2018…I Can’t Believe I Did That!

Friends, another year has come and gone and it seems right to look back before moving forward. If you’ve followed me this past year, you know I set an intention to look less at the numbers and more mindfully at the heart of what I was doing. Simply stated, I aimed to change things up, try new things…LOTS of new things. It seemed everywhere I turned I kept coming back to two wise quotes that resonated deeply…

It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that,” than to look back and say, “I wish I did that.” – Manthan Sharma

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them. – E.J. Lamprey

With those thoughts in mind…I decided I wanted to be able to say, “I did that,” so…I did! Here are a few of those things…

There was blacklight cycling that seemed to shut the entire world off around me…COOL!

Then there was blindfold yoga that had much the same effect, while exponentially raising the difficulty level of my practice.

A Pilates Reformer series really tested my limits and increased my strength in a challenging, refreshing new mode.

Though I was unsure another 13.1 was in my future, I completed Donna’s Half in Jacksonville. Having walked nearly every step, I made peace with knowing my running days are now behind me.

I’ve become the biggest advocate for self-care, enjoying my first facial. Heaven.

Though some classes offered at my gym were well outside my comfort level, I decided that was no reason not to at least try.

I’d been dying to try a new bungee workout forever. I located the only one offered in the US at the time, so I worked a visit to Tough Lotus into my travel. Similar classes are now available much closer to home than Arizona, so I’ll be bouncing around again soon, no doubt!

I’d also been longing to see what all the hype was surrounding goat yoga, so I checked that out while in Arizona too.


And why in the world would I hike Tempe Butte or A Mountain? Well because it was there, of course!

I made it my mission to explore any National Parks that were anywhere near where my travels took me. So imagine my delight when I got to hike down the equivalent of a 75 story building to behold the wonders beneath the ground at Carlsbad Caverns. And because the elevators were out, I got a great workout hiking back up those 75 floors!

I invited a new tradition into the family. Instead of gifts for Mother’s Day…please take me on a hike!

A role for me this year was training buddy as we initiated our son’s fiance into our Tour de Pepin tradition.

I finally took the opportunity to test my balance limits with stand up paddleboard yoga while making some extraordinary new friends!

A trip to San Diego made this serendipitous Cowles Mountain hike a must-do with this outstanding tribe!

And my IDEA World Fitness Conference/Blogfest finally allowed me to meet Chris and Heidi Powell face-to-face…solid gold manifestation for sure!

I never could have imagined how enchanting it would be to dance with my son at his wedding…pinch me!!!

Earlier this year I accepted a position I knew was perfect for me as a program coordinator for the mentoring organization I previously mentored for. I’m ecstatic to have given this job a try and am so fulfilled in what I am doing!

My new job enables me to have a larger impact on our community’s youth while staying connected to my mentee. She and I were blessed to explore three more national parks together…Theodore Roosevelt, Yellowstone and Badlands on an alumni trip to Montana.

Gave a trampoline park a whirl for the first time with my extended family of kangaroos…who says we have to grow up?!?

Continued my education in a most hilarious way. That’s right folks, I’m a certified laughter yoga leader and that’s a laughing matter! I’ve also been spending a LOT of time on the Duo Lingo app learning Spanish for a milestone that’s still a few years out.

I tossed apprehension to the wind and facilitated my first women’s mindfulness retreat, a sacred space to sample a number of modalities. I don’t know about them, but I LOVED it!

An unexpected trip to care for my mother allowed for a quick rendezvous with my soul sister, climbing another mountain in Arizona simply because it was there. Why wouldn’t we?!?

One thing more to include…this has become my most beloved bench. I’ve been here so many times this year to meditate, read, pray, to ponder, breathe and just be. I’ve had several challenges and struggles in 2018, but who hasn’t? Through it all, I’ve found the more I’ve come through, the brighter the sun shines on the other side. I will treasure everything the year has taught and brought and can absolutely say, “I can’t believe I did that!”

It is with a full heart of gratitude that I look onward to what 2019 holds. I will continue to tackle each new day putting my Best Foot Forward!

Happy New Year, Friends!

Onward!

Hi Friends! As I looked back today, I realize it’s been two months since my last post. I’ve been quiet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy practicing what I preach. I stepped away from blogging for a bit to make extra time for myself…some extraordinary experiences of personal growth and much needed self care. I took time for what my body/mind/soul craved…

I joined family in making new memories.

