Blogfest Adventure 2018

Friends, this summer is on fast forward…I swear! It’s been a month since I’ve posted, yet my family and adventures have kept my head spinning in the very best ways. It’s time we catch up a bit…I’ll do my best in the upcoming weeks to share with you things my mind is still attempting to put words to. For now, I’ll recall a surreal trip to San Diego I took a month ago that was meant to inspire my blogging, but did vastly more!

I admit, it was an unpack and repack whirlwind that took me from serene, family lake vacation in Minnesota to upbeat, fast-paced west coast adventure…one that has left an indelible impression in my heart. A late-night flight landed me in the Gaslamp Quarter with my soul sister I don’t see nearly often enough! We immediately crashed at our Airbnb and woke the next morning ready to conquer the world!

We carved out an entire week, with Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention as our main focus, but had so much more in our cache of plans. We hit the pavement running and made every inch our amazing playground!

We did our best to mentally prepare for the information overload and mass amounts of motivation we were about to ingest. There was really only one way to do that while in sunny SoCal IMHO…

 

The extraordinary organizers of Blogfest put us front and center with some amazing fitness and wellness professionals to ignite a blaze of inspiration within. Nadia and I simply fell in love with motivational guru, Petra Kolber. Her message continues to whisper sweet nothings in my soul.

Yeah, true confession…I openly admit to rubbing on her arm to absorb some of her exquisite vibe! And while that exchange still had me giddy, I was not prepared for what came next!

I’ve been captivated by Heidi and Chris Powell since the debut of Extreme Weight Loss on ABC. I savored each episode because I was in the midst of my own transformation and related to and hung on their every word. They won the Jack LaLanne award during IDEA WORLD’s opening ceremonies and gave a stupendous acceptance speech.

Shortly after they concluded and the keynote began, Nadia tipped me off to this cosmically destined moment…

Yeah, another true confession…I shamelessly helped myself to their radiant energy too. I’m still swooning from that one! We were additionally enthralled with Heidi’s keynote at Blogfest, where we all continued to bask in her glow.

Although these were merely a small fraction of our Blogfest/IDEA World events, I don’t think my feet ever touched the ground after that. It all seems a fantastic blur to me now!

We listened and learned from several other great speakers and were spoiled by a number of sponsoring companies like California Almonds, Frog Fitness, General Mills, TriggerPoint, and BeBetter to name a few.

And although the workouts and workshops were all so high energy, nothing could prepare me for the insane amount of energy packed into the expo!

It simply blows my mind, all the great connections made in one place! Shout-outs to my friends at OOFOS and D’moda Sportswear…their generosity astounds me!

 

Was SO happy to run into the fine folks at Great Lakes Gelatin to share with them my injury recovery success with their product!

My favorite new find at the expo had to be these big kid toys by Empower…you all know how much I love to play!

I’m tired just recalling Blogfest and IDEA, but maybe that’s because I jammed way more fun into my trip…like this sailing adventure chartered by some very special friends!

 

And this little pre-dawn hike up Cowles Mountain. Although the sunrise wasn’t spectacular, the climb, view, company and accomplishment were!

Yeah, we embraced every single solitary moment in that paradise!

What a blessing to experience the richness of this enchanting place in the presence of truly outstanding people!

The reconnection and recharge felt throughout this week will echo within forever!

The New Year So Far…

We are already into the fourth week of January, Friends! Did you make any resolutions this year? Set any intentions? A goal or two? If so, how’s it going?

Did you know that by the end of January, roughly 58% of resolutioners have already quit? Aware of this statistic, I chose to do something different this year. Instead of resolving to change myself in some way, I took a whole new approach. I began with what I already know about myself…

I’m sick and tired of numbers…the one on the scale, all those I add up as I tally calories throughout the day, those associated with how many minutes of activity I accrue, the total calories burned, total steps taken within a day, mileage distances of workouts, my heart rate, yada, yada, yada. Often, I get so wrapped up in the numbers of it all, I forget to enjoy what’s really going on.

I also know when I rely on only a few modes of activity to accomplish my weekly fitness needs, the same old foods to nourish my body, my adult activity/food ADHD has me so bored I’m about ready to quit.

But I’m no quitter!

So I set an intention this year to look less at the numbers and more mindfully at the heart of what I’m doing. Simply stated, I’m changing things up, trying new things…LOTS of new things. Here’s what January looked like in that respect.

