Boobs, If You Love Them, Check Them!

Friends, I’m traveling to Jacksonville, Florida this evening on a mission…

Two years ago this weekend, I came together with some childhood friends to participate in a half marathon among other things. It was a great opportunity to catch up with one another and we had plenty of time to do that because we walked every last step of that 13.1 miles together.

This was a great event right there on the streets along beautiful Jacksonville Beach. The weekend was created in 2008 by a three-time breast cancer survivor, Donna. It has become the wildly popular and successful annual Donna Marathon Weekend to FINISH breast cancer.

Back in 2016, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really there to support breast cancer, I was there to share a good time with friends…

As we worked our way along the course, there was a party on every corner! There were lots of posters with boobie humor, and many spectators came dressed for the occasion…like this boob-loving ape!

It was easy for someone like me who was not personally touched by breast cancer to miss the point; I simply viewed the finish line as a fun accomplishment…

But for some reason, my attitude changed. As I looked through the photos from that weekend, they spoke to me…especially the one with the ape. It suddenly occurred to me, I was LONG overdue for a mammogram. And I’m sure glad it did, because as soon as I returned from Jacksonville, I scheduled an appointment.

When one mammogram became another, then an ultrasound, and a biopsy, I slowly began to gain a wider understanding of what that weekend was all about. I was really lucky, though, Friends, my biopsy came back benign. But because the tumor was precancerous, my team wanted that thing out…and that’s when it started getting very real for me. A lumpectomy was my next hurdle.

I’d been working with a health coach prior to (and during) all of this, and I was in a really good place. Rather than fearing the worst throughout the process, I kept my thoughts in check. I kept reassuring myself, and everyone worried for me, that this was nothing until it was something. And at that point, it was still nothing.

Again, Friends, I was very lucky. Blessed, rather. My post-op pathology also came back clean. AMEN!

You’d better believe I made my annual appointment the very moment I could for the following year, where something else turned up, but was much less than last year.

This was all fresh on my mind as I decided to do Donna’s half again this year, as I registered for the event months back, and as I packed this morning. So much so, I called radiology to schedule my appointment for this year before I left for the airport. I’m not due to go back until May, but you’d better believe I will be there and every year from now on!

I look forward to this weekend. I’ve learned my lesson and I know this half will be less about the laughs and ALL about the gratitude!


52 Fridays…Exist or Live?

It’s already here again, Friends; Happy Friday! Reserve a few quiet moments for yourself, grab that journal, get cozy and let’s reflect on 52 Fridays-Week 5!

Lately, when I observe myself doing something, I measure it against our quote for this week. In doing so, I know if that action/behavior serves me or not.

Take some time to really look at your current life. If you find yourself merely existing, is that all you hope for? What would it take for you to live? I mean wholeheartedly, deliberately living on and with purpose?

Or maybe you are already living but still desire more?

Let the thoughts and ideas come and simply allow them to pour across your page. You might be surprised by what emerges. Study it. Try it on for size. How does it feel? Is it what you want?

Friends, it all boils down to this…do we want to take life as it comes or go forth with intention?

Stronger Than Ever!

Friends, I began my day the same way I always do. I reached for my very broken-in copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I’ve read this daily bit of encouragement for many years now. It’s uncanny just how closely each excerpt resembles what I encounter throughout any given day…the perfect dosage of exactly what I need! Some days are downright intense with resonance and realization. Today’s entry was an extreme example; one I was not expecting! It was Jesus telling me he is my strength and my shield, not to wonder what is on the road ahead, or waste energy worrying…when I’m afraid, I should remember he is my shield. And the big kicker…”My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers.”

The strong reverberation echoed clear to my soul; I remembered why this passage struck me so. Today is an odd anniversary for me. Four years ago tonight, that protection was perfectly demonstrated…

Those of you who’ve been with me for a while recall how Eric and I got up close and personal with a pickup truck, and you might remember the evidence of some heavenly protection buffering the impact…

If you missed this part of my journey, you can catch up with a post from 2016 and 2017 that demonstrate how my healing has ventured far beyond the physical!

I’ve made some great progress in how I remember January 31, 2014. I know I must have read the same Jesus Calling passage that morning, I just never expected to be on the receiving end of such immense protection that evening. As I read it again this morning, I understand more and more what that night was all about. My perspective has continued to shift from the challenges and struggles that night imparted toward what profound gifts were bestowed…blessings of survival, gratitude, a fresh new journey toward more strength than I ever thought I could embody, a deep appreciation for a good samaritan and rockstar paramedics (my son will officially be one in May). Yeah, thinking about it now hits me straight in the feels all over again!

Another gift I’ve been granted from that evening is the return visit of chronic pain each time the clouds bring forth a new storm. I can seriously forecast the weather with it! I no longer associate this pain with self-pity; my fresher perspective reminds me that pain is proof that I’m still here and I have important work to do!

