Tag Archives: Virginia

The Road To Home

Wow, the past two weeks (or months) have been busy.  As I launched my very own fitness program and workout model (www.crossconditioningocr.com), I have also taken a real dose of both the good and bad of the Charlotte fitness industry.  While it might seem like my plan came together pretty seamlessly, there was a lot of failure before I found a home for each and every one of my workouts.  There has been a wake up call.  To be honest, through the process, I have really found out who my biggest advocates are.  People I expected to be there, haven’t been there.  People I never would have guessed would help, have reached out.  I am a people pleaser, so this has been the toughest lesson for me to learn.  I just can’t make everyone happy.


I had an incredible Mother’s Day (my first with my youngest daughter).  I began the holiday by doing a very informal photo shoot with other moms from Flywheel Charlotte. With everything going on and some of the drama that I talked about above, I have really been forced to focus my energy on those relationships that have seen me through my latest venture.  I have focused more on family.  On making sure my girls are happy.


A trip home couldn’t have come at a better time. As close as the place that I grew up is from us (Roanoke, VA), we don’t really go back enough without a reason to.  Hence, we were headed back to attend a wedding for one of the clients that I train.  My parents recently put their house on the market in Virginia so this really may be one of the last times we head up north without staying in a hotel.  It’s kind of mind blowing.


The wedding just so happened to be taking place the same weekend as my husband and I’s anniversary. That said, we headed up Thursday night, so we could sneak away on Friday night for a nice dinner to celebrate four years of being married.  We left the girls in good hands with my mom, grandparents (the girl’s great grandparents) and my sister Amanda.



They had a blast (and so did we).  I will just throw it out there – I was never as close with my mom’s parents growing up.  They spent the first part of my life in New York City before moving to the South to be close to us.  Our relationship has developed over time as has my relationship with my mom and sister.  While we have always been close, since becoming a mom I have come to admire the strength of a woman with children.  It’s a super tough job whether you are working full time or not.  My mom has become my crutch in some circumstances.  She has listened, and offered advice at times.  She is the first one to have my back.  I love her for that.


I spent Saturday morning going on a long run by myself.  Since the first day of my program was set to start the following week, I wanted to take a moment to isolate myself.  Remember where I started.  Remember what drives me.  As I ran through the Blue Ridge Parkway and absorbed the beauty that my hometown has to offer, I got kind of emotional.  My family sure didn’t come from much.  It has always been the little things that make us happy.  My husband was raised the same way.  As tough as I may seem, because of this, I feel for people.  I don’t hold grudges.  I want everyone to find the best version of themselves.




With time to kill after my run (and before the wedding was set to start), I regrouped with the girls, my husband and my mom to check out Center in the Square located in Downtown Roanoke.  For just a few dollars, we checked out the science museum, butterfly garden and aquarium before making one final stop at the candy store adjacent to the building’s lobby.


We prepped for the wedding early to give us time to stop and see my Great Aunt Reva on the way.  Little did I know, she lived less than five miles away from the site of the wedding.  Stopping in Christiansburg, along Route 8, just miles away from Floyd, VA, I was flooded with even more emotions.  My Great Aunt Reva lives just a few minutes away from Blacksburg (home to Virginia Tech – where I went to college) and less than thirty minutes from my grandpa’s farm in Floyd, VA.  It is safe to safe the first 25 years of my life revolved around this area.  I might even describe it more as the place I grew up.  I am so happy that the girls got to spend time with one of my dad’s few surviving aunts and/or uncles.  She is truly incredible.





After a quick change, the girls were ready to go to the wedding (and so were we).  It was beautiful.  It was so special to meet my client’s family and friends in such an intimate manner.  The girls did as best they could.  My oldest daughter described the bride as a princess.  How beautiful did she look?  I swear I never used to get emotional at weddings until I had my own.  Once I experienced the incredible feeling of getting married, I began see how much these two have to look forward to.  I really feel for them how and special this union is.


I have always said that all important life events happen for a reason.  There is a greater calling to each decision that we make.  After debating whether to head up to Virginia for the wedding, I truly feel like it was meant to be.  I have been struggling a little bit accepting some of the challenges that have come from me doing things on my own.  Being home and around the people that mean the most to me really reaffirmed that I am doing the right things.  That I am happy.


Pregnancy Update – Week 13

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of a Peach (3 inches long)

Weight Gain – 3-4 Pounds

Movement – Not feeling any movement yet! However, during our 12 week ultrasound, it was clear that the baby was comfortably moving its arms and legs all over.

Sleep – The biggest disruption in sleep so far as come from waking up in the middle of the night to console my teething daughter and to use the bathroom. Increased consumption of water (to stay hydrated) = increased trips to the bathroom all day long.

