So why am I a lazy personal trainer?



I'm trying! Follow my quest to OVERCOME LAZY!

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Latest Fun Run... No, Really, It Was Fun!

If this doesn't look like fun...
then we probably wouldn't get along.
So when, where and by whom did organized races start to be called “Fun Runs”?  Don’t get me wrong:  I have found running to be fun at times… most often when I’m done doing it. 

The thing for me is, although I claim to be tooooodallly laid-back, dude, there’s certain aspects to me that ain’t so chill.  I have never been able to run a race “just for fun.”  Nope.  No matter how casual I tell myself that I’m going to be about it, it always turns out to be a competition.  No unsuspecting race participant is exempt from unwittingly becoming my arch rival.  Unless you’re waaaaaay ahead, leading the pack.  I know to stay within my league.

I usually target someone who has been just slightly ahead of me for a while and is wearing something they have no business wearing even if it is a stinkin’ “fun run.” 

Long stripey, fluorescent socks?  You think that’s cute, huh?  Well, I eat cute for breakfast.

Fluffy Tutu?  I will be making your ending a little less happy, princess!

Three piece suit and a briefcase (For reals, yo. Vegas Tough Mudder 2012)?  No way in Hades you’re finishing ahead of me.

So when I put out a 40-mile running challenge to help me and K celebrate turning 40 this year, I didn’t expect it to magically turn running during the blazing, hot southwestern summer into loads of fun.  And it really didn’t.  Until my final four miles. 

You see, several participants reached their 40-mile goal well ahead of me and I had promised to send the challenge finishers a super cool “Overcome Lazy” temporary tattoo.  Well, a few of those finishers happened to live within running distance of my house…. So, of course, I had to Overcome Lazy by literally running their tattoos to them instead of apathetically mailing them out.  I established a 4-mile route that would take me to each of their houses, which was just the amount of mileage I needed to finish up the challenge myself.  Upon my arrival, they were tattooed and then joined in on the rest of the run.

I finally earned my tattoo and got to join the ranks
of some of my favorite "fitspirations."
I know, right?  These are amazing, awesome, inspiring women! And it gets even better:  One of my friends participating was even 8-ish months pregnant.  She’s been walking instead of running for the 40 mile challenge and wanted to join us to add more mileage with us that day.  (Heck yeah, I gave her a tattoo early because she WILL hit 40 miles soon and she’s one of the best examples of Overcoming Lazy that I know of). 

And better still:  It was K’s intention to run with us but after the first pick-up, he decided he’d be more helpful if he took the little kiddos to the park until we were done.  Since he didn’t need the entire 4 miles to finish, he sacrificed his workout (and his sanity) in order to deal with six little rug rats allowing us ladies to jauntily finish our neighborhood fun run that truly was FUN!

I was relaxed, totally able to enjoy myself, laughing plentifully…
But - just for the record - I touched the house first.
The family that sweats together...
stinks together, I suppose.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Runnin' With The Devil

In Las Vegas I am a minority.  I can handle it.  I’m used to it.  I grew up as a minority in many ways:  I’m female, I’m Mormon, I’m 7” taller than average, my eyes are green for heaven’s sake!  Yeah, it’s been rough at times.  But none of those compare to how hard it is to be in the minority in Las Vegas during the summer.  You see, we are among the fools who do not have a pool in our backyard. 

It didn’t take us long after we moved here to figure out that, in summertime, you either stay indoors or stay wet.  Also, we discovered it's not easy to run outside for exercise during said season.  My mileage tapers off significantly as the temperature rises and other activities take the place of my running until autumn blesses us with cooler temps… y’know, around Thanksgiving.

So, as usual, I haven’t been running much this summer... and what do I go and do???  I create a facebook Fun Run Challenge for my friends and family to see who can log 40 running or walking miles between July 7 (my 40th birthday) and September 3 (K’s 40th birthday). 

Yeah, and I’m hating myself for it!  At this point, pretty much everyone is ahead of me.  Today we had our first finisher (Yay, Janet!) and I’m finding I’m being a very poor example of being 40 and fabulous.

Two of my biggest hurdles are: 1) I cannot arise before dawn to run in the cooler mornings and, 2) I just can’t bring myself to do any significant mileage on the treadmill.  Nuh-uh.  Nope.  Would rather jab a stick in my eye.

