Negative Inspiration Not Wanted

Motivation to exercise and to stick with a fitness routine can be incredibly hard to come by for some people. I have spoken to many people who have a hard time “convincing” themselves to go to the gym, or who feel like they have to “trick” their bodies into working out.

I feel fortunate, because for me, exercise comes naturally. No, I’m not saying I’m good at everything I try (not even close), I’m simply saying that the motivation for exercise comes naturally — it’s just a  part of my day, a part of my life that helps me to feel complete.  I know that I’m pretty lucky to feel this way, but why do I feel this way and others don’t? Is it something that I’ve created myself, or is it innate? I’d bet on the former, but let’s dig a little deeper.

So why is it that so many people have a hard time finding the motivation to move and to sweat?

That is something I don’t think we’ll ever completely know the answer to. But I do know one thing that doesn’t create good, sincere, long lasting motivation:

Negativity.

I was recently at a fitness class where the instructor told the group that we were working our triceps because “women want to wave with their arms, not with their flab”.

I’m not kidding when I say I almost walked out of the class right there. Inspired? No, I was infuriated.

There are so many wonderful reasons to move and to work out, so many beautiful reasons that do not include putting ourselves down. You know what? I’ve been working out for years, and I still get a little jiggle when I wave, unless I’m actively flexing my triceps as I do so (and that would look pretty awkward). But this isn’t something that bothers me, and it’s certainly not the motivating factor to my workouts.  I don’t work out because of parts of myself that I hate, I work out to improve the parts of me that are already pretty dang awesome.

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Every single part of you is what makes you You. You are not that photoshopped fitness model, you are not Gisele, you are not that world class Cross Fit athlete or elite endurance runner. You are you, and that’s what you have to work with. So your arm jiggles a little bit when you wave at someone? So what, you’re human. We aren’t all bronzed gods and goddesses made of 100% muscle.

You know what motivates me to work on my triceps? The fact that stronger triceps lead to better push ups, a stronger bench press, and more ease in my job which requires a good amount of physical activity and heavy lifting.

Would it have killed her to say something along those lines? “We’re working on our triceps to improve our strength for push ups!” motivates me a heck of a lot more than hearing someone put everyone down for something they really can’t control.

And maybe that’s the key. Maybe we need to look less at whether or not we are motivated, and more at what is behind our motivation. I’m no social scientist, but I have a pretty good idea that the more we use negativity to fuel the things we do, the less of a chance we have at making those things long lasting habits. The more you tear yourself down and punish yourself through workouts, I’d wager that you’ll be less likely to continue that workout or routine in the long run.

If you were forced to eat your favorite food every time you did something perceived as “wrong”, it probably wouldn’t be your favorite food for long now, would it? When it becomes a punishment, I don’t see how it could possibly be enjoyable long term. See where I’m going with this?

So if you’re working out, do so from a place of inspiration and potential progress, not from a place of hate and shame. And if you’re the fitness instructor who is shaming ladies into “better” bodies, what are you teaching them about how they should feel about themselves in the long run?

What if their arms always have a little “jiggle” when they wave — should they keep punishing themselves for eternity? What if they can go from doing 1 push up to 15, yet they still have a little wiggle — personally, I think we should be applauding that progress, not punishing the aesthetics (and genetics).

So it may be a long shot, but I really feel that someday we may be able to close this motivational gap when it comes to exercise. And I would bet that the key to that will be avoiding those negative spaces in our brains and embracing our potential as strong women (no matter which bits may wiggle or jiggle).

So tell me, why do You exercise? Where do you find your motivation?

33 Tips to a Happier and Healthier Life

33? Why 33? Well.. because…

It’s my birthday!

I’m not really sure what that means anymore, to be totally honest. I’ve gone from someone who was always obsessed with my own birthday, to someone who feels kind of indifferent about it. Maybe it’s my age (eek! When did that happen?), or maybe it’s just life, but I guess I couldn’t go on being a birthday princess forever, right?

Well, maybe I can. I’ll reevaluate and let you guys know if at 33 years old, it’s still acceptable to be a birthday princess.

