Trusting My Intuition

Friends, it wouldn’t be a normal week for me without some kind of bizarre adventure; this one was no different! For the past several weeks, I’d noticed a very curious growth forming on my right upper arm. Now I’m not one to jump to conclusions and consume myself with worry, but the thing certainly had my attention.

It’s hard to ignore something that dripped blood every time I snagged it with a towel after showering. It was bothersome as it didn’t seem to want to heal and insisted on sticking with me. I’d like to think I’m pretty in tune with my body, and this was not a harmonious little bugger. As a few weeks passed, I kept recalling something I’d learned in health class many moons ago, a few warning signs to get checked: a new mole or growth (check), a lesion that bleeds (check), a sore that doesn’t heal (check). Yeah, this was all of that and I kept wondering if my swollen lymph nodes a week ago had anything to do with this too. Team that up with the facts that I am pretty fair/light skinned and I have spent a lifetime in the sun, having acquired my fair share of sunburns in the past. Yeah, I suspected the “C” word, but no need to put that out into the universe haha!

If you know anything about me, you are aware I am no-nonsense when it comes to proactive/preventive care, so I tried to schedule an appointment with dermatology. It blew my mind that they couldn’t get me in until February…seriously?!? If this was anything serious, I knew better than to wait that long. A friend encouraged me to take a different route, and I stopped in at an acute walk in clinic the same day.

Though the practitioner did nothing more than look at this little crater-shaped thing, she advised me to make an appointment with a primary care provider who is willing/able to send a sample biopsy to pathology. Though that may seem like a wasted trip, it was the best advice because I was able to make an appointment for just a few days later…not FEBRUARY!

So I headed off to my clinic Tuesday. Many of you know I see all kinds of signs throughout my days. Well, walking into the lobby and spying this lone magazine…

Chop Chop indeed! I literally LOLed hahaha! And just below, I was reminded…life IS a picnic, my gentle reminder to keep worry out of this.

I lightheartedly continued on to my appointment. My doc assured me I did the right thing by coming in. From the shape and my description of the little guy’s behavior, she had a usual suspect in mind. She numbed me up, razored the pea-sized sample, controlled the bleeding and sent my specimen and me in separate directions.

I wouldn’t hear results from pathology for days, so I employed a little strategy I used back when I had a more nerve wracking breast biopsy. Every time I began to think about the results, I calmly reminded myself that this is nothing until it’s something, and right now, it was nothing. No use getting worked up over nothing, right?

The rest of the week quickly passed, and my results popped up yesterday afternoon on my portal. I took a couple slow, deep breaths and opened it up. The big long named skin cancer variety my doc suspected? Not! This thing was nothing more than an innocent little irritated capillary hemangioma for the win!

Folks, I realize I dodged a bullet, but I also took great relief knowing had it been something far more serious, my self care take-charge, proactive approach was important in early detection/treatment.

So here’s the take away, Friends…if you notice something not quite right, trust your intuition, get checked out and move on. Peace of mind is PRICELESS and one more way to put that Best Foot Forward!

5th Blogiversary Win-It Wednesday!

It’s incomprehensible to me, but fitbffs.com turned 5 this summer, so it’s time for a GiVeAwAy!!!

Friends, thank you for joining my healthy lifestyle adventure every step of the way. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know with Focus, Inspiration and Transformation, I’ve been putting my Best Foot Forward…thus FIT BFFs! It’s been cathartic these past five years to share with you my highest of highs…

And some of my lows…

You’ve seen me at my most confident…

My most determined…

You’ve been with me at my most vulnerable as I faced some fears…

Fought past some injuries…

And worked through profound grief…

And beyond…

Thank you for your continued loyalty and encouragement. It means the world to me and drives me forward!

So it’s time for me to give back, Friends! In my previous post, I reminded you of two companies that have had my best interests at heart, supporting every step of my endeavors, literally!

OOFOS has been my sport recovery footwear of choice for good reason; they’ve seen me through my entire journey, turning fatigue and ache into OO!

And I can’t for a minute forget Rollga‘s part in all my activities. Rolling around on their phenomenal foam roller has enhanced my abilities, turning frequent pain into comfort.

OOFOS and Rollga have generously contributed some gifts to help us celebrate! One lucky winner will receive a pair of OOFOS recovery footwear!!! And another winner will win a pink Rollga!!!

