Monthly Archives: October 2015

I Need Your Help

Through my blog, I let my readers follow me through my process of getting pregnant, having a child, losing baby weight and using an end goal to get me there.  At the beginning of summer 2015, my husband challenged me to sign up for my first Spartan Race in Asheville, NC.  I signed up with the end goal being that through the training I would lose the last little bit of baby weight that I had left and in turn have a finish line to strive for.  The transformation both physically and mentally was unprecedented.

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I put in hours of work in my home gym (strength training),  cross training on the bike at Flywheel Sports, performing high intensity core conditioning workouts at SmartCore Fitness and doing runs in the local neighborhoods.  I definitely did it the hard way.  I did it alone.  I planned it myself.  I had to really dig deep to motivate myself on days that I really just didn’t feel like doing something.  When I stood at the start line on the day of the race, I was in the best shape that I have been in since college.  I felt confident in my post-baby body.  When I crossed the finish line I felt empowered.  Everything about the experience was so incredible that even with a dislocated shoulder, I would do it all over again.

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I want everyone to be able to put themselves in my shoes that day.  While our goals might vary, I want everyone to have the chance to set a physical goal and in turn be completely surprised by the mental empowerment that follows.  I have thought long and hard about how I want to do this, and I think I have a plan.  Before I put my heart and soul into developing a program that will help others reach their full potential, I want to make sure that there is enough interest and that people are ready to take on the challenge. 

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That said, I am taking this huge step to do something that just hasn’t been done in Charlotte in the fitness industry.  Through a twelve week program set to start the first week in January, I would offer participants two at home workouts per week, one SmartCore Fitness high intensity core conditioning circuit per week, one group track workout per week, and one Crossfit Mecklenburg workout per week.  Five days of work (two of which are flexible since they are at home/gym) and two days recovery.

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On top of the workouts, I’m talking one group trail run/walk per month.  Let’s start at Renaissance Park in January, build to Whitewater Center in February, and finish at Crowder’s Mountain in March.  Let’s do this together.  I am in the process of getting a nutritionist to perform a session on fueling while working out, having a mobility/stretch session and a photographer/videographer in place to document this incredible experience.  I want you to be able to look back and say, “Damn, I did that, and it was epic.”

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The 12 week program would end in hopes that participants would be prepared to compete in the Charlotte Sprint Spartan Race in April.  However, this is NOT a requirement.  Here are my requirements – be at group workouts, set goals, bring a bad ass attitude, build self efficacy (you can do anything), be better humans.  In a time when the fitness industry is driving so far apart, I want to bring it back together.  Push, what I would consider some of the best workouts in Charlotte, together to make some incredible functional athletes of ALL abilities. Think about it.  I need to know.  Should I do this?

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Madison Marie – She’s 2!

It has been one quick year.  I still can’t believe my oldest daughter is already two.  Updates will now come on an annual basis. At her two year well visit, see Madison’s stats below:

  • Weight – 22.6 pounds (5th percentile)
  • Height – 32.5 inches (20th percentile)

She is small.  She always will be.  It is becoming more and more clear that she will be like me.  Sports will always be harder for her due to her size.  That said, she has hit a lot of milestones during her second year.

  • She is running, jumping, throwing major temper tantrums and enjoying going to half day preschool 5 days per week.
  • She loves Disney (Minnie Mouse, Jake, Sheriff Callie), working with her dad to maintain the lawn, carrying her baby around and mimicking mommy, playing with her sister (sometimes she may even put her in a chokehold when she means to hug her).
  • She still has to use a bottle every now and then to soothe herself, but she does not use a pacifier and never has.
  • She has been sleeping in a big girl bed since February.  Naps are hit or miss.  When she doesn’t take a nap, she is typically in bed ALOT early. It is a catch 22 whether it is better to have a nap or not have one.  When she has one, she might stay up as late as 9:45 PM.
  • She loves cheese, smoothies, bananas, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, pizza, hot dogs, apples, raspberries, McDonalds, Einstein power bagels, and peanut butter.
  • One of her favorite parts of the day is running into her sister’s room to get her out of bed. She carries the baby monitor around anticipating her making a noise to indicate she is ready.
  • She says a lot of words, but still isn’t talking as much as we would like her to be.
  • She climbs, stacks and carries heavy loads that I can’t imagine are easy for her to pick up.  She likes to play on our Bosu ball, with our exercise bands and the TRX in our garage.
  • She is our little Madison Marie.