Well, just the other day I realized that I needed to get moving on this challenge.  I needed to find some way, somehow to accelerate my running mile accumulation.  And so I created… the Poor Man’s Backyard Triathlon.  Conveniently, the street within my neighborhood is a half mile loop.  Fortunately, my daughters love riding their bikes.  By good luck, we ran across just the right kiddie pool for our needs this year.

Suddenly, I realized I had the makings of a refreshing way to run during a Las Vegas summer!  The girls and I started by splashing a little cold pool water on us before our first lap.  We were too wimpy to take the plunge until we came back.  We then headed out for our first neighborhood circuit.  The girls were on their bikes and I kept up with them on foot.  By the time we got back… there was nothing wimpy about our pool plunge:  we couldn’t get in fast enough!  We giddily splashed and refreshed and geared up for our next round.  It felt great to be cooled-off as we headed around again and it didn’t take us long to drip dry. 
Yeah, we think we're tough... Let's do this!

I had in mind to do four circuits because that would be 2 miles of running.  The girls did great and were loving it the first three times, but I had to do a little convincing to make the final lap happen.  It was getting harder to get out of the pool each time; they just wanted to stay in and play! 

But we did it!  And it was a blast!

So, obviously it was not quite equivalent to the Ironman Triathlon.  Rather, it was more an Aluminum Girl Tri-ish-lon.  But we figured out a new way to make it fun to run in the sun!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Heaven and Hell - In Under 48 Hours

Beautiful reflection in Mirror Lake...
that peak isn't even the summit!
Over the course of one day and a half, I elevated myself to the closest point to heaven and then descended to the closest point to hell in the continental 48 states.  I’m talking physically… because emotionally I do that pretty much every day as a mom of two young children.

Probably one of the best sunrises I've ever experienced.
The sky just glowed brighter and brighter until daybreak.
Mt. Whitney, which – at 14, 508 vertical feet - is the highest mountain peak in the contiguous United States, just happens to be a couple of hours away from Death Valley which has the lowest point – at 282 feet below sea level – in the entire western hemisphere.

Is that not an adventure just screaming to be taken on, or what?!
Our first glimpse of the summit after hiking for several hours.
It's the small, scraggly peaks to the right of the big, illuminated hill that we had to go around to get to the top!

We got a one-day permit allowing us only 24 hours to summit Mt. Whitney so we knew we were gonna have to bust our tails to get up and down that monster.  It required us to climb just about 7000 vertical feet. So, bust our tails we did (and our feet and our knees and our hips and our backs…did I mention our feet?) and cranked that hike out in about 16.5 hours.
Officially above the tree line.
With a bottle full of purified mountain lake water!

We started at about 2:30 a.m. and finished just before 7 p.m. that night.  This hike is not for the weak of heart, whiney of attitude nor wimpy of mentality.

Climbing the stairway to heaven.
It is also not for anyone who likes their feet…or an abundance of oxygen.  But it is for anyone who wants to have a pretty unforgettable experience.

K summed it up the best when he said it was the most miserably awesome thing he’d ever done.  Agreed. We have two amazing friends – R and S - with whom we accomplished this feat and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather endure those conditions with than them!  During a pre-hike planning dinner, I told our comrades that I could see this excursion either further reinforcing our friendship or being the catalyst of its tragic demise.  S said she was actually more worried about how their marriage would fare under such undue burden.  I'm pretty sure they're still married.  I don't know... we're not speaking any more. 

On the way down.
It was harder to get back on our feet after each break.
I can’t tell you how many times we drew parallels between the experience of that epic trek and the grand journey of life.  We compared the highs, the lows and everything in between… all while fantasizing about the giant burger and fries we were going to devour in celebration of our stupendous conquest!  Trail mix gets old fast.

We sang every applicable song ever written… I have climbed highest mountains… Ain’t about how fast I get there, Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, It’s the cliiiiiiiimb… Pioneer children sang as they walked and walk and walked and walked… And we even made up a few of our own… This is the trail that never ends… Avalanche-anch-anch-anch, you ought-a kill us now…

Under the sea... Under the sea... 282 feet under it!
Anyways, no matter how well I exhaust, I still will not come up with the adequate words to depict this experience.  Simply put, it’s just one of those life-defining events that transcends description so, after nearly 500 words, I’ll finally stop trying.
Mmmmm... salty.
Well, after one more song reference... I can't believe we did it, we did it, we did it.  I can't believe we did it, but indeed we did!


Monday, June 10, 2013

40 Sucks... I mean, ROCKS!

'Nuff said.

