Monthly Archives: September 2015

Morgan Riley – Six Month Update

Well overdo, but now is better than never.  My youngest daughter turned six months old on September 18, 2015.  Part of the reason for the delay in posting about her was driven by me wanting to have her exact physical stats from the doctor.  At our pediatrician’s office, a baby goes in for a “well visit” at one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months and one year.  Phew.  Seems like a lot.  It is.  The six month check up results in several rounds of shots.  They didn’t seem to phase my child.  Other than a slight frown in her otherwise smiling face, she moved on from the traumatic event pretty quickly.

IMG_6893Month six has brought on so many significant changes.  I totally forgot how different a five month old can be from a six month old.  We knew my youngest was bigger than my oldest daughter at six months, but we never would have guessed by how much.

  • Height – 26.25 inches (70th percentile)
  • Weight – 17 pounds 1 ounce (73rd percentile)

At six months, my oldest had the following statistics.

  • Height – 25.5 inches (43rd percentile)
  • Weight – 14 pounds 6 ounces (21st percentile)

IMG_6843Our “little” Morgan Riley is comparable in size to my husband’s statistics, while my youngest is following in my path.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to catch up with each other.

IMG_6633Aside from physically growing a lot, month six marked the first time that our youngest sat up unsupported by herself.  On a trip to Virginia she started sitting in the “tripod” stance – crossed legs with hands supporting her torso in front.  As she continued to practice this position, she started to sit with her arms straight out unsupported.  Absolutely no problem now.

IMG_7012-1Being able to sit up unsupported brings on so many other big steps.  She can now sit in the grocery cart, without the carrier.  She can ride in the stroller facing out (no carrier means the jogger is WAY lighter).  She can sit in a high chair in a restaurant. She can sit in a toddler swing at the playground. So many fun and exciting things for her little world.


She loves crinkling crunchy paper, bags and toys.  She loves food – specifically, banana oatmeal, pears, mangos, peas and berries.  There aren’t many foods she doesn’t like, but please don’t give her prunes.  She absolutely loves her sister.  No one can make her laugh/smile as much as Madison.  She is a snuggler.  She loves to be cuddled.  She loves Doc McStuffins and Princess Sofia.  She is just so laid back.  She loves her papa.  She gets sweaty feet and would prefer to be inside.  At this point everything you give her goes in her mouth.  Beware.

IMG_7099She makes me want to have another (really, not yet).  Time is going by so much quicker round two.  Sometimes I feel like a great mom, while other days, I’m not sure if I will ever get this role right.  That said, every time these kids smile so big you can see the happiness in their eyes (deep in their heart), I know we are doing something right.  I can’t wait to see what month seven brings.


Survival Mode

I’m just going to go ahead and throw it out there.  Single moms are incredible.  Thankfully, my husband only travels for work for more than a few nights a week, every once awhile.  It’s during these times that I am reminded how much he actually does (and how good an hour break from kids in the evening feels).  Sure I have a sitter that comes over a few days a week, but when she is here, I go to work.  I would love to use that time to get a pedicure or stroll through the mall.  It’s really not the break that you are thinking of.

IMG_7035-1Let me pick up where I left off last week.  I turned 31!  What?!  I am for real in my thirties now.  There is no border line.  Incredibly, I feel like I’m still in my twenties.  That won’t ever change will it?  My husband and I did not do anything on my actual birthday, however, we did go out the following weekend for dinner at Napa on Providence.  We had our rehearsal dinner there when it was Providence Cafe.  We hadn’t been back since.  Whoa!  We were missing out.  See my meal above.  I was all set to order fish when I did my pre-dinner scan of the menu online.  I ended up getting this ridiculous beef tenderloin.  Red wine anyone?  Incredible.  We will be back.

IMG_7033-1We topped off birthday week with donuts from new kid on the block – Duck Donuts.  I had no idea what to expect when I opened the doors to this franchise.  MTO.  Made To Order.  Wait.  I was put on the spot big time.  Who knew?  The cinnamon sugar donut was a no brainer.  In my hesitation, I ordered the daily special as my other selection.  Reeses.  Spot on.  The special deal here is $4 for two donuts and coffee.  I can dig that.  I just hope that they can get enough people to stay open at that price!

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 7.24.20 PMLet’s be serious though.  I can afford to eat bad sometimes because I do take my workouts seriously.  This week was no exception.  I have been trying to sub at Flywheel Charlotte all over the place.  I have been gone a lot.  People have been covering for me.  I am working to return the favor.  That said, Monday morning I picked up an additional class on top of my (now regular) 10:45 AM class.  Loved the group.  See playlist above.

IMG_7061On Monday, Girls on the Run officially kicked off its Fall 2015 season.  I was there.  While I am only an assistant coach this year, I already feel so much camaraderie between the girls on just the first day.  I actually brought a sitter with my girls to the practice.  They were not in plain sight, but at least my girls had a chance to spend some time outdoors on the playground (instead of cramped up in the house).  1 week down.  9 to go.  I am so excited to be a part of this organization.  It is important for me to give back so much of what running (and fitness, in general) have given to me.  I hope that these girls find a friend and/or a role model in spending time with me.  Times have changed.  I know how hard getting through school was when I was there.  I’m sure it hasn’t gotten easier.


