Bookworm Workout

Once Upon a Time…

like just this week, I was struggling to find my normal workout determination and motivation. I was looking for adventure, a unique and fit activity that would occupy both mind and body while enjoying the spectacular fall weather…so I did a little brainstorming.

And lately, Friends, I’ve noticed some super cute little book houses popping up all over town. So I decided to do a little research to learn more. I was intrigued to discover that some of these neighborhood libraries are part of a nonprofit organization initiative that fosters free neighborhood book exchanges around the WORLD! I found this information about Little Free Library here. And upon doing a search of my hometown of Rochester, MN, I found this…

But when I took a closer look at the map, I realized there were quite a few more around town I had seen that were not on this map. So I dug deeper and did a little search for Rochester neighborhood libraries and was sent to my local library’s website that provided me a map with even more options…

I enlarged the map enough to jot down multiple addresses in an area I wanted to explore and my adventure took shape. I made a mental map of the route I would take on my bike considering safety and distance. I filled my waterbottle, tossed a snack in my backpack, secured my bike helmet and was ready to ride! I rode for only a couple blocks before I came to the first one.

Now keep in mind, the selection is small, but changing daily. Also, the cost is free and there are no due dates or late fees…my kind of library! I was impressed with what I found within in terms of something for everyone. Friends, there were board books for babies, picture books for toddlers, early readers for preschooler-primary, chapter books for the more experienced, adult non-fiction and fiction…so many genres in one little place. I didn’t find a book that sparked my interest, but no worries…I had several more addresses to explore. So after a big drink of water, on I rolled!

This little library was color coordinated with the owner’s house…how cute is that? And again, a wide assortment of titles for all ages. Still nothing for me, but I was just getting started.

This one was painted to resemble some of the flowers in this owner’s beautiful garden. This was beginning to be somewhat of an art tour as well. I think how excited my boys would have been if these had been around when they were little. I imagined them popping out of the bike trailer to see what fun things awaited them at each stop! Just thinking about it made me smile.

What inviting little places to pause! This house offered a bench to enjoy the library’s contents right then and there in case you wanted to stop by for a quick little read. I took the opportunity to hydrate before moving on.

This library was perched on the edge of an enchanting garden with a welcoming bench lining the sidewalk and driveway…how nice is that?!? I’d put several miles down between these stops and was beginning to get hungry, so I sat down to enjoy my snack while perusing a Minnesota wildflowers book. I’d yet to find a book that called to me, but I wasn’t done yet, and I was getting one heck of a great workout! Time to hydrate!

Stop after stop, I was becoming more excited with each library I arrived at because this was like a fun little treasure hunt. I knew, eventually, I’d find a book or two that were meant for me!

And there it was…just the inspiration I was hoping to find! I popped that baby into my backpack, excited to find something that will light my motivational fire. I could hardly wait to get home and start reading, but I had a few more addresses to go. I marveled at how many miles I’d gone and how much fun I was having. Could this really count as a workout lol?!? Another drink break and I was back on the road.

The more I stopped, the more I found myself thinking about putting one of these babies in my front yard. I would LOVE to share the gift of reading with my neighbors! As I starting considering the possibilities of what ours might look like, I arrived at the final address on my list. I was grateful I had found a book, but figured it would be the only one I was returning home with until I spotted this…

I LOVE when the universe works in this way because as I spotted the title, I knew that book had my name written all over it; it was there just waiting for ME! Not only had I enjoyed an amazing outdoor workout, I found just the thing that will keep me motivated for many rides to come…a biking trail guide for Minnesota and Western Wisconsin! BOOM!

I rode home with renewed energy. This had turned out to be a great day…getting fit with lit hahaha!

Friends, if you are in need of renewed motivation and a creative workout, look up your community’s neighborhood and little free libraries, map them out and get moving. This bookworm workout is one more way to put our Best Foot Forward and…

Live Happily and Healthily Ever After!

 

Win-It Wednesday-Local Prize Winners

Friends, I had such a great time hearing from many of you regarding the wonderful local prizes offered in this past week’s giveaway. They seemed to create quite a buzz!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each of the generous contributors; many thanks to:

Christy Olson of Your Inner Sanctum

Cody Cooper and Matt Ebeling of A New Beginning

The Rochester Athletic Club

 

Without further ado, let’s announce the lucky winners…

One-Hour Health Coaching Session: Ashley R.

45 Minute Reiki Session/Intuitive Reading: Dawn O.

60 Minute Massage: Marisa H.

RAC One-Day Guest Pass: Brenda S.

RAC One-Day Guest Pass: Branda A. 

RAC One-Day Guest Pass: Colleen S.

Congratulations, Winners! I will email each of you for contact information. Many thanks to all who entered.

If you didn’t win, make sure you stop back later today when I announce our next Win-It Wednesday giveaway in continued celebration of FIT BFFs 3rd Blogiversary!

Oola For Women Review

While waiting for my flight to Portland last week, something awesome happened…something very Oola! Because the flight was overbooked, the airline offered generous compensation to a volunteer willing to catch the next flight. I just happened to be traveling alone, was scheduled to arrive earlier than necessary and, incidentally, had a book I was dying to dive into; without a moment’s hesitation, I stepped forward!