In just less than one month the world – my world, anyway – will cease to exist in the way I want it to… a way which has amicably harbored me under the aegis of my indomitable youth, rife with the blithe notion that tomorrow never comes nor with it the need to pay the piper.

What monumental travesty could I possibly be referring to? 
I’m turning stinkin’ 40!!!!!  Forty!!!  Four-Oh!!!

Am I being a tad melodramatic? Is my dismay a bit exaggerated?  I really don’t think so…
I know, I know, age is just a number, right?  Well, try telling that to my aching joints, slowing metabolism, gray hair and wrinkles! 
Seriously, as I saw 40 looming in the future these last few years, I thought, “No biggie.  My age doesn’t define me. My 40s are gonna ROCK!”  But now that the unpalatable anniversary is breathing down my neck… I’m kinda freakin’ out, man!
I declare that I’m experiencing a midlife crisis.  No joke.  I’m about this close to chopping off all my hair a la P!nk.  If money was no object I’d be plastic surgery-ing it up, big time.
But, instead, I am going to channel all this absurd insanity into something productive and beneficial for myself and, possibly, others.  I’m declaring my entire birth month a celebration of being awesome.  You can be awesome at any age, right?  I’ve seen it, so I’m gonna do it.

Each week of July I’m going to do something awesome in order to Overcome Lazy at 40.  For example, week 1 will be a vigorous hike with some fellow kindred adventuring high school/college friends in my hometown.  Another week will be a paddleboarding excursion, another week, a yoga retreat and for the final week… I’m still deciding… just something simple like mountain biking or zip-lining or base jumping (Ha!)

If this is what 40 looks like, I can't wait for 50 to come...
because they'll probably have way more advanced photo shopping and instagram-ish technology by then!
Anyway, I’m going to put the shout-out via another facebook challenge to anyone of any age to join me so watch for the deets.  Your summer might be great this year, but mine is going to ROCK!  
And then I might have to take August off.  Did I mention K turns 40 in September…  Heaven knows what he has planned.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Your Salad: Shaken or Stirred?

Salads, YAY!  Smoothies, YAY!  Healthier eating, YIPPEE, YAY, YAY! 
Starting with the basics!
  I, personally, am going to concentrate on green salads for this Salad-A-Day challenge in order to combat jaw muscle atrophy.

I recently issued a challenge to my facebook friends because I was appalled at how my consumption of fresh produce has declined lately.  I was staring at the big ol’ bag of baby spinach and the fresh strawberries in the fridge and fondly recalled the days when those staples were not doomed to be thrown into the trash due to neglect.  In fact, in the not-so-distant past, such super foods often needed to be replenished between weekly shopping trips because they were appropriately and promptly devoured. 

I still plan on remaining very friendly with my smoothie "salads".
This one is unsweetened almond milk,protein powder, fresh spinach, frozen blueberries and strawberries.  Shut UP!
Well, when it took me a mere 5 or so minutes to whip up a delectable salad, I realized I missed being the salad-eating fool I used to be!

Was it more effort than I wanted to put forth?  Frankly, yes.  I am just that lazy.

Was it worth the effort that I grudgingly put forth?  More than yes!

The salad was delicious, refreshing, surprisingly satisfying and I felt so proud of myself for fueling my body properly.  I realized that it is incredibly empowering to have the means and ability to decide how I nourish my body.  Thankfully, I am currently disease-free with no food intolerances/allergies.  Even though I live in a harsh, barren desert, in this modern, free(ish) country I have access to an amazing amount of healthy foods.  I would be grossly remiss if I squandered this prime time of my life by indulging in habits that would only likely shorten my window of opportunity to suck the juice (organic and all-natural, of course) out of this earthly journey!

I am so ready for the week!
So I did what all sensible people do when faced with a personal angst issue:  I promptly revealed it on facebook and I’m truly glad I did!  So many of my friends immediately responded and are stepping up to this challenge with me.  I’m already feeling much more motivated and accountable.  Honestly, I doubt that I will perfectly achieve eating a salad every single day until July 4th.  But… what if I do?  What if I screw it up by having a crappy week down the line but get back on the bandwagon ASAP and finish the challenge with a 90% success rate?  Or 80%?  Or, heck, even 50%?  Will I have benefitted by seeing it through and not giving up?  Heck to the yes!