When alone time was needed to heal some hurt, I savored a quiet getaway to feel instead of avoid.

And I’ve learned when I face what weighs me down, head-on, I’m lighter, more ready to move forward. After nourisning some grief last month, I went ahead to become trained and certified in Laughter Yoga Ho-Ho Ha-Ha-Ha!!!

 

Next thing I knew, I was facilitating a Women’s Wellness Weekend getaway so others could recharge too.

 

I continued, this past month, to be mindful of what I needed to feel most myself as the hum of the holiday preparations began to sound. I made consistency at the gym(s) a priority.

 

But soon I felt as though I was spinning my wheels. Something was missing. Something that hasn’t been there for quite some time…I needed a new challenge to work toward, a new goal. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know it needed to be BIG! I did some soul searching and came up with some driving motivation that will take me well into 2019.

I’ve always been so inspired by Diana Nyad’s courage and perseverance. She’s the DIE HARD that conquered the swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West. I knew of her incredible walking initiate EverWalk, and recently saw on the website she is hosting a life-changing event in Key West…a wonderful week of walking 10 miles every morning and volunteering for Habitat For Humanity–helping rebuild what Hurricane Irma destroyed every afternoon. This was exactly what I was looking for…a fitness event with a service component! EPIC!!!

Though it will be tough to wait until April to embark on this next adventure, that leaves me time to diligently prepare. I put great thought into how I will train to be ready to rock Key West; I devised a plan that will help keep me accountable. I’m going to set aside the more stressful aspects of the holidays, the ones that no longer serve my family and me. In saying no to certain things and people, I am saying yes to what I truly need and want. I’ll spare you the family portion, but for me, that looks like walking. A LOT of walking.

My plan is to walk at least 110.86 miles…the distance Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Key West, and to do it this month…starting NOW! Thanks, Julie, for helping me kick this off despite the 17 degree wind chill…I LOVE fellow walking warriors!

A couple quick laps around the lake and my challenge has begun…

Onward!

 

Why Wait for the New Year!

Friends, it occurred to me on this first day of October…there are only three more months until the New Year! How did that happen?!?

I’ve been in a funky headspace the past couple of days. Maybe it’s the drastic transition into fall that killed my summer buzz, perhaps an overdose of fake, sensationalized social media…who knows, but it stirred up a bunch of yuck in my mind that has taken me days to clear…I keep thinking I’m beyond this, and yet, here I am again.

See, I made a few drastic lifestyle changes back in June that I thought would make significant progress toward my long-term wellness goals. I thought I had given them a fairly decent shot, but real life seemed to pull the proverbial rug out from under me again and again, leaving me with no measurable results. It would be easy to declare defeat…something I defaulted to over and over again in the past. Compelled to avoid the old habit of backslide, I dug up a tangible reminder why I won’t do that again.

I pulled this photo out of the vault for some valuable perspective. I can’t believe I’m sharing it!

This was my exhausted reality eleven years ago. I yearned to be active outdoors, had strong desire to be well but was crushed in a number of suffocating ways. I was struggling with obesity, high blood pressure and great sorrow knowing my dad’s cancer journey was nearly over by then. I look into the eyes and heart of that girl, knowing she felt about 80 years old back then on any given day.

When I revisit that image, I’m so grateful for the perspective! I’m reminded that although I didn’t get to where I was hoping to be by Oct 1st, my summer looked very different from that 2007 version.

My body allowed me to continue exploring new fitness modalities.

Despite coping with some chronic injury pain, I was able to move forward in ways that recharged my spirit!

 

I was able to embrace and celebrate special days I wasn’t completely sure I’d be around to witness.

I was able to tackle new adventures in a way that old body would never have allowed.

   

This newest version of me, despite not hitting that latest health target was able to play every inch of the way!

And so I may not be exactly where I’d hoped to be…I’m far from feeling as sick, tired and broken as my 2007 version. As a matter of fact, in ways, I am more driven, more balanced than ever before…

Friends, as we head into these last three months of 2018, I can choose to forget my routine notion of that past…that the upcoming holidays are a big giant train chugging closer and closer to derailment. That it will be time again to care for myself as the festivities wind down and the New Year reminds me to start trying again. Well, I could. And I used to. But why would I do that now?

There is no need to give up hope! We have such a great opportunity to be your best you, to start again today! Wherever we may be right now, we can make some loving, caring changes for ourselves one day at a time. Why wait until January?