Anyway, since it’s my Larry Bird year, I’ve decided to give you guys a list of the 33 Tips to a Happier and Healthier Life.

Stay with me, this isn’t all about vegetables and grass fed meat (although those are pretty top-notch things to include in your healthy life, if you ask me).

1. Eat your veggies. WHAT? I said this isn’t ALL about veggies and grass fed meet. Sheesh.

2. Eat a VARIETY of veggies. Our bodies need many many different things to run well, and many of those things include several different vitamins and minerals. Yes, veggies have a lot of the nutrients that we need, but the kicker is that they all have different ones. So if you stick with just peas and carrots (who likes peas, anyway?), you’ll be missing out on a whole slew of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to nutrition!

3. Invest in a Kettlebell. Yep, Kettlebells are expensive. They’re also one of the most versatile fitness tools you can own, so with just a couple of these in your home, you can get in a full body workout pretty much any time you want. Efficiency is king!

4. Train to do pull ups. Yes, even if you’re a female. Especially if you’re a female! Being able to do full, body-weight pull ups is one of the most bad-ass, empowering things you can do. And yes, you CAN do it, trust me. It just takes some work, dedication, and the right training plan!

5. Master your body weight first. When many people first start out on a new fitness regimen, they often want to jump in head first with the most exciting, sexy, challenging workouts they can find. The trouble with that is that it often leads to injury due to poor form, because the movement patterns are just not there. Master the major movements with your body weight first, then progress from there.

6. Smile at strangers. I live in one of the coldest places in the US, and I’m not talking about the weather. Bostonians are hard, cold, and generally unfriendly — many people that I meet are really put off by this when first moving here. One thing that makes a huge difference? Something that takes a fraction of a second, but can brighten someone else’s day — a smile. Please don’t be creepy about it, though.

7. Eat ice cream. Life is short.

8. Try a new workout. At least a couple of times per year, try something wildly new. Take a spin class, go zip lining, run on the beach, whatever. Move your body in a way that you don’t usually — it will thank you in the long run.

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9. Do mobility drills daily. Foam roll, dynamic stretching, whatever floats your boat. Move those hips, baby!

10. Stretch your adductors. The muscles of the inner thigh are highly ignored during workouts. They become tight and fibrous, affecting your movement patterns more than you can even imagine. Stretch those babies every day for happy, mobile hips!

11. Don’t cleanse. Ever. Cleanses are made by the devil, for the devil. Your body knows how to cleanse itself, if you just give it the right resources (and that doesn’t include living off of juice for 7 days straight).

12. Stand at work. If you can get a standing desk, great. If not, make a point to stand every 30 minutes, even if it’s just for a few seconds. Sitting for hours on end is actually killing you, scouts honor. Stand for life!

13. Give hugs. Don’t hug people that it’s inappropriate to hug, but overall, hug more. WAY more. Hugs = happiness.

14. Learn the difference between soreness and pain. There’s a big difference between the two, especially when it comes to training/not training. Training through an injury? Not smart. Training around an injury? Smart.

15. Swim. Let your hips, knees, ankles and feet be virtually weightless for a short time every once in a while. There really isn’t any other workout out there where you can get a full body killer workout in with little to no impact.

16. Learn to be ok with a little bit of hunger. I know this sounds a little weird, and it kind of needs it’s own blog post. I think many of us feel like we need to eat something the very second we feel an ounce of hunger, but that’s not always what you really need. Learning about your body and your own hunger cues can make a huge difference in weight loss and fat loss, if those are goals of yours.

17. Eat grass fed beef, organic poultry, free range eggs, wild caught fish etc. 

18. BUT DON’T STRESS about eating grass fed beef, organic poultry, free range eggs and wild caught fish if you can’t afford it. Unfortunately, these things are luxuries, and you can still lead a perfectly healthy life without them!

19. Go on a walk. In fact, go on lots of walks. This goes along with #12, and is really just part of the bigger picture. We could ALL stand to move a little bit more, so taking a quick walk instead of 30 minutes of TV following dinner could mean the difference between healthy and not healthy at some point down the road. (No pun intended, seriously).