What I miss – A good craft brewed beer. Between tailgates and beer festivals in the fall, I feel like a cold one is screaming my name.

Best Moments this Week – Taking my daughter back to Virginia Tech for her second football game. What made this trip different (and even better) than the last was introducing her to the outdoor track. I have so many amazing memories from this facility. In my dream world, both babies would pursue running and end up training/competing on this track at the same time in the future.

photo 2-136

Looking forward to – All of the exciting things coming up over the next several weekends (more football games, a wedding and most importantly my daughter’s first birthday). With first trimester fatigue out of my system, we have been able to get out a lot more.

My daughter's first birthday outfit!  Someone loves Mickey.

My daughter’s first birthday outfit! Someone loves Mickey.

Cravings – I craved sweets with my first. This go round, I am craving everything salty and cheesy. I’m talking chips, french fries, macaroni and cheese, pizza and biscuits. Clearly not all at once.

photo 3-118

Dinner Saturday night at Alejandro’s in Roanoke – Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Symptoms – As I mentioned above, my biggest first trimester symptom was fatigue. Thank goodness that has subsided. I still get tired in the afternoon but for the most part, my protruding belly and widening hips are the only indication to me that I am pregnant.

Workouts – I am still working out 5-6 days a week (see previous posts). I take 1-2 days off. The intensity in which I exercise has gone down, but I am still doing the same types of exercises. I did not start this exercise routine when I got pregnant, rather, it was my routine for several months prior. It is important not to over exert yourself if your body is not used to doing this much exercise.

photo 1-14

My Saturday morning run along the green in Roanoke.

I want to point out that I have looked less and less at my “What To Expect” and other pregnancy books and applications this pregnancy. Look, I found in my first pregnancy that when I read how I was supposed to feel each week, I sometimes questioned the progress of my pregnancy (when I shouldn’t have been). It is important to read about the development of your baby, but a lot of the “should” and “should nots” are specific to your situation. Consult with your doctor. Form a good relationship with the person that you are trusting the delivery of your child’s life with. If something doesn’t feel right find comfort in the person that you trust rather than the internet or a book.

Labor Day Workouts + Good Eats in Downtown Roanoke

While a big chunk of our Labor Day weekend plans revolved around football, we did find time to work out and take advantage of some of the good local food downtown Roanoke has to offer. I mean let’s face it; you need to try to squeeze in a little workout on days that you know you will be eating more than usual (which was pretty much every day of this vacation). Lucky for us there is a beautiful greenway that runs around the city. Our first morning there, I squeezed in a relaxed 5k run, at a decent pace, while my husband ran up Mill Mountain.

photo 1-13 What was the reason for our separation? He is running the Blue Ridge Relay this weekend. As part of this race, relay teams are formed to run from a remote location in Virginia to Asheville, NC. The teams cover the mountainous terrain over several hundred miles ultimately to enjoy each other’s company. It is a grueling race that I hope to do at some point in the future. For now, I will stick to my thirty minute runs! I have to admit though; I didn’t see views like this on my run.

257563_10100321176441693_5687034_o We followed our workouts up with a family breakfast, at local breakfast hot spot, Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles. I pondered over the idea of getting something other than chicken and waffles, but that just seems crazy. If a restaurant is bold enough to include a menu item in their name, then it has to be good. This place never ceases to amaze me. The chicken is fried on the spot, and the sweet and salty combo just works. Every time we go to this restaurant, we run into our favorite waitress, Gigi. We might only see her a few times a year, but she sure remembers us every time we walk in the door. That’s the kind of service that you can’t buy.

photo 2-123

photo 3-107 On a beautiful non-game day, there is nothing better than taking a cruise through downtown Roanoke. I’m not kidding. I will even dare to say that the eclectic area is turning into a mini Greenville, SC. There is always something going on. We swung by a few of our favorite stores, before a set of books in Chocolate Paper caught my eye. Being the indoor cyclist that I am, I loved to see an entire section of cute biking books. I was very tempted to buy the “Heels on Wheels” book. Description: “A lady’s guide to owning and riding a bike.” Let’s face it. We could all use a lesson or two.

photo 4-80

photo 4-79

photo 5-39

My parents offered to watch my daughter, so my husband and I could have an early date night. Date night for us has turned into sushi night. For whatever reason, my daughter does not do well at sushi restaurants. Too bad for us, because we love it. Hence, every time we get a night out alone, we end up eating sushi. Our go-to spot in Roanoke is Metro.

photo 5-40

This place is a little more modern than most restaurants downtown, but the attire is still pretty casual. We enjoyed drinks on the patio before ordering an amazing, better yet, healthy appetizer: steamed shrimp dumplings. They were served with a side of sweet chili sauce. We typically go for edamame as an appetizer when ordering sushi, so today we went out of our comfort zone. Good call. This stuff was amazing.

