With a 3 hour lay over in San Francisco I FINALLY found some time to blog! And with this blog, comes an epiphany...
The past 2 weeks I have been vacationing in Texas and altho just being in the kissing cousin Country to the South, I felt a world away. Removed from influences that have clouded my mind, I was able to whole heartedly absorb my freed Spirit.
Major changes in my life this past year have tested my Steel in a way I never anticipated. Workouts continued as always, I found self therapy thru blogging here, and comfort and support thru the incredible friends I made thru it all. Not a day passed that I didnt anxiously await putting my thoughts to blog and interacting with others...but now something has changed. I have lost that blog lovin feeling...
At first, I thought it was because of the changes here on BB...so many of the near and dear peeps I call friend left when BB Admin thwarted the social interaction the blogs once had. But in the past, no matter what travels I had on the go and despite the changes I ALWAYS blogged...it was as essential to me as breathing.
But, as I sit here alone in an airport...returning from spending time with the person who has given new meaning to my life...I realize it was me that changed. In the past few weeks, I didnt once feel a need to blog...I did write one, but more out of a feeling of duty. See, I dont NEED the blog therapy anymore. The deep personal struggle I was being strong for has been replaced with complete and overwhelming Happiness.
And just as the blogging was never intentionally planned to help my personal strength, but did...this new Love has unexpectedly all consumed me...and sent my need for emotional support packing.
Ill still be around...but I lay down my Blog Whore title and replace it with my New Stainless Steely smile!
Travel and workouts dont have to avoid one another...finding yourself in a new city is the perfect opportunity to freshen up your scene with a new gym!
The hotel here in Austin had a fair gym...for those with lesser expectations. Upon arrival and close examination of said facility, we decided that any gym with a colorful rack of dumbbells (yes they DO make a 1 pound DB apparently), may not suit our needs...
Fortunately, a few blocks away was a fully loaded Gold's gym and our morning home for the week. Im a little girl gym goer with my experience being almost exclusively with dumbbells...so having my own personal trainer along AND finding ourselves in a REAL gym, made me a very happy vacationer.
When lifting is your lifestyle...vacation or not...I lift because I LOVE it, and to me, a vacation is when you should fill your time with all that you Love. PS
It was 3am with a few minutes to spare and I awoke feeling my usual middle of the night need for agua...taking BCAAs before bed ALWAYS ensures this. But as I rose and headed for my watering hole, I was hit with the dizzies...and the familiar and oh so unwelcomed FLU feeling...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I leave for Texas on Saturday for 2 Wicked, Active, and Adventurous weeks and I DO NOT want to be anything less than on top of my game. I will not permit it...
So...Plan B was in full effect today. I scrapped the gym and expediated some self healing with Vit C bombs, Flu F/X shots, protein shakes, plenty of water and good eats, and rest...I even fell asleep at my desk (shhh, dont tell the boss).
And Im calling on my lucky horse shoe to banish the bug before I rise for my flight. I lead a blessed life, this I know for certain. And I know my conditioning and healthy habits will kick this germ to the curb before you can say, "Can I have a Yee Haw!" PS
Today I can say was the first day of Summer on Vancouver Island...and the HECK if I was going to spend it indoors...
Workout plan A was to hit the gym after work for a total body attack. I have 2 days left before vacation and want to make the most of them and a good lifting session sounded great...until that sunbeam appeared on my desk.
There it was...streaking thu the open blinds and across my mid afternoon desk as if it was at a 70's sporting event...and equally sassy. And like those spectators, it shocked me at first...but my look of surprise was quickly replaced by my Wicked Grin.
I am NOT working out indoors today.
I took my Summer seeking, pants filled with ants to a nearby trail for a 4 mile run. Now we're talking! Ive run and hiked this gorgeous trail many times before, but this afternoon it was exceptionally beautiful. Or maybe it was my mood.
45 mins later, with that same wicked grin but a few less ants, I arrived back at the car. Good call Steel...every now and then I get it right. I can think of something else Ive gotten right recently, and Ill see you on Saturday! PS
Years ago, one too many falls off a horse combined with a totally Rad snowboarding wipe-out (which I still maintain was so frickin awesome it was worth the pain), are highly suspect as to why I have a fubar'd left rotator cuff.
Hey, life happens and it can get rough and tumble...I wouldnt want it any other way...I didnt sign up for uneventful.