20. Don’t take yourself so seriously. It is so, so important to be able to laugh at yourself. We all make mistakes, we all do silly things, so being able to find the humor in these things is sometimes the only way to keep your head above water.

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Sometimes you have to just let you freak flag fly. Fly it high, baby! 

21. Repeat names. When you meet someone new, make it a habit to repeat their name so that you can commit it to memory. This is something that I have been working on, and something that I have slowly been improving. Remembering someone’s name and using it often makes people feel better, and also saves you from those awkward “Hey.. You!” encounters that we’ve all had before.

22. Forget what the internet has to say about health and fitness. I know, I know, I am the internet. Well, I’m a tiny tiny sliver of the internet. But the truth is, there’s no cut and dry plan that works for every single person, so you’ve got to pick and choose until you find what works right for you and your special snowflake DNA.

23. Wear a hat. Ladies, listen up. Wear a hat on the beach. Protect your face — it’s the only one you’ve got. I’m pretty sure none of us want to look like old Leatherface in the next 10-20 years, so we’ve got to get on that now. I’m pretty sure my face is consistently at least 3 shades paler than the rest of my body, but that just means my face will look 3 shades younger than the rest of me when I’m older, right?

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[Photo by Rachel Darley Photography] There was just so much sun shinin’ on that dance floor 

24. Say goodbye. There are some things and some people that don’t belong in your life anymore, even if they used to. Let them go and move on, it’s ok to not hang on forever, just for the sake of hanging on.

25. Do hill sprints. They’re good for the booty. And the soul.

26. Stop worrying about getting bulky. Lean muscle mass will do more than just make you look good, it will also protect your bones. Want a much lower chance of developing osteoporosis in the next 30 years? Lift weights.

27. Stop comparing. As much as I love Facebook and Instagram, they tend to let us do what is probably the worst thing for our psyche: compare. Stop comparing yourself to the fitness models on Instagram, and stop comparing your life to your “friends” on Facebook. They are not you, they are not perfect, they have real life problems too, just like you. And sometimes they are photoshopped.

28. Get excited about 30. I dreaded turning 30. But you know what? I really, truly, love my 30s. If you’re not quite there yet, stop mourning the loss of your 20s and accept the fact that you too will grow older. And probably wiser.

29. Stop doing mountain climbers. I seriously, seriously hate them. They are one of the least effective exercises in my opinion. With so many better options out there, don’t waste your time on an exercise that provides little to no benefit, and that most people have horrible form with in just a few reps.

30. Don’t flake on yourself. We’ve all heard to “schedule your workouts like appointments”, but it’s true. Value your health and your body, and make the time for your workouts. Again, your body is the only one you have, and YOU, my dear, are worth it.

31. Don’t always “Go Hard or Go Home”. There is a lot of value in light to moderate workouts that are timed well. Recovery is essential for you to make any sort of progress in your training, so if you don’t allow yourself that recovery, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot. Rested muscles = happy muscles.

32. Work out and eat well because you love your body, not because you hate it. 

33. Eat your veggies. I mean seriously. It’s really important.

Run For The Hills

During the summer months, I tend to do a LOT of hill training. Even when I’m not training for anything in particular, I love to run hills, and this summer is no different. I was excited to learn that our new neighborhood is extremely hilly — but that excitement turned to dread the first time I actually went out for a run around here.

Hills are a strange phenomenon — as much as I love them, I also hate them while I’m running them, because I’m pretty sure they’re one of the worst kinds of torture. But although tougher workouts don’t always mean better workouts, hills offer a whole lot of good and very little bad. So, why do I have such a love/hate relationship with hills, and why do I think you should be running them too?

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First things first, let’s talk time commitment here:

Hills are efficient. 

You can get just as much work in during 20 minutes of hill repeats as you can in a 30-40 minute run, depending on the pace and elevation of your run. Since we all seem to have way less time than we actually need, replacing a steady state run with some hill repeats or hill sprints can cut your workout time in half while still giving you an incredible workout, both for your lower body and for your cardiovascular system.

