Category Archives: Workouts

4th of July Ride

Happy early 4th of July y’all!!

I don’t know about you, but our summer is flying by.  Between my son’s different sports, and our jobs, it is nonstop on the go right now.  I hope everyone is having a fun and active summer too!

This summer has also allowed me the chance to get back into the weight room and lift weights seriously again.  I have my wonderful friend Claudine to thank for my reemergence in the weight room.  Without her as a workout buddy, my butt would continue to be lazy with the weights.  We had a great first month of working out together with some amazing gains!  Looking forward to what July brings with our workouts.

Today I taught an awesome and fun 4th of July ride in my spin class.  I tried to keep the song titles “American/Independence/Something just related to the 4th” themed.  My son told me I was really stretching it by adding Pitbull’s Celebrate song.  I went with the whole, “We are CELEBRATING the independence of our country,” reasoning.  He then rolled his eyes at me.  But hey!  You just gotta have a fast paced Pitbull song in your ride.

Click here to go to my new website for this great 4th of July ride!!

IMG_0311

Anyway, we had a blast sweating and working during class today!  Since it was a special ride today, that also meant we had to have glow-in-the-dark necklaces for the ride.  We then followed the ride up with a blueberry custard cake and vanilla ice cream…Totally and completely healthy/nutritious calories too.  Sadly you can’t see everyone in the pic above, but I promise you they are smiling!

IMG_0321

I also wore my totally “American” fitness instructor’s tank top.  It’s our Duty to kick your Booty!  My awesome friend Jalene put this tank top together for me.

Wishing everyone an awesome and safe 4th this year!!

 

Reconstructing Amelia

Happy FRIDAY!!  WhooHoo Friday Baby!!  Anyone else this excited for the weekend?  It is 9am and I already have our back screen door open, and the fresh warm air coming in.

I’m telling ya…These warm temps we are having are great, and they have put me in the blog sharing/writing mode too!  Or, I’m totally stalling on cleaning the basement, vacuuming the steps (something I consider torture), and mopping our upstairs.  I’ll let you decide on that one…

I wanted to share a book recommendation with ya today and I just couldn’t wait till next week to share it!

These past few months have been great reading months for me!  Each book has had me hooked from the beginning all the way through to the end.  I’ll have a post on Monday for ya with all of my latest and favorite reads.

The book I just finished, Reconstructing Amelia, was just amazing!  It is one of those books that I found at the bottom of my to-read stacks, and I’m pretty sure I’ve owned it for over a year now.  I know that is sad, but my to-read stacks are getting out of control, and I’m very proud of my book buy addiction.

Reconstructing Amelia was a tragic story that pertains to the world our children live in today.  It also deals with the issues parents face when communicating (or not communicating) with their children, how far a parent should trust their teenager, and where a parent should intrude on their child’s privacy.  All are issues that I know parents with teenagers face.  Especially the issue of following your child’s actions on the internet like a hawk.  I know I’ll follow all my child’s internet actions until the day he moves out (he isn’t allowed to even get on Facebook until he is 16…or maybe 20…I’m not sure yet).

In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate’s in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump.

Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it’s the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn’t save.

 

Once I finished Reconstructing Amelia, I immediately went on Amazon to see if the author, Kimberly McCreight, had any other books publish.  Guess what?  McCreight just published a new novel, Where They Found Her, on Tuesday, April 15th!  What kind of incredible luck do I have!?!  Usually I’m pacing and waiting for an authors next book to come out.  Of course, I just ordered it, and I cannot wait to read it!

There is more…They are making Reconstructing Amelia into a movie staring Nichole Kidman!!  I’m actually going to go see this book turned movie too.  I usually avoid books that have been turned into movies.  Nine times out of ten, I walk out of the theater thoroughly disappointed or pissed off at what they did to the story.  However, with this story I’m really intrigued to see how the movie comes out.

 

Thursday Butt Bustin’ Time!

Good morning y’all!!  We are set to have another great day here in ND…No, I’m not being sarcastic..yet (it may snow next week).  But, for now, we are still loving our warm temps and clear blue skies.

Tillyhiding

I had some free time this morning, so I thought I would share a treadmill workout I put together for a friend.  AKA, I’m totally avoiding folding two loads of laundry, and giving Hank and Tilly a bath.  These are not my favorite chores to do, so I’m stalling.  Just like any full grown woman would do.  Tilly heard me say the “bath” word and went into hiding under my desk.  Therefore, I decided to take my cue from her, sit down with her at my desk, and type up a post.

This totally butt bustin’ 30 minute walking workout takes you on quite a few hills.  And, boy will these hills make your butt feel awesome!  The best part is how this workout will fly by.  You will be so busy changing your hills, that you won’t feel like you have been on the dreadmill…I mean treadmill for forever.