To enter, simply leave a comment below between now and Tuesday, September 24th, midnight central time.

This giveaway is open to US residents only. Randomly selected winners will be announced here on Win-It Wednesday, September 25th.

But wait, there’s MORE…if you would like an extra entry, here’s your opportunity!

Next month I will be traveling to Chicago to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. I’m actively helping the American Cancer Society in fighting for a cure. I would be most grateful if you would donate to my fundraising goal for this event, and any amount will earn you an additional entry for the OOFOS/Rollga giveaway. Donate here!

Taking an active role in the fight against breast cancer is one more way to put our Best Foot Forward!

Well…Here I Grow Again!

Wait! What just happened?!? An entire season has come and gone without nary a blog post. Apparently my life has been put on an even faster forward…do you relate? I can’t fathom where summer has gone, so it’s time I share with you a peek at what I’ve been up to since my last entry back in (gosh, oops…) May! If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you already know haha!

I welcomed the warmer weather by tilling and planting my garden because I love the gifts the growing season provides. I knew homegrown veggies would add a fresh flavor to all my favorites.

I got a few early season 5Ks in, but my jerk knee’s knee jerk reaction was not pleasant, so that was that.

My husband joined my beloved athletic club and I gained a brand new source of live-in gym accountability! This pic was from the morning of our 25th Wedding Anniversary…got the workout in before we celebrated!

We observed our anniversary by continuing Eric’s Hop Passport Brewery Tour…we knocked out a few of the 68 breweries in his passort while playing in Minneapolis/St. Paul. That passport has challenged me to work off all the empty calories I’ve been consuming with each tour, a battle I sense I was losing.

Next came our annual family vacation up north; though relaxing, I did all I could to keep it an active one…

Loved the time it allowed me to spend with our oldest and his wife…feels like there’s never enough time, so this week was a great chance to put everyday life on hold and just play!

Ahhh, but that fresh air and lake vibes!

And the sunrises!!! What a beautiful place to catch our breath as summer began to take flight.

I got a quick room overhaul accomplished, turning our oldest son’s room into a place of mindful rejuvenation. I don’t mind telling you, I worked through some emotions as I painted over a little boy’s youth.

It seems to have helped me work through the feels I needed to release. I managed to get the room pretty close to finished just in time for a houseguest.

My soul sister flew in from Portland with that giant bag…part of an epic plan! What a treat to have this Lady with us for an entire month. Pinch me!

Eric and I had been training for RAGBRAI, a weeklong bike ride across Iowa, and Nadia decided pretty last minute to join in…YAY! I rode RAGBRAI back in 2016 by myself, so I was pretty excited with the prospect of having some really fun company this time!

We got some great training rides in with part of our fantastic team…such important preparation for success.

Even on days we didn’t feel like it, we still figured out how to keep moving forward…air conditioning helped haha!

A few short weeks later found us in Council Bluffs, IA at the RAGBRAI expo, ready to set this adventure in motion. Remember, I’d done this before and once was actually enough for me, until this 50-year-old decided it was time for him to do it too. Now how could I say no when he asked me to join him?

And just like that, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa happened…427ish miles of it!

Was pretty much an exhausting, seven day party as we ate our way across the entire state of Iowa…fuel, you know?!? Uff-da!

Felt good to see completion of another training schedule and event. Goals can get a person pretty far!

My job continued allowing me to share the great outdoors and fitness with the mentors and mentees I work with. I’m grateful to say I love the work I am doing…seems more like play if you ask me…WIN!!!

I spent a portion of the summer partnering with the Rochester Police Department encouraging the youth in our mentoring program to accomplish some of their 10 mile bike rides. How amazing it would be if one of them goes on to ride RAGBRAI in the future…how cool would that be?

My flexible part-time work schedule has afforded me some important time for much needed self care. I’ve taken many opportunities to work on me this summer. Sure, I spent a ton of time being active, but I also took time delving into some healing modalities that I’ve been meaning to explore. I’ve been holding on to some baggage it was time to unpack and release.

In the process, I’ve enjoyed profound relief from things I’ve felt were holding me back from being my best. It was challenging but necessary work to move forward.

Time and again, I put myself in the way of beauty and let nature facilitate the healing.

