which was the perfect way to get some time together as a team and decompress before the craziness of the weekend! Plus, I have some awesome pink pieces I love to mix together!

AfterShokz

I pretty much never go anywhere without my AfterShokz headphones. They’re a permanent fixture in my backpack / tote bag. The beauty of having them at a conference? They let you be as social as you want to be. You can listen to your sweat playlist and zone out, or jam out while still catching up with Sweat Pink friends. Get a pair now and you’ll get a free water bottle with purchase! 

A phone charger

We’re on our phones on Instagram all day long. Gotta plug in whenever we can! Extra batteries are also a great idea!

Beware walking while Instagramming.

Red Dress

When you think of packing for Vegas, you think sparkles, stilettos, and showing a lot of leg.

We usually try to go out one night as a team to celebrate and another to reunite with our Sweat Pink ambassadors. Cute outfits usually get broken out, an event to be relished for those of us that consider athleisure appropriate date night attire. (Leggings are totally versatile!)

At Fitbloggin last year.

At BlogFest two years ago.

But I was hesitant about what to pack for going out this year. How does the fitness industry do Vegas?! I was leaving Jamie’s house one night a few days before leaving and thought to ask her if we were bringing cute outfits for going out one night. Jamie’s response to me: “Duh, it’s Vegas.” So, I made sure to include one of my favorite dresses and pair of wedges!

Costumes

Pictures, pictures, pictures. We’re constantly taking pictures throughout the weekend. Selfies, photo booths, Instagram stories. All. Weekend. Long.

We have some awesome plans for our booth this weekend. Some fun props may or may not be included…

Wide angle lens

Jamie and Nicci gave me one the best presents ever for my birthday this year: a wide angle lens phone attachement! This amazing tool lets me fit even more content into my photo frame, as in I have fit nine people in a selfie! Yeah, amazing. (It can also turn into a macro lens for detail.)

Viking

I couldn’t fit one into my bag for this trip, so I’m hoping to be able to pick one up there. 😉

I think I’m all set for the ultimate fitcation of BlogFest! What’s in your duffle?

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It’s her birthday, AND she rocks the hell out of overalls?!

By July 12, 2017 balanced lifestyle, Local Living, Travel, Yoga

I remember sitting down at the bagel house to interview this adorable, curly haired, sweet girl as we were building out Flex & Flow. I knew immediately that I liked her, but I had no way of knowing how important, how absolutely integral to my life, she would become to me.

I’m lucky enough that I have quite a few people in my life that I can do everything with: have fun, talk about serious life issues, turn to when shit is hitting the fan, fart in front of and talk about embarrassing things… Nicci is one of these amazing people!

A running buddy.

It’s hard to believe that she didn’t run that much when we met, because we run together all the time now! We tend to be on the same page with our runs (aka, chasing after Jamie, Abbie, and Robyn together). A few weeks ago I was late to run club after not being able to cross the river in Portland. She waited to run with me, letting the rest of the group go ahead. Just LOVE running with her!

Yogi love.

It’s stating the obvious for me to say that we love doing yoga together. A lot.

Work wife.

I have a lot of inspiring work wives (5 to be exact (we are a team of 6 awesome women, hehe)), but with three of us in Portland together, we get to have work dates together a lot. Meeting at coffee shops to work always helps motivate to GSD. I’m also lucky enough to get to work on a lot of projects with her.

Fashion inspiration.

I mean, I don’t know many people that can rock overalls and a top knot the way this girl can… Not to mention the way she rocks crop tops and jorts!

Travel buddy.

I’ve gotten to travel all over the west coast with this girl, and it’s always a blast! Snack on snack on snacks, run adventures, #stopdropandyoga breaks (even random roadside ones, and then our friends drive by us and catch us in the act)…

From Seattle and Bend to LA and Sonoma…

Even in her angsty teenager moments (sitting in the backseat on her phone), we love her!

Plus she always snaps the funniest photos of Jamie and me sleeping!

Adventure day buddy.

We love taking time off by stripping down and getting in the sun by the water! And snuggling puppies.

Toast. And cheersing.

From french fries and beer to avocado toast and coffee, she’s always up for grabbing something delicious! When we first met, she was vegan. A few months of watching Jamie and me devour cheese and ice cream on our dates changed her mind, thank goodness. Plus that night with the brie…

Dance party buddy.

Dance party, foal roller battle. Potato, poe-tah-toe.

Silliness.

It’s always good to have people in your life you can be plain silly with…

 

I’m so bummed I’m not in Portland to celebrate with her right now. But I promised I’d tackle her when we reunite in Las Vegas next week. We do have a history of tackles!

_____________________________________________________________________

I’m definitely not the only one that loves Nicci…

Happy Birthday, Nic! Hope your day is filled with popcorn, honey mamas, and French fries. Thanks for always being up for adventures and snacks– love you! – Robyn

Happy Birthday, Nicci! You are a ray of encouraging sunshine sunshine and positive vibes and always determine to push and sweat a little more. So glad I met you! Have a great day xx – Emma

Happy Birthday, Nic! My favorite braided, overall-wearing friend – you are one of the kindest, warmest humans I know, and an absolutely mistress of leg torture on gliders. Glider torture notwithstanding, I am so happy that we are friends and have gotten to know each other these past two years. May our shared love of paprika and friendship continue for the years to come! Have a wonderful day! – Tasha

Happy birthday to the only person I know who can rock overalls every day no matter what. Your smiling face makes HIIT yoga and hilly trails runs more fun and I’m so happy to call you a friend. I hope you have the best day filled with ice cream and cider (and more cherries?) because you deserve it!  – Kelsey

She always has a smile on her face even when she is sneakily making everyone sweat in her class! – Elizabeth

Sweat Pink LOVE!

Happy birthday to my favorite yogi in overalls! Thanks for being a total rockstar (and babe!) on our Fit Approach team!! Wishing you a day filled with all the yoga, smoothies, cold brew, and nature your heart desires! Can’t wait to celebrate with you at BlogFest! – Courtney

Nic! Happy happy birthday! Thank you for being the most mermazing, dirty-dolphin dancing, sweat pink and flex & flow sister! Can’t wait to celebrate with you in Vegas, Vegas-style. (Um, what? I don’t know. We’ll find out). May this be the BEST birthday ever! – Alyse

Happy Birthday, Nicci! I hope your day is filled with all the sweat, smiles, rosé, and chocolate a girl can dream of. You are such an integral part of the Fit Approach team, and I’m so thankful to work with you on exciting campaigns, HIIT Yoga, events, and beyond. You are basically my left and right hand, and keep the strategy moving forward. Thank you for your constant dedication + heart & brain power that moves the #sweatpink community forward, onward, and upward. In addition to being an amazing business partner, you are an incredible human being. You are always so thoughtful and positive; your personality and presence radiates good vibes everywhere you are (even through the phone!)! Basically, you are a unicorn in human form. Thank you, thank you! Happy birthday queen, Nic! xo. Becky

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