As I tucked my easily obtained reward (enough to purchase my next getaway flight) into my bag, I pulled out my advance reader copy of Oola For Women I received in the mail just days earlier. There was nothing to do but relax and digest the wisdom of Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl with Janet Switzer and the inspiring stories of 42 women.

This was sort of deja vu for me as I recalled reading Braun and Amdahl’s original Oola book last year on a flight to San Diego! That’s when I was first introduced to their 7 key areas one needs to balance and grow, to live the life of one’s dreams…fitness, finance, family, field (career), faith, friends and fun. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to put these areas to work in my life and have found extraordinary balance in doing so.

These same 7 key areas are beautifully re-presented in Oola For Women, using powerful stories to further the reader’s understanding and connection. The poignant story each woman humbly shares brilliantly illustrates these areas, and beyond as the authors warn of traits that block one from living the life of their dreams, as well as ways to accelerate reaching those dreams.

I kept thinking as I read story after story, how they resonated deep within, how I related to so many as if they could be me!

The last section of the book invites the reader to look deeper into her life, to get real with where she is and where she wants to go. A simple strategy designed to get readers on The OolaPath is spelled out in a straightforward manner, and as they say, “Once you start, there’s no going back to ordinary.”

Braun and Amdahl are currently traveling across the country in their OolaBus collecting a million dreams, so how appropriate there is a blank OolaWoman Goal sticker in the back of the book to record that dream! It’s become difficult for me to narrow it down to a single dream, so I will continue to think on that.

In the meantime, as I finished their book during my Portland vaca and know the OolaGuys are big fans of doughnuts, there was only one thing left for me to do…

 

Dave, Troy, these VooDoo Doughnuts are in honor of your beautifully crafted tool for women to find that delicate balance in an unbalanced world! You two are changing lives all over the world with one word!

Why not treat yourself to less stress, more purpose and uncover that greatness within! Friends, Oola For Women hits bookstores across the country tomorrow, May 2nd. If you’d like, check it out at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

 

Oh, and keep your eyes open for that VW OolaBus!

Win-It Wednesday OOFOS Winners

Happy Win-It Wednesday!

Friends, your response to the FIT BFFs OOFOS giveaway was amazing! I’d like to thank my generous friends at OOFOS for another opportunity to educate and reward my readers with their fantastic products.

I’m excited to announce our three winners:

Suzanne G, Hope C-R & Rhonda M!!!

Congratulations! I’ll email you for shipping details.

Many thanks to all who entered…I wish I had a pair to give each and every one of you because I know you’d love them too. Why not stop by the OOFOS website to take a look, because treating our feet is a soothing way to literally put our Best Foot Forward!

Win-It Wednesday OOFOS Sandals

Happy Win-It Wednesday, fellow FIT BFFs! Yesterday I reviewed a wonderful pair of OOFOS OOlala Sandals here, in case you missed it.

As promised, OOFOS has partnered with FIT BFFs by generously providing some OOlove for us this week…how awesome is that?!?

Three lucky winners will each win a pair of OOFOS OOlala Sandals, OOriginal Sandals or Sport Sandals of their choice; that means both men and women can get in on the giveaway action!

 

To read more about this amazing footwear, to select style/color/size you hope to win, or to order your own because you simply can’t wait to see if you won, stop by the OOFOS website here.

To enter, simply leave a comment below stating which sandal style, color and size (men’s or women’s whole sizes only) you hope to win between now and Tuesday, March 21st, midnight central time.

You may enter only once on the blog, but can earn one extra entry for doing each of the following:

  • LIKE the FIT BFFs Facebook page if you are new to the page
  • LIKE the Win-It Wednesday post on the FIT BFFs Facebook page
  • COMMENT on the Win-It Wednesday post
  • SHARE the Win-It Wednesday post

Giveaway open to US residents only. Randomly selected winners will be announced here on Win-It Wednesday, March 22nd. Good luck!

Some Magical Awareness

Friends, something happened yesterday that was just too exciting to keep to myself. Let me back up a bit to set the stage…

A few weeks back, my friend Matt nominated me for a push-up challenge to spread awareness for veteran suicide. I was to do 22 push-ups daily for 22 days. Why 22? Sadly, each day an average of 22 veterans kill themselves.

Well, as many of you know, I can’t back down from a challenge, and there’s a huge place in my heart for our veterans…those brave men and women who have put their lives on the line for us. So I just couldn’t say no.

Each day I’ve been posting a video of my push-ups on Facebook. I realized right away how boring it would be to do those push-ups in the same manner every day, so I thought I’d try to spice things up for my Facebook friends.

It has become great fun for me to choose some interesting locales as my backdrop. A set in the snow back home in Minnesota was a great contrast, as a Christmas trip found me doing push-ups on Cocoa Beach, under Spaceship Earth at EPCOT, beneath the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom and next to the Knight Bus at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios.