Each picture below represents a moment from each month during the past year.  It’s hard to believe how far we have come.

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Training Harder, Not Necessarily Smarter

My shoulder injury has really been a blessing in disguise.  Through my interaction with physical therapists and explanation of the process that my body is going through, I am starting to understand the mechanical and neurological changes that our body goes through as it ages hands on.  I have always felt that hands on (or on the job) learning is the best way to get acquainted with a skill.

IMG_6265Neurological Changes

Don’t let me scare you, but as we age, nerve cells may begin passing messages more slowly than they had in the past.  This slower pace can cause problems with movement and essentially safety.  The way that we do things might get more difficult, creating the urge for our body to “compensate”.  Anytime that we are compensating, we are possibly setting ourselves up for injury.  Now, here is my example.  When I dislocated my shoulder, my mind starting telling my shoulder to lift overhead by engaging my traps and my chest (rather than setting my shoulders and using muscles in my posterior).  This caused an anterior tilt in my collar bone.  I have literally had to relearn how to reach overhead.

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Prevention

Until you have experienced what I am talking about, you may be athletic enough to work through some of these issues.  However, the older you get, the more likely you will need to practice prevention.  The easiest thing to do?  Mental stimulation.  Crossword puzzles.  Sudoku.  Want to cross that over to an athletic scenario?  Come to SmartCore.  When we ask you to change something with your legs while you are already doing something with your arms (or vice versa), we are challenging that little piece of your brain that just doesn’t get worked in many other areas of life.

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Physical Change

In talking to my physical therapists, I am (and they are) noticing a scary trend in fitness.  It seems like nowadays, everyone is trying to do as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.  The same goes for fitness.  Individuals are looking for a workout that will burn the most calories or get them sweating the quickest without spending an allocated amount of time making sure they are doing the exercises correctly.  This is resulting in ALOT of injuries.  A person in their 20s (maybe 30s) is likely to be able to work through incorrect form to a certain extent.  However, as we get older, cell and tissue changes can make it more difficult for many people to recover and perform at the same level that they may have at a younger age.

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Prevention

This is not to say that I can not compete in my beloved Spartan Race, but I do need to be more careful in my movements and in my training.  I need to adjust my training.   I need to make my training more functional – or as I would like to describe more athletic.  For those of you that do the same workout every day – you need some variety.  I know there are so many reasons why we feel we have to do the same thing, but a change is sometimes the best way to find imbalances.  Cardio does not need to be done every day.  Strength training is imperative.  Finding a plan that will help you be the best functioning human as you age is the most important.

Conclusion

  • Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation as it relates to our ability to get around as we age.
  • When attending a workout where someone is shouting exercises at you as your perform them in a group format, consciously think about how you are doing the exercise (instead of doing it as fast as possible).  Seriously, right now physical therapists, chiropractors, etc. are making so much money off of our need for efficiency in exercise.
  • Variety is good – make exercise more and more about being functional.  I mean, how many of us are really going to be professional athletes?  Leave that to the professional athletes.  Being able to carry around your child, do yard work and walk around are just as important as making sure you get a morning run in.

Continuing Education

Whew, it has been awhile since I posted.  It’s October. Already.  Fourth quarter.  Crunch time.  If you didn’t know, I’m an active CPA.  To maintain my certification, I am required to complete an ethics course and 40 hours of continuing education every year.  Trust me, you don’t want to forget to do this.  Retaking that test would be absolutely miserable.  If I am not spending an hour or two at night listening to lectures or reading material online, I am doing it piece meal when I have time during the day.

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I have also now officially started my Spartan SGX Training.  In just the first session, I can already tell that this certification is top of the line.  This isn’t just continuing education.  The individuals that developed the training regimen expect those who become certified to exhibit a high level of knowledge for both physical and mental training.  You can’t even take the course if you are not certified as a personal trainer.