I’ve made my emotional and spiritual health big priorities this summer, and the shift I’m experiencing is a divine gift. One that is right on time, because life is constantly changing and I want to be ready for what’s coming next…case in point…

See, this is something else we accomplished this summer…senior pictures. How is our youngest already here? As I know all too well, this will be the fastest school year yet. This young man has been busy with incredible academic government and musical composition programs this summer, as well as traveling abroad. I feel like we barely saw him. And my heart knows what little time we have left before the nest is empty.

I know how important these fleeting moments are, so I’m tucking the memories away one by one, as long as I can.

So I look back at this summer with such joy as this guy and I evolve into a deeper relationship. The one where we begin to remember who we are without our kids, and what that looks like going forward. I think about how quickly 25 years really go and what I want for myself and for us.

And this right here is it. I want to go forth with love and longevity the best way I know how. That means it’s time for me to take way better care of myself, to get honest on a very vulnerable level. I know I’ve been neglecting myself when it comes to mindful eating and that mofo scale has been shouting obsceneties at me. Or maybe it’s the other way around lol! So it’s time to show the damn thing what I’m made of. Again.

So, well…here I grow again. I already know I can.

I’m embarking on a new leg of this transformational journey I’ve been on these past 8 years that will ensure I go into our next 25 years with my very Best Foot Forward.

I’m Back!!!

Wow, it’s been a really long time, Friends! If you follow me on Facebook at FIT BFFs, you know I’ve continued to put my best foot forward despite the ridiculousness of a winter we barely survived!

If you’re from around here…well, you just know. Seriously, the kids had like 10 snowdays!!!

I did my very best to stay consistent with strength training at the gym, but my heart was not in it at all. I mean, there were reminders everywhere a person looked that we were all trapped.

I felt as though I was in a dark state of disequilibrium that may have been avoided if one could simply hibernate. If you read my previous post, you know I’ve been dealing with a wide array of new, adventurous hormone curiosities that could potentially lead to insanity. Couple that with a shrinking house due to a year-long houseguest…my zen little crafting getaway/general storage is occupied and its previous contents are strewn throughout the rest of the house. I spent plenty of wasted time feeling literally and completely snowed under…not. even. kidding.

Every time we turned around, there was a new pile to shovel, only where were we even supposed to put the stuff? I actually didn’t mind getting outside and tackling it, because out there, I enjoyed the fresh air, the good vibes and the amazing workout! But, Friends, I was RESTLESS.

A while back I shared with you an upcoming event I was looking forward to, I mean who wouldn’t; it was in Florida! Everwalk Key West was a walking adventure that included 10 miles of walking every morning and Habitat for Humanity hurricane repair every afternoon. Ten miles every morning meant this gal needed to prepare! You may remember how much I loathe the dreadmill, so I trained outside the best I could…

But because there were multiple feet of snow on the ground, I resorted to creativity. My snowshoes afforded me the ability to walk above the drifts while breathing deeply the fresh air I so desperately needed. It became clear what a renewed person I’d become after spending a few hours out there.

It got to the point where the winter fog had lifted each time I escaped outdoors. Tapping into what my body was feeling, I yearned to be outside more and more! Mother Nature’s beckoning became stronger by the minute and I found myself truly embracing that freaking winter wonderland!

I took every opportunity I could find to travel, to change up my surroundings. I took full advantage of my husband’s work conference so I could run away to the woods.

I savored every second of this spacious indoor retreat I had all to myself!

I continued to work out, enjoyed some Tai Chi Chih and yoga on the mezzanine, some snowshoeing across the frozen lake, and a last minute 10 mile practice walk in prep for Key West.

I hit the target mileage, but those all too familiar aches and pains hit back. But no matter, the plan was set into motion as I jetted off to the Sunshine State.

I instantly forgot it was winter when my hotflashes became blow torches. But I barely noticed because paddleboarding!!! I was thrilled to spend some quality time with my twin cousin who loves the great outdoors as much as I do!

And what a perfect place to start training for another upcoming event!

And suddenly I find myself face to face with the morning 10 milers I’d been obsessing about for months, with a host of fellow walkers on the same mission…

What an honor to spend some time walking beside swimming LEGEND Diana Nyad!

Even though it was just walking, it took a heavy toll on my angry knee. So I took a much needed morning to rest in a place I return to again and again in my soul. An enchanting spot to read, reflect, journal and relax. I soaked in hours worth of sunny, cosmic, healing vibes!