Happy Butt Bustin’!!


30 min Butt Bustin Hills

Quick Lady Update

photo

I wanted to thank everyone for their emails, comments, prayers, and positive thoughts for Lady and her surgery.  It really meant so much to us!  Lady is currently doing well, and recovering from her surgery.  Each day she is getting more of her “pep” back, because each day Lady is getting back to being bossier and bossier.

 

New Year New Beginnings

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope your new year is starting out with smiles and fun!  My new year has started out with some fun new beginnings!  I’m now teaching spinning at SOS Image in Minot!  What happened at the YMCA got around Minot in less than an hour after it happened.  I had several job offers from other gyms before the day was out.  All of them were amazing offers, and I was beyond flattered to know I was a valued instructor.

SOS

Sara, owner, at SOS Image called me and asked if I would like to come to her gym and start a spinning program.  It was like one door closed for me and a whole entire garage door opened!  I couldn’t be more thankful.  Within the week Sara had ordered 11 bikes, and I was back to teaching spin in December!  I have 6 classes each week with 1 Saturday class each month.  We will be adding more spin classes on as we add on more instructors.  For now, check out our monthly schedule here.

Pro+

We are riding on the Spinner Pro+ bikes.  We are also using the Star Trac group cycle computers.

Holiday Ride

I’m loving my new adventure at SOS Image!  Some of my amazing friends came over to take my classes at SOS and I have a new set of regulars that are already hooked on spinning and the awesome workout you get!

Workout-Wednesday-2_thumb.jpg

Now for a new spin ride for y’all!

I’m heading to Florida for the weekend to work on more aerial yoga training at CircuSoul!  I already have one certification in aerial yoga, but I want a full 200 RYT Yoga Alliance approved aerial yoga certificate.  Kerry at Circusoul has put an amazing 200 hour aerial program together.  I got to know Kerry over 2 years ago when I first really got into aerial yoga, and I finally have the excuse/chance to train with him!

A Grandfather’s Legacy

img046

Everyday I’m beyond thankful for my grandpa McEwan, and the wisdom he passed down to me during my youth. He was an amazing man who lived through the Depression and served in World War II.

My grandpa McEwan was never one to lecture, scold, or posture about anything. He always had a smile on his face and that glowing smile made you smile too. The first major life lesson he taught me is the one that has stuck out and stayed with me my whole life, and here is that story…

I was 4 years old and spending part of my summer with my grandma and grandpa McEwan in upstate New York. Everyday my grandpa and I would go for a walk to the post office and library. If I was lucky we would take a little detour into the local pharmacy and get some candy. Lucky for me my grandpa had a huge sweet tooth, so these detours would happen more often than not. However, grandma couldn’t know about them, or we would get lectured about ruining our appetite, and something about me getting hyper from all the sugar.

img047

One day we took a detour to the pharmacy to get candy. This time my grandpa handed me one of the bulk bags to fill with candy, rather than just picking out a few pieces. Oh man! I was in heaven when he told me to fill that bag up with my favorite candies. I’m sure my eyes had to be as big as saucers, and my heart rate went up in anticipation of all that sugar that was about to send me into the biggest sugar high of my life. I went to town filling that huge bag up with all the best candy and chocolates in the store all while contemplating how to hide the candy from grandma when we got back to the house.

After our purchase we walked, I skipped, back to my grandparents’ home. Instead of going inside, my grandpa led me to the car and told me we were going to go for a quick ride before we went into the house for lunch. He told me to bring the mammoth bag of candy with me, so I was beyond content. While we went on our quick drive, my grandpa told me a story about his time in World War II.

My grandpa was stationed in China, I don’t know what part. However, I do know it was a mountainous area, because he talked about how pretty the mountains were. He began by telling me he was stationed near an orphanage, and would always take trips to the orphanage with his translator in order to bring whatever food and little toys he could for the children. Then, he began telling me about his first Christmas spent in China, and it became a story that I would have him tell me over and over again for the rest of his life. I’ll tell it to you like he told it to me.

“Things were really hard for everyone in China during the war. There was no food, China was going through many problems of its own, and the war did not help. Sadly, many children were sent to orphanages, because their parents could no longer afford to feed them. They wore the same clothes each day, didn’t have toys like you do, and scarcely had enough to eat. For Christmas I wanted to do something extra special for them to make them smile and be happy. I sent letters home to your grandma, friends, and family. I asked them to mail me any clothing, toys, or items a child might need or like. And boy did everyone send as much as they could! So, now all I had to do was deliver these gifts to the children. Steve (my grandpa’s translator) and I decided that I should play Santa for the children on Christmas. So, Steve went out and found me a reindeer, which was a donkey, and a sled, which was a very battered cart. When I arrived and handed out the gifts, food, and clothes the children were so excited, and their smiles lasted for days to come.”