Y’all, I taught at Flywheel Thursday – Monday.  I doubled three out of five of those days.  By Tuesday, I was ready to throw around some heavy weights.  Not literally, but I wanted (and needed) to pick up something heavy.  I once saw a quote that said, “Nothing is more functional than carrying around heavy s*it.”  I agree with parts of that statement.  Feeling physically strong is empowering.  I did a modified Spartan Training workout.  See below.  It took every bit of one hour.  I used the new sled that my husband got me for my birthday.


  • Burpee Pull up x 10
  • Wall Balls x 20
  • Tricep Extension x 20
  • Step Up x 20 (with sandbag)
  • Deadlift x 20
  • Pull up x 10
  • Bicep Curl x 20 (with sandbag)
  • Box Jump x 20
  • Sled Pull x5 – pull backwards back to start
  • Heavy carry – 5 minutes – I used our bucket filled with rocks
  • Repeat 3-4 times.

I am going to be running in another Spartan Race in the next 1-2 months. I haven’t picked which one.  I’m sure if you look at the schedule you can guess which ones I have on my mind.  I will keep training and keep you posted in the meantime!

12017725_10207040946489408_5681058766172844777_oI had to find my way back to Flywheel Tuesday.  I HAD to.  You see, almost two years ago, we hired our first baby sitter.  Her name is Kelsey.  Since then, Kelsey has grown so much professionally and literally become a part of our family.  She joined the Flywheel family over a year ago.  She intended to one day become an instructor.  Well, she tried out, she trained and she had her practice ride on Tuesday night.  She was incredible.  I am one proud friend.

FullSizeRender-60Talk about watching someone set a goal and reaching it.  She has come so far since the day that she walked into our house and picked up our oldest daughter for the first time.  If you haven’t met her, please introduce yourself.  Her energy is infectious.  Her friendship is genuine. Go Kelsey!

IMG_7090My husband left Tuesday morning early.  I managed to get through Tuesday okay.  My parents were here to help when I needed it.  I didn’t sleep much Tuesday night, but I did manage to get up early on Wednesday morning to do a SmartCore HICC workout (HIgh Intensity Core Conditioning).  You got it.  I design it.  I do it.  I know exactly how I want you to feel, because I put myself through the same pain.  Again, every bit of one hour.

IMG_7078My motivation for getting up was  really driven by the fact that I had a busy morning.  I dropped one child off at preschool before heading to Flywheel for a fall photo shoot and lunch with friends.  I am LOVING my new head shot.  So much more representative of who I am.  Jen D.

IMG_7075When dad goes away, no one is on their routine.  Bummer.  In an attempt to get every one to nap, I laid out pillows on the floor, so I could at least lay down.  My attempt turned into one after another failed selfie attempts. Hey, at least we had fun (and wasted 20 minutes!)

IMG_7065I love these kids.  I am also lucky to work for a company that sometimes gets tickets to local concerts and events.  In my Thursday class, we raffled off tickets to Disney On Ice.  A suite.  On a Saturday.  While this is typically a small class, I was actually excited to see how many people showed up for a chance to win.  I honestly felt bad as I dug in the pot to pick the winner.  I wanted everyone to win!

IMG_7099When daddy is gone, there is no break.  I drink a lot of coffee.  I realize I am not as much of a super mom as I think I am sometimes.  Biggest takeaway for next time?  I need to hire a sitter to come over one evening so I can get away, and not go to work.  I don’t care if I go to Target and walk aimlessly through the shoe aisle.  I need some adult time.  Quiet.  No worries that someone is going to need something.  Hence, why I give single moms so much credit.  I love these kids more than they will ever know, but I need an hour or two a day to be the best mom that I can be.  They are growing up too fast.  Time is going by too fast.  I wish I could push pause somedays.


Staying Fit While Pregnant – Paige Johnson

Every once in awhile, I like to take the focus of the blog off of me.  I like to center an entire post around an individual or family that has managed to make fitness a priority regardless of how busy they may be.  Looking back, I have written about a couple trying to work out during busy season in public accounting, a woman working her way through an MBA degree, a freshman in college, a stay at home mom, the list goes on an on.  Since I started this blog after the birth of my first daughter with the intention that fitness would remain a vital part of my life, I feel that it is important to acknowledge women that I have trained who have kept up with a regular exercise routine during pregnancy.

12027813_1246376735376216_4566382505716469683_nDrum roll please…Let me introduce the INCREDIBLE Paige Johnson.  I first met Paige at Flywheel.  I later on found out that she was my neighbor through a visit to a local MyGym.  After several months of limited interaction, she signed up to take one of my bootcamps at SmartCore Fitness.  She was 27 weeks pregnant.  She blew me away.  SmartCore workouts are hard for the average person.  She didn’t complain, and to be honest, she didn’t need much modification.