So...I work my shoulders with utmost respect. Some days I can go heavy...some days I get over the Macho and lift light with more reps. Its all good, it is still highly effective...the proof speaks for itself.
Last night, in the midst of some crazy dream involving a HAWT text and visions of my upcoming vacation, I awoke in a pretzled, contortionistic position. And as I unraveled myself, my shoulder screamed in protest. Darn, she is being pi$$y again.
Fortunately, I am headed to a hot destination with a masseuse at my disposal and plenty of agua therapy to loosen her up. No problemo. Now I have a great excuse to indulge in hours and hours of spa treatments!
There are many hiccups in life, its how you choose to manage them that separates the LIVING from the dead.
Oh ya, Baby! PS
Mondays off in lieu of holidays (Canada day July 1st) always feel like a time warp for me. The weekend speeds right along as usual and ZAP...its Tuesday. Id like to stuff the rest of this week into that hot tub time machine and wake up to vacation time with my Cabana Boy on Saturday!
I made the most of my extra day off by releasing my energy in the gym early...
One hour run warm up...Im not being cocky about the warm up, it took me that long jogging and walking to hit my GOOD sweat...its Julyuary here in BC, temps hitting a whopping 13 celcius. Im not converting it to fahrenheit as it seems unpatriotic on Canada day weekend
3 sets/10-12 reps of:
UP Cable rows
Rear Delt Flyes
Assorted Rotator Cuff exercises (yes, I am following Cabana Boy's direct orders like the good girl I am)
12 sets weighted Decline crunches between shoulder work.
The gym time zipped by just like the weekend. And in 4 more sleeps and a wake up, Ill be glad I built these shoulders as I haul my bags to the airport!
Have I mentioned how much I love traveling? :D PS
We all have people in our lives that we find inspiration in. They may be elite fitness models, talented athletes...or a friend who has demonstrated that dreams really CAN come true. We also find fulfillment thru guiding and mentoring others...setting an example...hearing someone say that they found inspiration in YOU.
Pay it forward as they say, keep that snowball of positive energy rolling.
The Realistic Optimist in me knows these motivators exist...I participate in the cycle daily. But, I have also come to realize that the GREATEST form of inspiration is neither something you strive for or set an example of...its not ahead or behind...its right beside you.
If you reach that place in life of complete awareness that the person next to you makes you want to be the best you can be...theyre beside you encouraging and supporting...believing in you...then there is no greater inspiration. None. If you think there is, then youre not in that place.
I thought I was there when I transformed years ago...I was mistaken. It was my own reflection beside me...and even tho I managed to transform, it wasnt with overwhelming feelings of inspiration. Self love isnt as electrifying.
Find that one who stays beside you, making food taste better, music sound sweeter, and empowering you to be that incredible person you know you have within you. PS
Brimming with anticipation for my vacation in 10 days combined with today's exciting work travel news, everything I do right now has added Gusto. Im an easily excitable sort...not in a typical, bounce off the wall, edgey kinda way...my enthusiasm shows in a more productively, dangerous way.
In this state, I throw everything I have and then some into my workouts...thats the Productive part. The Danger part is the dead give away gleam in my eyes...I cant get away with nothin wearin these tattletales. Unfortunately, they can be misread...
So Im in my state of pre-travel euphoria, Im pumping up a storm on the bench, and a vision of some of my mischevious vacation plans pop into my head. Oblivious to whomever just walked into the gym, I Wicked Grin, exhale and say, "Oh BABY!" as I sit up from my bench press...
I have a very active...interactive, really...imagination. I laugh, smirk, giggle...and exclaim out loud things Im thinking about. Yes, Im 4. And so I am reminded once again that my world has a way of spinning out of orbit and unintentionally colliding with other's...as the fellow gym goer smiles at me and says, "Well, HELLO there."....
Ha ha, good thing for laughter or that mighta been awkward!
DB Flat Bench SS with OH Extensions
Flat Bench Flyes SS with Skull Crushers
Incline Bench SS with Kick Backs
Bench Dips to failure
3 sets 10ish reps
Find what drives your Gusto...then let it go to work...Baby! PS
Tuesday Bootcamps have morphed into 'Meet at the gym for Jello Leg creation'...
An hour of Lunges, Squats, and Deadlifts...mixing up variations of the same idea...Up & Down till the Quads, Hams, and Glutes are screaming. And to think we do this to our selves ON PURPOSE!