I forgave myself for not hitting that bullseye I was aiming for these past few months. As I look back, I realize I didn’t miss the target altogether…I just need to slightly readjust, refocus my aim and give it my best shot. One more way to put my Best Foot Forward…and you can too!

I

Come Away With Me!

Friends, I have been very busy on a project I’ve been dying to tell you all about! You know these past four years that I’ve blogged my transformational journey, I have worked hard to get where I am today. I’ve loved myself through a multitude of adversities, learning and implementing everything I can regarding self care.

It has made ALL the difference! You may also have noticed how frequently I take fun little breaks and getaways from my normal, everyday life. These have become instrumental in allowing me to live my best life…so much so, I’m inviting you to join me this time, Ladies, and I’m sharing my plethora of wellness secrets with you!

I’ve reserved some cozy rooms in the Miracle Lodge at Ironwood Springs…one of my favorite places just minutes outside of Rochester, MN (only a couple miles from the RST airport). Each room comfortably sleeps three (or up to five if you are really close friends/family haha), though one of you may need to climb a bit…

 

Plan to spend the weekend of November 9-11th unplugging to recharge your batteries! I’ve also reserved a wonderful meeting space for us to enjoy…

And we will be treated to some delicious, nourishing meals right next door in the dining hall…

Invite your besties you know could use some renewal too, but don’t feel at all nervous if you are coming alone. I will welcome you with open arms and you will probably leave the weekend with a bunch of new BFFs! I only ask that you arrive open-minded with a kind and open heart, willing to try some new things…who knows, you may just find some new favorite interests! Of course I won’t force you to do or try anything you don’t want to, but I invite you to explore and grow while you are here!

The weekend will offer some very gentle introductions to meditation, yoga and Tai chi chih, some exploratory journaling designed to guide you forward on your own journey, a stunning guided hike…

…a breathtaking zip-line ride or two (if you dare)…don’t worry, I promise to go first haha!

…a sunset hayride, some nourishing meals, some gifties from some generous sponsors, a bit of pampering and spoiling (think facials and chair massages!!!), a bit of crafting, an unforgettable girls’ night in, and some free time to enjoy all this beautiful venue has to offer!

You won’t want to miss some unique photo ops, like this giant adirondack chair that makes me feel like a kid every. single. time…

This getaway may leave you feeling like a kid again too; did I mention they have animals? We will likely catch a glimpse of some deer, turkeys and an eagle while out hiking. But if we don’t, Ironwood is also home to bunnies and chickens and llamas, OH MY! But that’s not all…

Look how happy those two are; you will totally understand when you get here! And if we’re lucky, maybe the peacocks will give us a show…

And you certainly won’t want to miss meeting my friend, Clyde!

I specifically chose the weekend of November 9-11 so you can destress before the holidays this year. When is the last time you went into the holiday season with a renewed and energized spirit? I’m telling you, Friends, the secret to all of this is self care…it’s time to show yourself some love, to treat yo’self! Consider giving yourself that first gift this season!!!

Of course we should talk details…

I will require you to sign a liability waiver/hold harmless agreement, as you will be involved in outdoor and physical activities…it is what it is.

Plan to arrive Friday evening, 11/9, at 6:30 pm, to get moved into the lodge before we begin our adventure together. We will need to check out of our rooms Sunday, 11/11, by 11 am, but can remain until 1 pm before you head home ready and motivated to be your best you.

Spaces are limited and will fill quickly, so free up your schedule, talk with your friends, and arrange for child care if needed, as this is a LADIES ONLY WEEKEND haha!!!

Cost for this amazing, all-inclusive weekend is $309 per person! Email me at fitbffs@gmail.com to sign up today!

 

A HUGE thank you to our sponsors: Momentum Jewelry, MassageZen with Tylynn, BeBetter Bars, Eco Lips and Essence of Vali

 

 

 

52 Fridays…How Far You’ve Come

Friends, we did it…we made it to Friday! Some weeks are tougher than others. Some leave us with a sense of accomplishment, others pass with no noticeable progress.

This week seemed to slip through my fingers. Though I worked HARD on me…nutrition, workouts, headspace, I saw no evidence on the scale. I’ve learned that number rarely reflects my efforts. If I got hung up solely on that number (as I used to), I would have considered this week a failure. Once I get that stinking thinking going in my head, the old patterns of sabotage threaten to return.