10307218_933049239719_2019929489136471515_nPaige is due October 11, 2015.  We are getting close.  Did I mention she already has a son that is under the age of two?  She has a lot on her plate.  She chooses to work out because it makes her feel better.  She has more energy and sleeps better when she works out.  She even admitted that on the days that she is not able to be very physically active she has trouble sleeping.  Daily walks have seemed to help with her back pain towards the end.

IMG_7020I had to ask.  What has she done each trimester to find ways to stay active, look as glowing as she does and just plain feel good?

  • First Trimester – She didn’t have to change much.  She was doing weekly SmartCore workouts with Steve Justice and Denise Duffy, she cycled at Flywheel two times per week and she went to Hilliard Studio Method (HSM) when she could squeeze it in.  When the weather was nice, she would even take the dog (and baby) on runs and walks outside.
  • Second Trimester – By the end of the second trimester, Paige continued to do SmartCore and Flywheel, however, she stopped doing HSM.  She still did a lot of walks.
  • Third Trimester – I got to work with her!  She started doing SmartCore bootcamps while continuing to complete her regular weekly SmartCore training session.  I admit (with sadness) that she stopped doing bootcamps at week 34.  Despite modifications, she felt it was too much for how far along she was.  FAIR enough.  Pregnant women, listen to your bodies.  Talk to your doctor.  As of today (one month out), she is doing regular SmartCore training sessions, some HSM, and walking (I see her in the neighborhood!)

Some of you are probably reading this post thinking, well good for her, I can’t do that.  Getting motivated to exercise is tough.  It’s even tougher when you are pregnant.  Tired.  Bloated.  To help, I asked Paige what motivates her.  This is what she said, “Don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse not to work out!”  She recommends a few things.  Work with trainers who understand the pregnant body and will give you plenty of attention.  Work with people who know how to offer appropriate modifications.  Talk to your doctor.  For Paige, having an organized workout such as a class or personal trainer forced her to mix things up and gave her an overall better workout.

11219746_10100178953098389_6386454816149098349_nI asked Paige how her pregnancy has been overall.  She admitted it has been healthy and active.  Her first pregnancy she was limited to sitting at a desk for most of the day, so she had fairly significant back pain from about 25 weeks until she delivered.  Back pain has been much less of an issue the second time around and she attributes that to staying more active.  She admits that she has days that she feels achy, tired, and heartburn, but the majority of the time she feels strong (every pregnant woman should feel that way).  I am amazed by this woman every day.  I am so happy that she is willing to share her story with my readers.  Wish her luck over the next few weeks!

Fourth Quarter Fitness Goals

A few months ago, I set some pretty high fitness goals to close out 2015.  Spartan Race top 25 elite finish – check.  Coaching Girls on the Run – In Progress.  Leading more FiA workouts – Could do better.  I am a results driven person.  I evaluate success and failure based on my ability to perform.  I love feedback and constructive criticism.  It is the only way to make yourself better.  That said, I will admit there are several things that I still need and want to do before the end of the year.

Girl on the Run Coaching – Timing is simply the reason that I have not checked this off my list.  Our season starts this coming Monday and runs through the next 10 weeks.  Twice a week, I will meet with one other coach to run a small group of girls through curriculum and organized runs.  While I value my fitness, I feel so honored to be giving back to girls that want to be involved in the organization.  I am so excited, and somewhat nervous, about meeting each of them.  Running is such an incredible way to build self confidence and empowerment.  I haven’t coached a team since I worked with a group training to complete their first half marathon (see picture below).  I am looking forward to giving back.

Group Shot

Leading More FiA workouts – Now that it has been several weeks since my Spartan Race, I have had time to step back and evaluate what I could do better in my training.  One area that I would like to build on is the run.  Since I was so focused on building strength, I neglected to do many speed and hill runs with a group.  I would like to try to spend more time on the track running with these women (whether it be through leading or just being there).


Building my Foundation – I have now been working in the fitness industry exclusively for several months.  I feel so fortunate to have found a home at both Flywheel and SmartCore Fitness.  Having a place to train is nice, but being successful is even better.  I love learning new things.  I love meeting new people.  I love making people’s lives better.  I want to spend the next year really focusing on learning more and more about the people that I see on a regular (and not so regular basis) at both studios.  I want to build my credentials and establish trust in those that ask me for advice on training.  That said, I am taking another big step towards getting certified.  During the month of October, I will attend SGX training.  In other words, I will obtain the official Spartan training program credentials from the leader in obstacle race fitness.  SGX is about empowerment.  It is about overall fundamental fitness.  You don’t have to be training for a race to benefit from the foundation that I will obtain through reaching this platform.  There are only a few trainers in the remote area with the certification.


Spartan Racing – To build upon my prior statement, I plan to take my new knowledge and apply it towards yet another Spartan Race.  The year is almost over, but there are still plenty of races.  Before the end of the year, I will be in one of them.  I will be running elite, and I will be shooting for a top 25 finish yet again.  Since that race, my confidence in my ability to make successful workout plans has skyrocketed.  I believe in SmartCore Fitness.  I believe in Flywheel.  I believe that any one who puts their mind to it and commits can complete this race.  I would love to get you there.  My hope is that through reading my story, you light a fire in yourself.  Sign up.  Believe you can do something outside of your comfort zone.