Friends, yesterday will be impossible to top, as I had some magical help from a life-long friend. I met up with Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice for a quick round of 22. What happened next blew me away! Watch the video to see Mickey do something completely unexpected…props to you, Mickey, and thank you for helping me spread awareness for #22kill!

You can check it out here!

I encourage you to reach out to the Veterans in your life and remind them that they have your love and support. Please spread the word that Veteran suicide is not the answer!

Veteran Crisis Hotline for veterans and families in immediate crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 and press “1” or send a text message to 838255. You can also chat with someone online at www.veteranscrisisline.net

OOFOS Continues to Wow Me!

Friends, as I work toward accomplishing my half marathon each month this year, I continue to reach for my OOFOS footwear immediately after each race! With tired, achy feet and legs post run, getting out of my running shoes and slipping on this recovery footwear feels like a million bucks!

In the past, my generous friends at OOFOS have provided me several pairs of their amazing footwear for test drives, reviews and giveaways. They’ve been partners in the many, many miles I’ve put down this year and I couldn’t be more grateful. The OOlala Sandals took me through my Honolulu Marathon training and beyond.

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The OOahh Sport Slides have taken me around the country as I trained and completed many half marathons. Sliding into them always provided the perfect relief!

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While continuing to train during the brutal winter months of Minnesota, the OOcloogs kept me in supported comfort.

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Last week, I received a pair of OOriginal Sport Sandals in the mail…and just in time! I’ve been dealing with some recent injuries but with the expert help of my physical therapist and the consent of my sports med doc, I continued work toward my goal.

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Last weekend I was able to complete the Mankato Half Marathon with my friend Jacque.

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I predicted I’d be in rough shape at the finish line, so the thought of sliding into these flip flops carried me those painful last few miles. I knew these were waiting for me at bag check! And the minute I put them on…instant relief! I don’t know how OOFOS does it, but they’ve engineered their footwear to reduce stress on sore feet, back, and my biggest challenge…knees. The OOriginal Sandals immediately took the edge off and have helped me quickly recover!

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And that’s very good news because I’m heading to Washington DC next week for the Marine Corps Marathon, and I already know what will be waiting for me at the finish!

Friends, are you on your feet for hours on end? Are you looking for the ultimate support for tired feet, knees and back? Check out the great footwear OOFOS has available here…you’ll be so glad you did!

I Declare Me-Day Monday!

Happy Monday, Friends! It IS a happy Monday because I’ve declared a Me-Day! Are you living such a fast-paced, crazy-busy life that you don’t even know what me-time is anymore? Well let me tell you how Me-Day looked for me…

If you follow the FIT BFFs Facebook page, you know I’ve been on the go. I just returned from a quick weekend in San Diego to train with these running buddies.

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With their help, I was able to mark a 20 mile run off my training schedule. Between that run and the travel back and forth to accomplish it, my body was exhausted. As I turned the calendar page to this week, I was relieved to see rest written down for today…which means no running. I decided to take rest one step further in declaring a Me-Day.

Keep in mind, I’m not nearly as stressed out as many of you. My kids are independent now, I don’t currently have work responsibilities. My church and scout volunteer activities have not started back up for the school year yet. But I took today for myself anyway. Here’s what I did…

I slept in to restore what travel and running took from me last weekend. I enjoyed my coffee and breakfast at a leisurely pace with a good book. I threw on some clothes and biked to the gym.

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The weather was unbelievable; it was like the perfect day out there, Friends! My destination brought me to the next part of my plan…a hatha yoga class to ground and center my mind, body and spirit.

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It worked like a charm! Next it was time to nourish. I treated myself to one of my healthy favorites at the deli.

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Soon I was back on my bike, headed for home, but in no hurry.

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My schedule was clear of responsibility, because remember, I declared it Me-Day! So there was nothing to do but enjoy!

Once home, I spent a little time doing some crafting that I love.

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And later tonight I plan to finish up with a guided meditation class. Wow, I really took the whole day, didn’t I? And in doing so, I’m better equiped to take on whatever the week and month throw my way

Friends, I know it takes a lot for some of you to make time for yourselves. Work schedules, lack of vacation/personal time, childcare, $$…it can all make Me-Day seem somewhat impossible. Look for ways around whatever is preventing you from devoting important time to yourself. Could you trade a day or half-day of daycare with a friend? Could you initiate a school carpool with a friend or neighbor? Can you flex at work to carve out some extra time here or there? If there’s no room for a day off, could you take a weekend day just for yourself?

Get creative! If money is a concern, think of all the things you love to do that are either low-cost or free. A walk around the lake, some uninterrupted time at the library, a borrowed fitness dvd or two, your next great read, a picnic and some time of reflection/journaling at your favorite nature locale, a bike ride or hike amidst the backdrop of changing leaves, a YouTube meditation video or two…the possibilities are endless, Friends, just use your imagination!

I’m going to make a list of the things that feed my soul and plug them into my planner. I’ve already blocked off time for next month, and you should too. Notice…I chose another Monday. What a great way to start off the week!

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Let’s get with it, FIT BFFs! Let’s make plans to care for ourselves so we can be refreshed and ready to care for others that depend on us. It’s just one more way to put our Best Foot Forward!