Doesn't this just look so much yummier than a burger and fries, or double fudge brownies, or a fresh donut right out of the cooking oil, still warm with the glaze melting into a glossy sheen that is so light and fluffy that it kinda just disintegrates in your mouth like a perfect manifestation of a sinful confection.
Oh... uh... what was I saying?  Yeah, green salads... yummiest things on earth.  Yumm-o!
If you are a green smoothie king/queen, change it up by tossing in a fresh salad here and there. If the thought of grazing on one more grass clipping makes you want to stab a fork in your eye, throw a combo of produce into the blender and slurp away!
So - shaken, tossed, chopped or blended – just get some more fresh produce down that gullet of yours every single day that you can until the day you die… or until July 4.  Whichever comes last. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Heart Yoga Pants

If they're on my husband.  Yowza!
Have you ever heard of something called Acro Yoga?  Yeah, me neither.  And I’m a stinkin’ personal trainer.  I’m supposed to be in the know about all things health and fitness related, right?  Well, need I remind you, folks:  I’m lazy!  LAAAAYYYYYYZEEEEEE.  By personal trainer standards, anyway.  But I’m trying. 
And here’s some evidence:
Dang!  I forgot to point my toes.
Check it OUT!
This is something I never envisioned myself doing.  Ever.  Acro Yoga is partner-based yoga and blends elements of acrobatics and yoga.  I mean, it’s been slow-going for me just with “regular” yoga, but this…. This was – dare I say – mind-opening.  Perspective-shifting.  Life-altering.  For more reasons than one. 
Even my tuff hubby wasn't too macho to don my (yes MINE!) yoga pants and try!

I think I’ve been reluctant to undertake yoga because as a tall, gangly, inflexible person, I just didn’t think it would go well for me.  I do possess enough agility and coordination to enjoy many athletic activities but I really have stuck to traditional western concepts of sports, stretching and strength training most of my life.
When my exposure to the world of fitness expanded, I did give yoga a try.  I was cool with it, but still mostly dismissed it as “not really my thang, y’know.”  But over this past year, I’ve had some experiences that have helped me open my stiff, muscle-bound (ha-ha) arms to embrace the notion of making yoga a bigger part of my healthy lifestyle. 
This picture is proof that, with the right top, even A-cups can have cleavage!

And I consider this latest Acro Yoga session a game-changer.  I seriously was flying, people.  Then after an exhilarating flight, I plunged into the undulating waves of the ocean.  The weirdness of it all was quickly replaced by the amazement of the other-worldly sensations I was experiencing.  My “base” who was the person supporting me as I acted as “flyer,” told me to close my eyes at certain times and I truly was transported into a different realm. 
Way cool.  Way, way cool.
Joe never had to remind Tiff to relax like he did me.
I don’t know that this boot-camp lovin’, heavy bag hittin’ former collegiate track star (again, ha-ha) will ever become a yogini but I just might be ready to upgrade my relationship with yoga from “acquaintance” to “friend.”  Perhaps with time, it will turn into my “significant other” fitness activity.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Tiffany and Joe.  This was an experience I will never forget.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Happy-ish Runner

So there I was this morning.  Out ruining a perfectly gorgeous Las Vegas spring day with a 5 mile run. 

See, I AM a happy runner!
Now, I do like running.  I've done it and enjoyed it for many years.  But this morning I was feeling it.  I was feeling it in a haven't-done-this-for-a-while-and-I-partied-too-hard-with-my-sisters-this-weekend kind of way.

I had to tell myself that I really was doing a good thing as I plodded along with little enthusiasm at a slower pace than usual.  Then I looked up and saw her:  a fellow pavement pounder who looked about as haggard as I felt.  Upon approximating ourselves within about 10 feet, I did the five-finger spread which serves as both a wordless greeting and a gesture of sympathy and encouragement that I frequently offer to others who are also on the masochistic yet noble quest for better health.

I don't always get a response from other folks and I'm OK with that.  But I have to confess that I'm quite pleased when I do.  I actually wasn't expecting any acknowledgement from this lady (she looked like the endorphins hadn't quite kicked in just yet) but as soon as I smiled and waved, she immediately reciprocated with her own two-finger salute and a bright grin which reminded me of the sun breaking through the clouds. 

That was just what I needed.  Her genuine smile made my own spread a little wider and added a bit more spring to my step.  It made me happy to see a fellow warrior battling so valiantly in the war over Lazy. 

One small skirmish at a time, we're taking Lazy down!!!