Now, let’s talk about YOU:

Hills make everyone a sprinter.

Sprinting, true sprinting, is not for everyone. It can be dangerous for someone who is undertrained or over-fatigued, and many of us are just not trained to create that level of force and power in our lower extremities. Yes, we can all run “hard”, but true sprinting is not for the faint of heart (or your beginner fitness client).  Hill sprints, on the other hand, can be done by anyone. Because of the incline, the potential speed and power is much less, decreasing the chance of muscle strain or other type of injury for someone who is not a professional athlete.

On those same lines…

Hills equal less stress.

Yes, the stress on your lungs and the burn in your legs might feel impossibly hard, but the truth is, when running on an incline, the stresses to your knees, ankles and feet are much less. The incline leads to less forces at the point of impact when compared to flat surface running. Dealing with achy joints when you go out for a 4-5 mile run? Try a few hills instead (and also pair them with some strength training — it’ll help, just as long as you’ve been cleared and do not have a serious musculoskeletal injury.)

And for those of us who are feeling a bit lazy…

Hill training includes breaks.

Yes, you heard me right. When you are running hills, whether it is just repeats or sprints, I highly encourage you to take a specific rest time in between each rep. The idea is to let your muscles recover enough so that you can put full effort into the next hill run. And you know what? If you stick with this, over time, you won’t need those breaks to be as long. But remember to always listen to your body — there are some days when I can fly with only 15 second breaks in between sprints, and sometimes I need a full 30 seconds to a minute. Remember that we are not robots, we are humans, and our physical performance is influenced by so many factors in our lives.

So who’s ready to run some hills? Here’s a couple of sample hill workout that I do near my house. The hills that I run these on are pretty long, about a quarter of a mile up and back. Find a hill near you that fits your fitness level and your goals, and go! (And if you happen to live in an area without any hills — that is so foreign to me — these can always be done on a treadmill as well. Although the scenery won’t be quite as good!)

Basic Hill Repeats:

This one’s not too tough to figure out. Run up the hill at a challenging pace, though not a sprint, and jog back down. I tend to take about 10 seconds at the bottom before heading back up again. Do as many reps as you can — your last hill should be extremely challenging but you should still be able to complete it. Last time I ran the hill near my house that is about .3 miles up and back, I did 6 reps, or about 2 miles of repeats.

Pseudo-Sprints:

Find a long hill near you. Run as hard as you can for 30s, then without pausing, keep walking to the top of the hill. As your fitness improves, you’ll be able to get a little bit farther in those 30s, and you can increase the time to 35s or 40s as 30 gets easier.

Sprint Ladder:

This is one of my favorite ways to do hill runs. Run 6-8 reps at a “hard” pace, but not a sprint. Jog/walk back to the bottom, and recover for about 30s between each one. Then, over a shorter distance, sprint for 15s, repeat for an additional 6-8 times. You might be thinking “15 seconds? That’s too easy!” Well, give yourself a good enough hill, and those 15 seconds at a full sprint are all you need. Recover for about 45 seconds between these.

One of the main reasons I love running hills is because it’s really easy to see progress — can you do an extra rep? Is your speed better at the top of the hill? And I don’t know about you, but progress is what motivates me, and what makes me hungry for more. Do any of you do hill runs/sprints regularly in your workouts?

Let’s Reevaluate

It’s the middle of July, the middle of the summer, and we’re smack dab in the middle of the year. Because of this, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and reevaluate where you’re at in terms of goals that you may have set for yourself at the beginning of the year, whether they were hard and specific goals, or just thoughts you may have had floating around  in your head.

I actually didn’t set any “resolutions” this year, or for the past few years for that matter. What I tend to do each year is take a little while to think about where I’ve been, where I’m at, and what I want to accomplish in the next several months. Sometimes I stick to these goals and make them happen, other times I realize at some point down the line that it’s not exactly what I want to be doing.