IMG_7296We are expected to develop our own vision for where we want to be personally both short term and long term.  We are asked to do a mission statement and focus on how we want to impact our community.  The certification is not just about physically getting someone off the couch but mentally building self efficacy in everyone that we train.  Accepting that life is all about accepting obstacles that get in our way while keeping a positive attitude and trust that we can get through it.  I am extremely happy about choosing to be a part of this process, and I am looking forward to being able to use this going forward.  If you are thinking about a workout change, some variety, training for a Spartan Race or simply finding something to motivate you to get moving, please stay up to date on my blog.  In the past few days and over the next week, I have started and will continue the process of making an incredible plan to develop a training program unlike any other in the Charlotte area.  I can’t wait to share!

IMG_7249Other than continuing to stay up to date on all of my career paths, life has been per usual.  I am training two bootcamps per week at SmartCore Fitness.  The most recent groups have been so strong and motivated.  I am very proud of how far they have come and where they plan to go.  Shout out to Taylor Cloud (pictured above on the left), who recently completed an incredible Olympic distance triathlon at Kiawah.  I also want to take a second to recognize Tracey Croner (pictured above on the right and below).

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Tracey has recently started her own blog (http://tlcunmasked.blogspot.com) as a process of healing from an eating disorder that once controlled her life.  She is relatable in her thought process.  She is so strong for taking the time to reach out to anyone who is listening (or reading).  Eating disorders are far too common in our society.  They take over a person’s thought process. They ruin lives.  Hearing the details of someone’s story is a a great way for someone experiencing that same pain to realize that they can make a change.  When you have time, check out her page.  I LOVE seeing a smile on her face when she exercises.  I love seeing her shed her long sleeve shirt and enjoy her workout.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 7.52.08 PMAside from SmartCore, I have also still been teaching my regular schedule at Flywheel Charlotte.  What is regular anyways?  On a consistent basis, I am teaching at 10:45 AM on Monday and Thursday and 7:30 AM on Sunday.  I am working towards subbing as much as I can.  See playlist from Sunday above.

IMG_7283As an added incentive to taking my Thursday class (or any Flybarre or Flywheel class), members can enjoy 20% off an order at the Juice Bar next door.  I mean, seriously?  Who would pass this up?  Juice Bar doesn’t just sell juices.  There is an incredible selection of smoothies and snacks.  Check it out!

IMG_7234At home workouts are still consistently occurring 1-2 days per week.  I am on the verge of getting back to training like usual (following my shoulder dislocation).  In the mean time, I have been varying exercises and still posting my favorite weekly exercise to my Instagram account (flyjenduf).  Did you see the official Bosu instagram page reposted my burpee double step up exercise?  Thank you Bosu!

IMG_7272I’m also now regularly fueling my workouts with salads from new kid on the block, Chopt.  Y’all, I said it once, I will say it again, I never thought salads could look or taste this good.  You can say that you can make this at home, but you can’t.  I think I am a pretty good cook.  I think I eat pretty healthy.  I don’t make salads this good.  My husband wants to go to dinner here.  It is filling.  It is fresh.  It is downright good.

IMG_7276On the same day that I found this in my rear tire, I took my car to the shop only to walk over to Chopt for dinner with the girls.  I ran into the operations manager while we were enjoying our meal.  I am sold on this place. So sold that I inquired to him if it was possible to franchise a restaurant.  Nope.  He did say that there will be two opening in Uptown Charlotte and one in Blakeney.  That’s right.  If you haven’t tried it, get there.

IMG_7264Finally, I get to what I have been doing that really matters.  These two.  If all of the things above fail, I will always be important to these two.  If you have been following my blog for a long time, you know how hard it was for me to decide to stop working full time to be able to spend more time with my kids.  Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Any time I sit down to write a blog and they reach out to me for attention, I have to remind myself that they come first.  I chose to be at home.  I chose to be available to them when they needed me.  It’s fall, we have a lot to look forward to, and I can’t wait to share!