I stopped talking about all the recipes I’ve been meaning to try, and started actually trying them. Like this Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili recipe from skinnytaste. Even the leftovers were the bomb!

My husband and I enjoyed that one so much we decided to take another of skinnytaste’s recipes one step further…we spent datenight in…a glass of wine while preparing this…

Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers…another skinnytaste hit! Add a salad, some candlelight and the rest of the wine and it resulted in one of my favorite dates ever!

I’ve been using Great Lakes Gelatin products in my coffee for months to promote joint support and mobility. I thought I’d take it a fun step further by experimenting with a tried and true recipe…my cranberry baked oatmeal has new-added benefits!

This try new things intention was certainly not limited to the kitchen. There are still many classes and activities I have yet to try that have been speaking to me for quite some time. It seems all I had to do was keep my eyes open for signs. I followed one to this blacklight ride at my gym.

With such a change of atmosphere, I forgot I was at the cycling studio; it felt like the party of the year in there! That got me thinking, what else have I been missing out on? Next, I found my way to a Cardio Jam class that had me stumbling all over myself, but got a sensational cardio burn. And while we’re talking about fire, I took a Pilates Mat Core class that kept my core ignited for days!

The more new I tried, the more I knew I was onto something! I continued to watch for signs and found myself registered for a session of intro classes on the Pilates Reformer. This has been a class I’ve been pretty intimidated to try for quite a while, so I figured it was time!

This past year I acquired a pair of cross country skis fresh from the universe (I love when that happens)! The conditions were perfect last week, so it was time…

And just the other day I spotted one more sign for a class I knew was meant for me. I mean, why wouldn’t I try blindfold yoga?

This phenomenal instructor reminded me I have a lifetime of lessons to catch up on if I’ll simply turn my gaze inward.

So there you have it, my first three weeks of January. Rather than preparing to ditch a resolution, I’m hot on the trail of continuing full steam ahead with an intention I LOVE…my sampler of sorts. I can’t wait to see what the months ahead manifest!

Friends, I hope you are making progress on your goals, intentions, and yes, even those resolutions. I’d love to hear about how it’s going! Leave a comment below if you’d be willing to share. Also, if you have any recommendations or suggestions of what you think I should try this year, drop those ideas below too! Remember, nearly nothing is too crazy!

Keeping it fresh, changing it up…another extraordinary way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!

Great Lakes Gelatin to the Rescue

Friends, I happened to glance through my Facebook memories this morning and got hit with a biggie…

This was kind of the beginning of the end, so to speak. A year ago today my knee decided to show me who was in control of my upcoming race schedule; unfortunately, it wasn’t me.

 

I did some physical therapy, consulted sports med, got a juicy dose of cortisone injected all in aim to put me at the start line of last year’s Marine Corps Marathon in October. Somehow I crossed the finish line that day too, but it was the end of far more than that race.

I’m not a great patient, nor am I patient, so the rest of the story is my own darn fault. My next option for treatment was a round of more injections, but that didn’t appeal to me at all, so I limped my own direction. I was dealing with pain from a combination of a mad meniscus, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee) and a raging mad case of osteoarthritis.

My running came to a screeching halt. I was frustrated but did what I could to keep moving. I’ve continued to strength train the best I can. What I did enjoy about being slowed down was catching up with friends. Those who were intimidated by running have joined me for walks. Others have shown up on the mat next to me for some restorative yoga. I was able to keep the swelling in check by frequent icing and modifying my activities, but no matter how easy I’d been taking it, I couldn’t get relief from the pain.

I worked turmeric and glucosamine chondrointin supplements into my diet, but they never seemed to make much of a difference.

I continued to hobble around until July when I schlepped myself to Blogfest at IDEA World Convention…all things Fitness and Nutrition in Vegas. All those workouts and walking, boy was my knee angry! I looked at a lot of products designed to ease my discomfort, but when I literally stumbled upon the fine folks of Great Lakes Gelatin and read about their Collagen Hydrolysate, I was intrigued. But when they generously put the product in my hand and encouraged me to give it a try, of course I had to! What did I have to lose but pain and inflammation! They told me to give it a month to 45 days to notice a difference. I was grateful, but skeptical…why would this be different from what I’ve tried?

I started mixing the powder into my morning coffee at the end of July and within a week’s time I already noticed a marked reduction in pain and increased mobility. As the days went on, I no longer needed to ice my knee because the inflammation was gone! I continued to take the gelatin and in August I was traipsing around the Boundary Waters with a canoe on my shoulders!