Friends, if you are struggling with something tough right now, I’m really sorry! But I encourage you to look at what the bigger picture is telling you. Can you adopt a wider, more positive perspective on what is actually going on?

I keep coming back to this quote I swiped off Facebook. I was not ready to understand its truth the first weeks, months, years following that night of trauma, but it makes perfect sense to me now.

Thanks for having our backs and helping me be prove this true, JC!


10 Ways to Win Your Week

Friends, I spent some time looking at the week before me…it’s a busy one. But I’m looking ahead for very good reason; I’m setting an intention, right now (as always), to be mindful of my time in order to win my week. Because when I do, I feel like this…

See, if I don’t gaze forward in awareness of upcoming events and possible triggers, the week will likely have its way with me, leaving unwanted consequences in its trail. By taking a peek at my upcoming week and making a plan of attack, I’ve already decided to win my week. Here are 10 ways I plan to do just that…

1. Set yourself up for success in the kitchen. If that means running to the store today, do it! Ensure that you have plentiful healthy food options that are ready for those on-the-go times throughout the week when you’d ordinarily make less than stellar choices. Keep some snacks handy throughout your day so you don’t even have to think…just refuel. If you want to take it a step further, purge all the junk that’s lurking in your cupboards!

2. Schedule your workouts. Look at your planner and place your workouts within. You will be far more likely to follow through if you’ve already made a plan of action. I promise!

3.  Invite company to the fun. If you’ve decided to try a new class, take a break or lunchtime walk, attempt a new hike or adventure, or are just doing the same-old same-old take a friend along. It will feel less like a chore and more like a party with a family member, co-worker or bestie. Better yet, this person may turn out to be the best darn accountability buddy you’ve ever had.

4. Hydrate! Even though it’s winter and you may feel like you need it less…drink that water! Shoot for the recommended 64 ounces per day.

5. Make sleep a priority. Sometimes we have to get protective of our time to accomplish this, but you are worth it! Sleep goes way beyond just feeling rested…there are all kinds of important benefits/restoration a good night’s sleep provides your body. And did you know, the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults between 18-64 years of age get 7-9 hours of sleep per night? Work on it!

6. Do what you love! Carve out a bit of time each day doing something you love. Whether that’s reading, crafting, gardening, playing a game, catching the latest episode of your inspiring podcast or simply meditating…do it!

7. Plan something to look forward to. Whether it’s setting a goal, registering for an event or planning a datenight, getaway or trip, put something on the calendar and make it happen. Without something to work toward, train for or eagerly await, we can feel stuck simply going through life’s daily motions.

8. Defend your time. Are you one of those people that says yes to all those extra commitments, only to find yourself feeling bogged down, trapped and overwhelmed? The magic word here is NO! Use it, mean it and don’t forget saying no to other people means saying yes to your wellbeing.

9. Don’t forget self care! This is also known as me-time. It is not selfish to do something kind for yourself, it’s necessary. Take time for a calming massage, soothing bath, facial, pedicure or nap. Take care of you! I challenge you to take it a step further and put ME-DAY on your calendar for an entire day each month and treat yo self. You will be amazed at how this enhances the rest of your month!

10. Look at the bright side. It’s there, within every situation, so look for and find the bright side in everything rather than dwelling on the negative. It might be tough at first, but you will find that silver lining if you take the opportunity to look. This is a most meaningful step toward a lifetime rich in gratitude.

This may seem like a lot to juggle, but the good news is it’s not rocket science. Start small in embracing these 10 practices; soon they will become second nature. Friends, have a great week and reach for the WIN!

52 Fridays…Get The Weight Off Your Shoulders

Happy Friday, Friends! It’s that time once again…

Grab your journal, pen, calming beverage, (maybe fuzzy socks?!?) and ease into that comfy chair.

Today I’m exploring all that stuff I still carry around. That baggage that weighs us down. Do you know what it is for you? It makes not only climbing, but mere moving a difficult chore. Is this any way to go through life?

Put a name to each of these weights. Take a deep breath in as you read one at a time. And with each exhale, one by one, LET. THEM. GO!

It may be far easier said than done; I know, I’d been carrying the weight of the world on my tired shoulders for years, but the sooner we release that heaviness, the quicker we can begin a pretty phenomenal ascent up toward a lighter, happier life.

Spend some time with this today, tomorrow, this weekend. Find those things you can breathe into, to see if you can let something go.

Our 52 Fridays quote really says it all…

Let’s all find a way to just climb.

52 Fridays…Time Flies!

Happy Friday, Friends! It’s that time of week again already. If you haven’t joined us yet for 52 Fridays, today is the perfect time to begin!