And ya know what keeps coming back to mind...is that the willingness to do the hard and less than pleasant stuff separates out a special kind of person in my eyes. I dont mean short bus special, altho thousands may disagree...no, I mean the ones that 'get' me.
Certain types of personality styles are attracted to each other...its just Natures way of forming colonies that gel. People are no different. Over the years, Ive noticed that people who gather in my corner and people that I WANT in my corner, all have something in common...they see my nonconforming perspective as a strength.
Im not going to say it doesnt matter to me what others think...Im going to qualify it by saying it ONLY matters what those that matter most think...everyone else can pound salt. Cuz at the end of the day, Im going to be myself....and the ones in my corner that see me and still smile, are the ones that keep me from tapping out.
Share your amazing with those that amaze you. PS
In my long in the tooth years, I have learned that personal challenges have a way of popping up outta nowhere...but its how you react to them that shows what youre truly made of.
Take my left shoulder for example...I did kinda injure it years ago snowboarding, so it has a valid incident that scarred it...but I dealt with it best I could and continued living life to its fullest, I never babied it. And now when I have a flare up of my wounded wing, I assess it, manage it, and get on with it. No sense stressin on it, the sun will still rise in the am...in full splendor. I keep focused on the big picture.
So, today when a text bomb sent my eyebrows to the ceiling, I was surprised...but worry was the last thing on my mind...talk is cheap...show me facts and the situation gets managed...and yes, life goes on as it had in its full, glorious splendor...of that Im positive, and I aint worrying about it.
An achievement I am very proud of is being able to see the positive side of most any situation. This optimism is often mistaken for being cavalier...but thats only because at times of perceived crisis, most dont share my instant vision of whats beyond the moment....like their fast forward button is broken.
My ability to manage personal challenges lyes in that button....zipping ahead to what things look like after the shiit is dealt with...and reminding others of it as well. Life happens...its unpredictible, challenging, and sometimes scary, but thats some of its charm...without it, the road in life would be dead straight and utterly boring.
So when that curve ball comes at your from left field...just remember...its what you do with it next that determines if a homerun is scored or not. And...no matter what, there will still be plenty of cold beer and good friends at the pub afterwards. PS
Flip flops on the leg press machine?....SERIOUSLY?!
Pros and cons to working out in a local hotel gym...few take it seriously. And to the guy...I think it was a guy...Im not really certain it was a guy at this point, his boobs were bigger than mine...I know thats not saying much, but dude/dudette, PLEASE keep your shirt on. Those that workout sans shirt successfully have earned it and clean up their sweat. I say, unless your chest seriously inspires others...and I can think of a few for sure...keep the shirt on please...or take it outside.
So my legs and chest were NOT inspired by todays sightings...good thing it was Back & Bicep Day..
BO Row 35lb DBs SS with Bice Curls 15lbs, 3 sets 10
Wide Grip Lat pulls 90lbs SS with Conc Curls 15lbs, 3 sets 10
Narrow grip pulls 110 lbs SS with Preacher Cable Curls 50lbs, 3 sets 10
BO flyes, thumbs down 8 lbs, 3 sets 10...trying to stretch out a pissy rotator cuff...mighta worked.
There must be something in the water today as my biceps were freakishly ballooned afterwards. The 4 day rest did them good, but whoa, theyre scarin me now...
Pre packing has begun for my Southern getaway and as my 'kinis and barely-there wear are scattered around my room, I am reinspired to keep these next 10 days on overdrive. 2 hard hittin workouts per body part remaining and then its time to put my efforts to the test...scored by how seriously wide my smile is! PS
Wobbly legs and tender abs...directly resulting from the gusto in my gym shorts this am. After a 4 day rest, I was rip snortin fulla P&V and I took it out on the gams and guts...
100 Hanging leg raises, straight and twisting alternating
3 sets of 10 reps, Split Squats/Hammy Curls/Decline weighted crunches
3 sets of 15 reps, Front Squats/Single leg lunges/Decline weighted twisting crunches
3 sets of 20 reps, Single leg Press/SLDLs/Oblique crunches 25lbs
...and just cuz Im evil...wait for it...100 wall squats with ball...nope, no rest.
Puddle of goo. After last nights pub night with the girls, Im rather pleased that the only thing I left on the gym floor was sweat.