photo 2-122

photo 1-121The restaurant recently added some specialty sushi rolls to the menu. Get this; they added rolls to give people more healthy options (i.e. no tempura fried/mayo/cream cheese)! Sign me up. We ordered the spicy vegetarian roll, the newly added salmon avocado roll, the cabo tuna roll, and the dragon roll. They all looked as good as they tasted!

photo 3-106We followed up our date night with one final workout in town the following day. This time we stuck together. Couples that sweat together, stay together, right? This was a FiA/F3 convergence workout all the way. We took advantage of a park less than 1.5 miles from where we were staying, so we could squeeze in some exercises on top of our run. Utilize as much equipment in a park as you can. Benches are incredible resources for the following exercises:

  • Decline/incline pushups
  • Knee to elbow plank abs (hands on ground, feet on bench)
  • Dips
  • Step ups
  • Box Jumps (if you have the space and the bench is not wet)
  • Lunges

If you run into an area where there isn’t any equipment that you can find to use, do body weight exercises:

  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Abs

Key is creativity. You would be surprised what kind of strength workout that you can do with little to no equipment! I have to admit, it took me a long time to realize how easy it was. With that said, we are back in Charlotte, which means we are somewhat back on a routine. I am looking forward to posting some at home workouts this week, as well as, getting back on the bike!

It’s Football Season! Let’s Go….Hokies!

I don’t know much about this year’s very young Virginia Tech football team, but I have been anticipating this season more than any season in a LONG time.  I wasn’t blogging last year during football season, so you wouldn’t know that I only made it to one game.  Not only was I in the third trimester of my pregnancy, but I was also in recovery from having a baby (making traveling very difficult).  We are all geared up to attend several games this year (both home and away) and with the baby!

photo 1-120In my excitement for the upcoming game, my daughter was dressed to show off her affiliation at daycare on Friday.  You have to teach them young!  She comes from a long line of Hokies, so before she can decide which team she wants to wear, I plan on providing as much influence as I can.
photo 4-8

Part of any game day experience in Blacksburg is tailgating.  Especially when the game is in the afternoon and the weather is as unbelievable as it was this past weekend.

IMG_1392No clouds in the sky. Tents lined Washington Street by noon (for a 4:00 game).  Hokies were wearing their colors with pride.  It’s a new season, which means new hope for a national championship.

IMG_1391If you haven’t been to Blacksburg, but you have heard about the “Hokie Stone”, this is it.  Almost every building on campus as the same facade (as seen above).  Even as visitor, it is incredibly easy to know when you wander off campus (by just looking at the buildings).

IMG_1387Don’t be surprised if you also see a lot of vehicle Hokie flair on game day.  If you are traveling towards Blacksburg prior to/or in the 24 hours following a Hokie game, you are likely to run into this flair.  I’m sorry if you happen to get stuck in the caravan of Hokie traffic.  Just roll with it.  Hokie fans are some of the most genuinely fun fans in the game. Give them a wave or honk your horn!

10389078_10102782219152373_411312496595647809_nMy daughter set up shop at the tailgate in her own toddler sized tailgate chair.  I mean who thought of this?  What a great idea!  She was like a mini adult hanging out watching everyone socialize.  Check out the pictures below of everyone enjoying the beautiful day!




IMG_1383We didn’t have high hopes for how long she would make it, but she was unbelievable.  The buildup of the walk into the stadium was incredible.  We cooled off in the car for 20 minutes prior to our trek to the stadium.  For her first game, I had to get her there for the “Enter Sandman” entrance.  She just started taking her first steps last week, so we also wanted her to walk into the stadium to her seats.

IMG_1416This will be a moment of my life that I am so happy that I have a picture of.  I can literally remember the days when I was a kid doing the same walk into the stadium holding my dad’s hand.  To be able to share this with my own child and the amazing man that I call my husband was so special (it literally brought a little tear to my eye).  Look at how big she is already!

IMG_1419I don’t know if it is all of the Flywheel music playing all of the time that made this kid used to noise, but she loved the game day atmosphere.  I’m talking arms flailing to the beat, head bobbing and legs kicking.  Just ask to see the video!


Unfortunately, by halftime she had reached her limit.  Good thing Virginia Tech was winning!  We grabbed waters before heading back to the car (and home!).  I bring this up because Virginia Tech continues to amaze me with how to manage lines.  Forget waiting in the same line as people who want food (if you just need a drink).  Bring a little cash and you can grab a beverage out of the coolers from one of the volunteers!

photo 1-119Our trip to Virginia, was mostly about football, but we also found time to get some great workouts in while also eating well.  Update coming this week.  In the meantime, go Hokies!