So instead of looking back at my week as a total wash, I chose to take a quick peek much further back for perspective…

When I think back over six years ago, how broken and empty I was, then consider the kinds of things I did this week to enliven my soul…none of that would have been possible back then. This week’s weight training sessions, a 5k, two hikes, a bike ride, some Tai chi chih, multiple walks and an earth shattering vinyasa yoga class would have killed that girl!

I make a point to refrain from looking back too often in useless guilt or regret, but today’s recollection was solely motivational. Journaling some of these thoughts helped me keep this week in perfect perspective.

Wow, I sure made this one all about me, didn’t I? I guess I wanted to make this 52 Friday’s quote relavent and gave you a look inside my journaling journey. Friends, it’s your turn. Take some time to explore what looking back does for you. Does it leave you feeling stalled or does it inspire you to endeavor forward? Where were you then? Where are you now? Give it some thought, then write down what comes…

 

52 Fridays…Sacred Space

Happy Friday, Friends! I’m SOOOO on top of this week’s 52 Fridays thought! I’ve had my coffee and was already relaxed into my chair as I did a little end of week meditation…just part of my mindfulness practice. I couldn’t help but think how calm I’ve been this week and as I dug into the why, it kept coming back to something I don’t often talk about.

So, Friends, grab your journal, pen, soothing beverage and settle in for a few moments to adventure with me on this journaling journey of you!

What is sacred space? It’s a term that I have heard more and more, lately, as I’ve delved deeper into my spiritual awareness. As I searched the internet for a simple definition, I realized no two explanations are alike. Why? I feel like we have such varying interpretations because each of us experiences sacred space in our own unique and individual ways…so much so, I had great difficulty finding an all encompassing definition that applied to me, let alone everyone else.

I did find one vague enough that resonated for me on thefreedictionary.com…see what you think.

sacred space,

n space—tangible or otherwise—that enables those who acknowledge and accept it to feel reverence and connection with the spiritual.
Give that some thought; feel free to jot down what comes forth. Do you take time within what you would consider your sacred space, whether it be in a physical or non-physical place. If so, what does this space look like for you? Is your space within or outside of you, indoors or out? How does it feel? Do you associate any smells or scents with that space? Any sounds? Is this a space you can go freely, at any time? Do you wish you could spend more time within that space? If so, what’s holding you back? Has your sacred space shifted throughout your life?
Is your space inside or outdoors…within or outside of you?

 

Win-It Wednesday OOFOS Sandals Winner

Happy Win-It Wednesday, Friends! This marks the end of FIT BFFs’ 4th Blogiversary Giveaways. I’d like to take one last opportunity to thank all you readers who continue to join me throughout this incredible blogging adventure! And like I said not long ago, don’t go anywhere…because this journey has only just begun. I’ve got some pretty exciting things in store, just around the corner…I’m just getting started!

I’m ever-grateful for OOFOS’ generous and unwavering support of my endeavors. Each time I attempt to tell you what OOFOS footwear means to me, you are only getting part of the story, because, really, there are no words. The longevity their technology has provided my joints (and spirit) throughout some pretty tough and painful times remains priceless.

Today’s lucky winner will be introduced to feeling the OO tOO! So excited to announce the winner of their choice of OOFOS sandals generously provided by OOFOS is…

Congratulations, Sarah!

I will email you the details.

Thanks to all who entered! If you didn’t win, you will still want to check out OOFOS’ website to learn more, because, IMHO, there’s no better sport recovery footwear on the market!

52 Fridays…What Do You Believe?

Happy 52 Fridays, Friends…means we’ve successfully made it through another week! I’ve got a pretty deep thought for you to examine this week, so grab that journal, pen, beverage and ease into that cozy place.

Some have known and trusted their whole lives; others have picked up and pieced together unmistakable clues along the way. Still others remain closed off to the notion, feeling solely responsible for their own destinies.

Where do you fit into the belief that your life is divinely guided? What evidence have you witnessed one way or the other? Have you noticed any shifts? Are you comfortable where you are? Happy?

Take some time to consider where you are in the big picture…

Take some deep breaths, let go and explore this on a soul level, Folks; you might be surprised to read what words and ideas land in your journal! No judgement here, Friends, just pure encouragement for you to better understand yourself. I invite you to feel deeply into this one, to discover for yourself what you believe and why. The journey inward can be quite enlightening!