Just after returning home, my girls in crime from the night before called..."You wanna go for a hike?" ...um....er...oh Hell, I swigged down my protein shake and grabbed my hikers. It was TOO nice a day to pass up a romp in the woods. And so I told my quivering legs to Suck it up Sunshine and we were off. There are some things I just cant say no to! PS
Sitting on my luxurious downy, comfy bed...looking out the glass doors to the ocean Wonderworld just inches beyond, I smile silently to myself...I am blessed.
This work trip Im on has sent me to yet another miraculous piece of the planet...Alert Bay, a teeny village on a teeny island off Vancouver island...where I call home. Its unusual, its natural, its untamed...its exactly the kinda anything I love.
While packing for this trip, I decided I wouldnt try to get any workouts in...a taunting sebadical of sorts...no workouts for 4 days and Ill be feverishly eager to consume all the iron once again when I return. 'Permission' to physically chillax and focus on my work challenge and my personal horizon...allowing my energies to be all-in to my head and heart.
Altho, I DID get in an impromptu 'PUSH' workout of sorts last evening...as I left the grocery store, I jumped in to help a man start his stalled car. I chuckled to myself as I walked back to my room, visualizing the scene from onlookers point of view...Big man in car rolls by as small Blonde woman pushes his car while he starts it. Its moments like this that I am most proud I lift.
They say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder,"...I dont really subscribe to 'They'...but what they say does create a good starting point for ponder. And as I take in my inspirational surroundings, I know there is some worthy thought to this statement. I know breaks from workouts are important beyond the physical recovery it gives...it DOES recharge the drive as well. Its essential to step back now and then and smell the roses.
And the roses smell oh so sweet. I may be sitting on this bed alone on this trip, but I wasnt alone for one second of it. Being alone in body vs soul are two VERY different things...and despite my physical needs, the emotional ones will always rule my planet.
Does absence make the heart grow fonder? I dont think so...physical presence is not what engages the heart...how easy it is to be in a room standing right next to someone and still feel lonely. No, the heart is engaged thru the soul. But, the physical presence of that soulmate DOES become increasingly missed the longer they are away...even if they are always right beside you.
I know in a couple weeks time, the physical absence will be removed once again and that helps ease the missing right now. And I exhale. So as WE looked out to the breathtaking sunset...I know Im not alone...and that is a blessing Ill never forget to pack with me in my travels, no matter where I go. PS
Be prepared...Boy Scout or otherwise, I say its a worthy motto.
Im packing my bags tonight for a 4 day venture to a remote island for work. I have my cooler stashed with cooked chicken, boiled eggs, apples, and oodles of healthy nosh. My backpack has the dry goods...almonds, oats, PB, soy nuts. And a cold jug of water will be beside me in my passenger seat. Ready to Wheelin.
I have given myself 'permission' to forego formal workouts for those 4 days, in exchange for packing along my trail hikers to explore the island on my off time. No lifting, but plenty of miles of new territory for exploring. THIS is when Im in my zone.
I know Id have been one of those explorers back in the day...Id never have believed the earth was flat...Id always have wanted to see for myself. Its this trait that I accredit my determination to make my dreams reality...that, or Im just too daamn stubborn to turn around!
No, I take that back...its not pigheadedry that pushes me...I know its my Passion for not only needing to see what's on the horizon...but needing to FEEL it too PS
Today was a Variety kinda day for me...a day of reflection of things worth remembering, coupled with a screaming tough workout, and a screaming good Margarita filled afternoon. They say variety is the spice of life...I always thought it was sex, but I suppose maybe thats what they meant by variety...ok, thats the margarita residue talkin, on to my am workout...
30 min walk/run
BO Row 30lb/35/40/20/20 SS with Bicep Curls 15lbs/20/20/12/12
Wide Lat Pulls 90lbs/90/80/80 SS with Conc. Curls 20lbs/15/15/15
Cable Row 100lbs/100/90/90 SS with Cable Preache Curls 4 sets 15lbs
Narrow Grip Pulls 4 sets 100lbs
My legs were goo from yesterday's killer day and after this Back/Bicep day, I was feeling READY for some adult beverages...my girlfriends didnt disappoint! Add to that, incoming "tweet tweets" of thoughtful texts from my cabana boy, and I have sore cheeks and abs from the joy filled day.
I have alot to be grateful for in my life, my support network is rock solid. Girls who know when to induce a laughter filled, distracting afternoon...and a guy who knows how to induce my smile at any given moment. I dont need to check to see if Im still packin around that lucky horseshoe...I know its firmly lodged where it wont be lost! PS