Although my knee got kind of cranky from this epic trek, the inflammation never came back! A few days of rest following that trip and it was feeling fine again. I felt foolish at the beginning of this month when I looked closer at the can and realized I could have been taking it TWICE a day, so I’ve started doing that to experience its full effect.

Friends, I must admit I am not cured. I still experience some stiffness and discomfort when the clouds and thunderstorms roll through, but NOTHING like it was. I’m back doing almost everything in the gym because not only does it not hurt, the tightness and thickness that previously grounded me has diminished!

I plan to continue using this product because I am astounded by the difference it has made! I should tell you too, that I’ve noticed some bonus benefits of a great complexion and stronger nails and hair. And for a lady in my mid-40’s…I’ll take all the help I can get!

If you’ve been struggling with age or sports-related collagen loss/cartilage damage or joint/pain discomfort, consult your physician. But also keep Great Lakes Gelatin in mind for what your doctor-recommended pain relievers can’t help!

I whole-heartedly give this stuff the FIT BFFs stamp of approval!

FIT BFFs Goes to Vegas

Friends, I’ve been traveling quite often the past couple years in search of adventure, fitness and fun; I THRIVE on it!

I recently spent some time in Las Vegas attending IDEA World Convention, a four-day cutting-edge experience in fitness education, networking and motivation. I specifically attended to participate in BlogFest, in hopes of energizing my blog and reigniting that spark for my continued weight loss endeavors. I’m ecstatic to say I got that and SO MUCH MORE!

I was introduced to some fantastic motivators/fitness experts/authors Todd Durkin and Jorge Cruise. They were so generous with their inspiring messages and gift of their books!

 

I was starstruck coming face-to-face with Kathy Smith in my hotel lobby and later so excited to hear her message. Was amazing to see her in person after those step workouts we did together in the comfort of my living room all those years!

We were contantly on the go, even before BlogFest officially began, we met up for an early morning warm-up…seriously a hot mess sweatfest! July in Vegas, you know!

And that was just the beginning of the workouts because we were hopping all weekend!

 

I really enjoyed this Inner Idea Experience, four separate yoga threads woven together to produce a beautiful tapestry of profound namaste. I welcomed the delightful pause it provided.

 

The calm was very helpful because it was right back to high energy-activities like the mindblowing EXPO!

My most memorable experience was at the Reebok booth where I was fortunate to spend some time with Biggest Loser trainer, Jen Widerstrom. She gave me some much needed boxing tips and a gratitude rich experience I’ll cherish forever.

I LOVE a good expo because it brings me face-to-face with new experiences I’m dying to try…

A few minutes on that thing and my core had no idea what hit it! I will be begging and pleading with my gym to add these to their group fitness schedule!

It was fun to visit with the reps of some of my favorite products. LOVE the array of colors Bosu offers!

I had to do a double take when I spotted Tim, co-owner of my beloved Rollga. I couldn’t believe he was there, as he’s just up the road from me in St. Cloud, MN. But of course he was there, his invention deserves to be in every gym around the world and I’m so happy to witness it happening!

I’m thankful to have spent some time with the fine folks at Great Lakes Gelatin because in a week’s time of using, I’ve noticed a significant reduction in pain and increased mobility in my angry knee. WIN!!!

Throughout this wonderful conference I allowed myself a little me time. I got my recharged self to the gym…and I’m so glad I did. I built a little extra me time into the tail end of my trip too; I knew I would need to decompress and let my mind digest all it had taken in.

 

So I moved off the convention site for my last few days, but I didn’t sit still for long…

Because when in Vegas, there are far more things to digest than thoughts…

 

And I was even lucky enough to spend some time with my Cousin Bonnie as we attended a funny little show that reminds me it’s definitely time to keep moving!

 

Just ask its star, Cindy Williams (you know, Shirley from Luverne and Shirley!!!), we barely caught up with her after the show on our way out haha!

No, Friends, I will never stop moving…partially because I’m still wearing off that pot pie from Hash House a Go Go, but because I know there are so many more things I want to see and do!

What a fantastic treat BlogFest in Vegas was for me, and the experience just kept giving, like the first class upgrade I was awarded on the way home…aw, thanks, Delta!

And thank goodness, because the lightening in Minneapolis lengthened my time on that plane. Which made me miss my connecting flight home, but no worries…an overnight in Bloomington and right back to the airport for my plan B workout!

Because it’s all about putting our Best Foot Forward!