Have an amazing weekend!

Win-It Wednesday WhOO Wants OOFOS?!?

As promised, Friends, in observance of FIT BFFs’ 4th Blogiversary, let’s continue to celebrate with one last giveaway!

Friends, you’ve heard me rave about OOFOS footwear for the past four years because I have yet to find a better way to recover from my multitude of workouts.

OOFOS has been such incredible support in my endeavors for the past three years…literally!

If you haven’t heard of OOFOS, check out my latest review here: http://bit.ly/2Ly3q8Y

I am not kidding when I tell you OOFOS has been with me every step of the way since I first discovered them in 2015…

I can honestly say, I will never go anywhere without them; and you don’t have to either!

To help celebrate FIT BFFs 4th Blogiversary, OOFOS has generously provided a pair of OOFOS sandals of the winner’s choice for this week’s Win-It Wednesday!

To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing one way you plan to be active this fall to embrace the beautiful season between now and Tuesday, September 4th, midnight central time.

Want an extra entry? Comment “I want OOFOS” on my 8/29 OOFOS posts on Facebook at FIT BFFs or on Instagram @fitbffs…or do both for two extra entries!

This giveaway is open to US residents only. One randomly selected winner will be announced here on Win-It Wednesday, September 5th. Good luck!

In the meantime, stop on over to OOFOS to check out how many awesome ways you can feel the OO!

 

Review: OOFOS Red, White and OO

As summer winds down, and the mindset shifts back to school, I made a horrible realization! And boy have I got a confession to make…summer literally ate my homework! I’m not even kidding! I meant to write a review for a pair of patriotic OOFOS well before July 4th so you could all celebrate with your own pairs of their festive OOriginal Sport Sandal Red, White and OOs…

But time slipped completely through my fingers, Friends, or maybe my toes! Well if you’ve been following me for a while, you already know what I think of OOFOS. But for those of you who’ve only just recently joined in, I can’t tell you how excited I get about a new pair of these amazing sport recovery footwear. The minute I pull them out of the package, I take a big sniff because there’s nothing like that new OOFOS smell! It’s just like the smell of new tires and it immediately makes me consider all the miles I will get on them because I know they treat me oh, so right!

This pair pledged allegience to the flag at multiple lakes as I spent all the time recovering from each workout and embracing the relaxation…and none of the time remembering my assignment. Ugh.

They found me further recovering from my chronic knee injuries with some great reads!

These Red, White and OOs even saw me from (dawn’s early light) sunrise to shining sunset…all the while, forgetting to inform readers about OOFOS’ liberty and justice for all sore and aching feet, knees and backs. Man, I feel horrible. I have no excuses to share, other than I guess I was just so busy being active thanks to all the phenomenal support these and my other OOFOS provided throughout my summer adventures, that it just slipped my mind.

There was recovery from Tour de Pepin in these OOlalas…boy, did my butt hurt, but the rest of me felt the OO!

And then there was my trip to Blogfest at the IDEA World Fitness Convention in San Diego, where I took this sunny opportunity to strategize my time there…

And then was stoked to personally thank these guys at the expo for their company’s incredible impact absorbing OOFOAM technology. Man are they a happy bunch; I know why…even after being on their feet for multiple days on end, they were all feeling the OO tOO!

I walked mile after mile of that convention center and and those beautiful beaches tOO, and I did it all with my favorite footwear!

I could have seriously stayed right there all summer, but I was days away from one of the most exciting events of my life, so back home I hustled, literally running through the airports in comfort to be back in time for my son’s wedding. Sure, I wore a cute pair of insanely uncomfortable wedges for the ceremony and pictures, but the minute they were done, I slipped on my black glitter OOlalas, soft as clouds as I swooned over the enchantment of it all…

And danced on air!

And wouldn’t you know, I was off again this time to Montana, to see more of the land of the free on these brave babies!!!

My summer has seen me through marked healing; my knee is now pain free! I KNOW I owe much of that to my friends at OOFOS! So I hope they accept my profound appologies when I honestly say, my summer ate my homework!

Friends, if you are suffering from foot, knee or back pain, please don’t wait until next summer to feel the OO…OOFOS now has a full line of shoes tOO! Although it looks like the Red, White and OOs are only available in slides right now, check out all the other great, colorful options to help you put your Best Foot Forward at the OOFOS website here.