I flew home from two weeks of paradise IN a potent snowstorm, telling myself I could easily survive whatever winter had left to dish out. But I quickly lost my warm weather buzz and slid into a familiar slump. I was going through the motions at the gym, tolerating/ignoring my knee’s chronic crabbiness and nearly succumbing to cabin fever. But I continued to force myself outside and soon rekindled my love affair with Old Man Winter. And before I knew it, the snow all but disappeared. It was time to make good on a promise I made my newly 50 year old hub. I agreed to ride RAGBRAI one more time so he could experience it too. A 427 mile ride across Iowa required a better bike than he had, so Happy Birthday to HIM!

I admit, thinking about all that riding scared the crap out of me…I cringed just imagining how my knee was going to wreak its revenge. Again, no matter…we hit the trails immediately!

Within a few weeks, I noticed some profound improvements! Maybe it’s the gorgeous weather, perhaps the piles of new endorphins? And it might have something to do with the magical outdoors…

My mood is markedly more positive, I am EXCITED to get to the gym for the gains, and I can’t believe I’m even about to say this…

With each training ride I assumed would anger my knee more and more it’s, in fact, the opposite!!! I’m feeling stronger, I can put full weight on that leg and the pain I’ve learned to mask for almost three years is GONE! Now if I could just talk my sore behind into enjoying the ride haha!

If this is the knee fix I’ve been looking for, I’m never going to stop biking! I’ve found alignment, Friends, and I eagerly proclaim…I’M BACK!!!

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

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.

 

52 Fridays…A First Time for Everything!

Friends, I don’t know about you, but summer took hold and had its way with me…not in a negative way, just the contrary. I found myself in adventure after bold, new adventure and got very happily distracted. So for those of you that have been faithfully participating in my 52 Fridays weekly journaling activity, I apologize. I hope in its weekly absence you’ve taken time to experience some summer adventures of your own. But I’m back here in my comfy chair and ready to dive into this week’s prompt. Pardon me while I dust off my journal haha.

I’ve got my tea and I’m ready to explore a thought that’s been quite active in my mind lately. The below photo was taken a year ago this time. It’s from a trip I was able to share with my mentee that proved just how bold we were at trying new things. If you missed that memorable post, you can read it here.

Friends, I’ve been spending the majority of my summer at it again…having dreamt up the things I’ve always wanted to do, then making plans to make those dreams reality. Because here’s the thing…I’m not getting any younger, and the older I get, the longer the list of things I hope to try becomes.

So on this week’s 52 Fridays, I ask you, Friends…when was the last time you did something for the first time? Is this something you think about every so often, or do you push those thoughts away because you tell yourself to forget it?

The more new things I’ve tried for the very first time within the past few years, the more vibrant, alive, fulfilled I’ve become. What things would you like to try if you began telling yourself you can, rather than you can’t? If you haven’t already, start a list. The longer the better!

I would LOVE to hear some of the things you chose to include on that list if you are willing to share in the comments below…it would seriously make my day!

Once you’ve worked on that list for a while, sit with it. Take a good look and decide which things you want to pursue first. Then all you have left to do is set your mind to making it happen and putting your Best Foot Forward!

What are you waiting for?!?

 

Win-It Wednesday Cents of Style Gift Card

As promised, Friends, in observance of FIT BFFs’ 4th Blogiversary, I’m continuing to celebrate this week with another exciting giveaway. This is one you won’t want to miss!

Remember a while back I reviewed a fun little blue dress? If you missed that post, you can catch up here.

I really enjoy the comfort, versatility and playfulness of the clothes available at Cents of Style. They have items to fit every personality.

I expecially loved this tunic; it had my fun, active lifestyle written all over it! I’ve worn that thing EVERYWHERE and it continues to feel and look brand new, wash after wash…WIN!!!

Cents of Style has a wide array of tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, accessories, and even cosmetics…all at phenomenal prices. Yeah, it’s a FIT BFFs approved, “be happy” kind of company.

To help celebrate FIT BFFs’ 4th Blogiversary, Cents of Style has generously provided a $50 gift card for this week’s Win-It Wednesday giveaway! How awesome is that?!?!!!!!?

To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing a healthy lifestyle topic you’d be interested in FIT BFFs sharing more about between now and Tuesday, August 14th, midnight central time.

This giveaway is open to US residents only. One randomly selected winner will be announced here on Win-It Wednesday, August 15th.  Good luck!

In the meantime, stop on over to Cents of Style to plan how you will spend that gift card if you win!

 

 

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!