For instance, several months ago I set a goal, or an intention, that I wanted to at least entertain the idea of training for and entering a power lifting competition. Throughout this year, however, my fitness goals have shifted slightly, and I’ve taken on a few new activities into my repertoire. I have been spinning and running a lot more, in addition to strength training. This is great and has been making me very happy, but what it doesn’t do is make a good power lifter. I’m not at maximal strength right now, I’ll be the first to admit it, as I’ve realized that I’m just not interested right now in focusing my training on just one aspect.

This is also the perfect time to think about the goals that I am in the middle of pursuing, and reevaluating whether or not I’m doing as much as I want to be/should be doing. Now, this is a very subjective practice, so it’s important to understand that it’s not up to anyone else to let you know whether you’re doing enough. You have to decide what your priorities are, what you are willing to do to achieve the goals you have set, and if it is in fact something you wish to keep pursuing.

Take, for example, Rondeau Group Fitness. Starting this fitness group was one of my main goals this year, and here we are, in the 6th week of bootcamp already! Yes, I started the classes, and yes, I’ve continued to work on it throughout the summer, but is it enough? Am I doing enough to progress this goal even further? To be honest, I know I need to be doing more, and there are a lot of things on my agenda, but I am truly, honestly proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.

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I’ll tell you one goal where I’m not quite up to where I want to be– and that is on this blog. I have not been writing nearly as much as I had hoped to this summer, and I’m not sure if that means that I’m busy having a wonderful life outside of the blog or if I’m just not putting enough energy into it? Maybe it’s a little combination of both, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I think that blogs are kind of like that in nature, unless it’s your full time job, they have a natural ebb and flow — well, this one does any way. But just because I haven’t been writing as much as I intended to, does that mean that I’ve failed my goals? Honestly, I don’t think so. There have been some other pretty incredible things taking up my time and my brain space, so I’m not going to stress too much about it.

Looking back over the last few months, and forward to the next several months, I must say that I think I’m in a pretty good spot even though I haven’t done everything I wanted to at this point. Goals change, priorities change, and life throws curveballs sometimes. The most important thing is just adapting and staying true to your long term vision of yourself, even if there are a few hiccups along the way.

Readers: Did you set any goals at the beginning of this year? Which of your goals have you accomplished and which are you still striving towards? Are there any that you’ve realized are not quite right for you?

Give Yourself Some Credit

As many of you know, I run a small outdoor group-fitness class a couple of mornings per week here in Boston (If you’re local, come join us! Click HERE for more info). This is my first summer doing this, and I must say that I absolutely love it. I can’t think of anything else besides November Project that has ever had me excited to get up at 5:15 am on a regular basis, but this has done it. I’m so happy I decided to go ahead and pursue this thing that I’ve been thinking about and talking about for so long — and I’m glad it’s working out so well! My post today is inspired by my class, but not in the way that you might think. You see, today’s post is not necessarily inspired by the kick ass women who show up on Tuesday and Thursday mornings ready to sweat with me (and they are all truly kick-ass women, trust me!). No, today’s post is inspired by a few words that almost all of them, without fail, have said to me when they show up on their first day:

“I’m really out of shape” … or some form of this phase.

It’s as if they think that they’re being judged before they’ve started, and they have to preemptively let me know not to expect too much from them.

But you know what? I do expect a lot from them. I expect them to try, I expect them to be positive, and I expect them to push through whatever it is they’re dealing with that day to treat their body’s with the love and respect it deserves. Even if it’s only 45 minutes out of their day, that is their time. And I know for some it is their only time in the day, as many are mothers of young children, some with extremely demanding careers.

I expect them to do their very best at whatever it is I’m asking them to do, even if they don’t do it perfectly. I expect them to treat themselves with respect, acknowledging that they chose to get up and be there at 6:30 am, and that shows some true motivation. I expect them to love the place that they are in with their body, and to know that we work out to help ourselves, not to beat ourselves up.

 What do I not expect? I don’t expect people to come and breeze through the workouts, because what’s the point in that? I don’t expect everyone to do everything with a smile on their face, I just want them to smile when it’s over, knowing that they just did something good for themselves.