After my grandpa told me this story I had a ton of questions about all the little children in the orphanage, but I didn’t get to ask them, because we had arrived at our destination, and there were a bunch of kids running around the house we had just pulled up in front of.

My grandpa told me we were going to go visit with the family and to bring the candy with me. So, I got out of the car with the candy, and started heading with my grandpa across the yard full of children to the house. The mom and dad came out of the house to greet us. My grandpa introduced me, and the mom told me how she used to have my grandma as her teacher in high school, and my grandpa was the principal.

At this point all the children came circling around me and started eying me and my candy. I won’t lie; I hugged that bag of candy to my body like it was my very own baby I had to protect. My grandpa gave me a nudge and asked me to give them some candy. I figured this was no problem, I could give each of the children a piece of candy and have a ton of it left over for myself. So, I started handing each kid a piece of candy. Boy did their eyes light up when I did this. After giving each kid a piece of candy, my grandpa told me to give the oldest child the whole bag of candy! I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the ground at that point. All my precious candy was gone! I had been robbed of the greatest sugar high of all time! I turned my head to look up at my grandpa, and I was about to ask him why he wanted me to do this, but he gently took the bag from me and gave it to the oldest child. We then said our good-byes and walked back to the car to head home.

When we got into the car I asked my grandpa why we had to give them all the candy. His response was to have me look at the children in their front yard. He said, “Do you see them? Look at their smiles! They are a family without enough money to buy candy, and you get candy every day. This is a very special treat for these kids. Now, would you rather eat that candy yourself, or would you like to make multiple people smile and feel happy by giving them your candy?” I was only 4 years old, but that lesson sunk into my little brain and stayed there for life. After looking at the children smiling, and showing their parents and each other all the different candies, and realizing I helped make them happy, and gave them something special, I decided I didn’t want the candy for myself at all. I actually asked my grandpa each time I visited them if we could go take candy to the children again.

Later in life I learned that the couple who lived in that house could not have children of their own. Instead, they chose to foster children in their home.

In that lesson and many other examples my grandpa set for me as a child, I learned that if you can help someone in any way, or if you can just make them smile that you should do it, and I always have.

Sadly, I was fired from teaching at the YMCA in Minot recently for teaching free classes in another community.

I teach free classes to people in my community, which is over an hour drive from the Y in Minot. I started teaching these classes for free, because people in my community do not have the ability to join a gym over an hour away, take classes, and I needed fitness volunteer hours for some of my certifications. Once I completed my yearly volunteer hours, I kept going with the free classes. I teach them for free, because I don’t need the money, I love seeing everyone feel good about themselves after class, and hear them talking about how much fitter and stronger they feel.

I was told by my superior at the YMCA that I had to quit teaching free classes in my little town, or they would have to fire me. She explained that they saw my classes (in a town over an hour away) as competition to their classes at the YMCA. I didn’t and still don’t understand this. Especially since the YMCA is a nonprofit organization. If anything I would think they would want to help people in the community. Especially since I’m helping those in a community where there is no access to fitness.

My grandpa’s voice and teachings came right into my head as I sat there in the office being given this ultimatum. I told her that I would not quit volunteering my time and helping others. I was taught better than that from my grandpa. Plus, I really believe that in order to make the world a better place you need to be generous, kind, and helpful whenever you can.

So, I’m no longer teaching my classes at the YMCA in Minot. I’m beyond sad about this, but I’m going to keep my head up, and be proud of my morals and values.

To all my wonderful friends and regulars in class…I love ya all, and I feel like I’m abandoning you. Each one of you has become so much stronger both inside and out since the first time you wandered your way into class. As a group we have seen each other through cancer, infertility, loss of loved ones and pets, terrible horrible no good very bad days, weddings, births, and so much more. Please keep supporting each other, cheering each other on, and most of all…Keep making each other SMILE and LAUGH! Your smiles will always stay with me!

Did Someone Say TABATA?

Workout Wednesday 2

I love tabatas!  I may be in the minority with this, but I love the way my body feels after a tabata workout.  For those of you who have never done a tabata I’ll break it down for ya.  You do a specific exercise for 20 seconds, and then you take a 10 second break.  Repeat for a total of 8 times, so your whole tabata equals 4 minutes.  It is 4 minutes of sweat and you feel awesome afterwards!

Below is a tabata and strength based workout.  It is a great introduction to tabatas, since each tabata is broken up with weighted moves.  This will bring your heart rate back down, and give those lungs a chance to recover.

I taught this workout a few weeks back, and only a few swear words were thrown my way.  Winking smile

**Instructor Note**:  If you are going to teach this in one of your fitness classes, make sure you give alternatives to the burpees, mountain climbers, etc.  Also, at the very end I gave the option to just hold a plank in the last tabata.


Upper Body Tabata