The thing is though, I think that as women, we do this to ourselves a lot. At work we might say “This might be a dumb idea but…”, or “You probably already thought of this but…”. When this happens in the in the office, preemptively striking down your own ideas decreases the efficacy of whatever your following statement is, and I’d wager that it also tends to decrease your belief in your own ideas. So wouldn’t the same hold true for your workouts?

I’m a firm believer that attitude is half the battle when it comes to challenging workouts. When you show up and the first words out of your mouth are about how out of shape you are, you’re already digging yourself a little hole that you have to climb back out of before you even begin your warm up. The truth is, I don’t care how in shape or out of shape someone is before coming to my class, because that does not matter in that moment. What does matter is that they are there, that they got themselves out of bed before 6 am to be there, and that they have made the commitment to do something good for themselves that day. Those are the things that matter, not how quickly they can run a mile.

 So instead of “I’m in really bad shape”, next time someone new shows up, I would love to hear them say “I haven’t been doing as much as I would like, but I’m really proud of myself that I made it here this morning”. Because I am proud of them, every single day that they show up. I’m proud of them whether they can do 1 push up or 25 push ups. I’m proud of them whether they can finish 8 rounds of our circuit or only 2. I’m proud of them for taking some time for themselves, working as hard as they can and striving each class to do what’s best for their bodies on that particular day.

And when it comes down to it, life is not about being the most “in shape”. We don’t get gold stars or points on a leader board in real life for being the fastest or the strongest. But when we consciously make strides to take care of our bodies and to nurture our souls with positivity and encouragement, instead of tearing ourselves down with doubt, that is when we win. In shape or not, what matters is this moment and what you’re doing to make your future better.

Healthy For Life

Hello there! I’m back from my road trip and back in real life. I haven’t been around here for a while, first because of the trip, and second because we moved two days ago. In the few days leading up to the move, life was chaos as it always is before a move, but now that we are in I feel like I can breathe again. The house isn’t quite settled, and it probably won’t be for a while, but I feel much more relaxed now that that stress is over with.

And as tough as moving day was, I just want to talk a little bit about how it definitely could have been worse. Sometimes people ask me why I lift or why I workout, and I don’t always have a good answer for them. I workout because I enjoy it, I tell them, or because it’s my favorite way to start my day.

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Or because if I ever have to climb a wall to escape the zombies, I’ll be ready! 

But what I don’t often say, is that I lift because it makes life easier. On moving day, for example, my phone told me that I walked about 8 miles, and all of those miles were in and around the house. This means that all of those miles were up and down stairs, and most of them included carrying boxes and other things including several pieces of pretty heavy workout equipment. And that doesn’t even include the couple of hours that my phone wasn’t attached to me, so who knows how much I really walked when it was all said and done.  By the end of the day, my legs were tired and achy, but I was able to complete everything I needed to do throughout that very long day, and get up early the next morning to teach my bootcamp class.

Without my regular lifting and workout schedule, moving day would wreck me. We hired a few movers and as I’m not someone who’s just going to stand around and tell them where to put stuff, I was all in all day even though they were there (but trust me, I definitely left all the big furniture for them!). I was able to help all day (along with a couple great friends!), which helped the main part of the move go by pretty quickly. If I hadn’t felt up to moving a lot of stuff on my own though, the move could have taken way longer — which would have led to a much longer day than it already was, and also a much more expensive day. Paying those guys by the hour, you better believe I got my muscles in there to load and unload that truck as quickly as possible!

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Med ball, sand bag, weight vest, and KBs do NOT make for easy moving! 

Lifting and conditioning workouts help me get through days like this, but they also help me to get through life in general. I know that if I need to get something done around the house, I can usually do it on my own if I need to. I know that when I’m at work and need to move some heavy equipment (or a heavy athlete), I can do so without straining myself so much. With all of the extra stresses in life, doesn’t it only make sense to do something that will make everything a little bit easier?

My workouts are time for me in the mornings where I can zone out, release tension, or work through frustrations, depending on my mood and what I need to get done that day. It helps me to get through every other aspect of my life a little easier, both physically and mentally, and that is why I work out as much as I do. I do enjoy it, and it does give me more energy, but in the end, I’m all about making things easier for myself. So next time I have to lift a 50 lb box off the ground, I know I’ll have no problem doing so.

But please, don’t make me move again any time soon. All the lifting in the world doesn’t make moving day any easier on the soul, and I right now my soul needs a little TLC!

To all of my US readers, enjoy your July 4th weekend! I’ll be enjoying mine, forgetting about the move, and probably engaging in a few cocktails. Because hey, working out also allows me the freedom to enjoy a few of those every now and then, no?

New Balance Girls Night Out and MyNB

Hello friends!

I just recapped my west coast trip for you last week, and if you’re following along on Instagram, you can see that I’m off on another trip already! This summer was shaping up to be a whirlwind, and then we found out we had to move and things got a little bit TOO crazy. This trip is a welcome escape from the stresses of packing and moving, and although the timing isn’t great I’m going to enjoy every last second of it! I’m currently road tripping to St. Louis with my coworkers/friends, with a few stops along the way. Jersey Shore, Morgantown, WV, Louisville, and then finally on to St. Louis for a conference (the main reason for this trip).

Hopefully as you’re reading this we’re cruising along with no major mishaps, I’m sure you’ll get some stories from the trip at some point!

Anyway, the point of today is to recap an event I went to about a week and a half ago — another New Balance Girls Night Out event. You all know how much I love these, and this one was no different. The theme of this event was Heating Things Up For Summer, with a Booty and Arm workout from the awesome Sarah Kusch. The night was hosted by Rachel of Healthy Chicks, and both ladies did a wonderful job!

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As always, there was a 3.6 mile fun run, but this time I joined the alternate workout, which was a hot and sweaty booty and arm blast from Sarah.

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DJ Brek One killed it on the beats as usual, and the workout was a killer! We ran to a park about a half mile away, blasted our booties with about 10,000 squats (I don’t even think I’m exaggerating here), and then headed back to the store for snacks, cocktails, sparkly tattoos, photo booth fun, and more.

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Guys. This juice was SO GOOD. I don’t know about you, but I love spicy drinks… and is it inappropriate to say that this would make a killer cocktail? 

Although the theme of the night had to do with getting “summer ready”, both lovely ladies stood up and spoke personally about what this means to them. Rachel spoke from the heart about the days when she used to hate summer due to insecurities surrounding shorts, bathing suit weather, etc. She reminded us that we are all “bikini ready” no matter what, and loving ourselves is what is most important. Sarah spoke about the importance of hard work and doing everything you can to take care of yourself, mind and body equally.

Although most of the blogger ladies that I usually see at these events couldn’t make it, I was so excited to be able to meet and spend a little bit of time with the adorable Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor. We chatted for a while, and I can’t wait to see her again at future events. If you haven’t checked out her blog, do it now!

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All in all, it was another awesome girl-power night from New Balance, with a kick-ass workout, a great message, and a pretty great party. I can’t wait for the next one!

I also have another exciting announcement for all of you. New Balance has just launched their signature program, called MyNB, accessible on the NB website, and available as an app download for both iPhone and Android devices.  From New Balance:

MyNB members can earn points through different New Balance activities such as online product purchases, event check-ins, social media interactions, fitness activity within the RunKeeper app, and custom shoe purchases, among others. Points can then be redeemed, at the member’s convenience, for unique reward options that enable consumers to meet their fitness and lifestyle goals. Rewards include free race bibs, product reward certificates, RunKeeper Elite memberships, and TeamNB Meet & Greets.”

MyNB also offers 3 different levels — bronze, silver, and gold, each with their own privileges. You choose which one is best for you and your needs, and start earning those rewards! I don’t know about you all, but I’m definitely going to jump on this. Earn rewards for using a brand I know and already love? Especially since I can earn points for checking in at some super awesome events, like NBGNO. Yes please!

Alright, I’m out. Have yourselves a lovely day!

Every photo on this post except for the juice photo is courtesy of New Balance