Grab your journal, a favorite pen, a calming beverage…find a few quiet moments and ease into a comfy place.

I have such a hard time believing we are three Fridays into 2018 already…how is that possible? Where in the world is the pause button? The concept of time is something I struggle with again and again, so I thought I’d look deeper today.

I cracked open my planner and the proof was right there…in the day-to-day busyness. I am continually reminded if I don’t make a conscious effort to schedule time for ME, it doesn’t happen. I’m digging into this with my journal today…

So there’s our quote for the week.

Let this idea soak in, turn it over in your mind. Close your eyes and breathe. What does it mean for you? How will you let this idea shape the rest of today? Or the weekend? The rest of this month? How will you navigate the remainder of 2018?

Remember, you’re in the pilot’s seat!

Win-It Weekend-Nalu Float Session

Friends, last month I shared my sensory deprivation float tank experience at Nalu Float and Healing Center here.

I’ve got some exciting news for you! FIT BFFs and Nalu have once again partnered to put one lucky, local (Rochester, MN area) giveaway winner into a 60 minute float session of tranquility and peacefulness! Many thanks to owner Jon Maki for making this giveaway possible!

Are you feeling lucky, Friends? I hope so! Wondering how to win? It’s easy, simply leave a comment below mentioning one way you find your peace or calm to fend off the everyday chaos.

Entries will be accepted between now and Tuesday, January 16th, midnight central time. One lucky winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Win-It Wednesday, January 17th.

Please note, this giveaway is for local Rochester, MN and surrounding area residents only…if you will not be in the Rochester area to redeem, please don’t enter.

I’ll be back Wednesday to announce the lucky winner who will be climbing in…

If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won, stop by the Nalu Float and Healing Center website for details on how you can schedule an appointment for some soulful stillness!

52 Fridays…a Happy Soul

Friends, I have no idea what happened…a minute ago it was Monday and somehow it’s already time for 52 Fridays-Week 2! I admit, I ran the full length of this week. Between making my workouts a priority, tying up all sorts of miscellaneous loose ends, filling some of my etsy shop orders and doing some long-range lesson planning for a class I teach…the week got completely away from me. But that’s all about to change! My guys left early this morning to do something they absolutely LOVE…ice fishing near the Canadian border for four. whole. days!!! Do you know what that means for me?!? Yup, FOUR DAYS of ME TIME!!!

This brings me to our 52 Fridays theme for the week. Pull out those shiny new, barely broken-in journals, find a quiet spot, a few uninterrupted moments for yourself and get comfortable. Here’s your thought to ponder…

Do you make time for what makes you truly happy? Do you even remember what it is that makes your soul smile? Pause to reflect on what these things are, then consider making some plans to do them more often or to simply get back to doing them at all. Here’s a little secret I’ve learned…in this hectic day and age, our souls are not on happy autopilot; we must be intentional about nourishing them. Is a happy soul high on your list of priorities? If so, what will you do to make this happen? How soon can you start?

Once you’re done and if you feel comfortable, leave a comment below sharing one thing your soul is looking forward to doing more often.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get my plan in order because I know how quickly these four days are going to fly!

Just the Beginning…52 Fridays!

Friends, I am embarking on a bold new year-long adventure today! I’ve decided to walk down my unique path of self discovery.

But rather than keep this to myself, I thought I’d invite you all to join me. There is no need to sign up…just show up every Friday in 2018. If you miss one here or there, no sweat, do what you can. I’m calling this exploration 52 Fridays. Work on it right away, or wait for the weekend; make it something to savor.

All you need is a blank journal or notebook. That’s all! But you may choose to have your favorite pen, beverage (wine is fine…not judging and it may help!), and fuzzy socks are always cozy lol! Note: you may want to place yourself in a quiet, interruption-free zone.

So how well do you know your inner self? I mean really know who you are deep down, and what makes you tick? Here’s what we’ll do. Start each week with a couple deep breaths to calm and center yourself.

I will provide a simple quote designed to encourage you to do a little digging below the surface. Read the quote a couple times, sit with it a while. Close your eyes and breathe the words in and out. When thoughts pop up, run with them. Spend just 5-10 minutes ingesting the idea and letting whatever comes to mind pour out onto your page.

If you are anything like me, you’ll often be astounded by what you’ve written. And that, my friends, is self discovery! Once you delve within, you can unleash all sorts of new feelings…happiness, clarity, joy, fulfillment and, perhaps, enlightenment!

Are you ready to get started?

Jot the quote down at the top of your page and consider what you want out of 2018 or beyond. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t hold back. You are all set to begin finding where this journey might take you!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m grabbing my favorite Paper Mate pen and my journal…here goes!


Win-It Wednesday New Year’s Edition

Happy New Year, Friends! I was truly inspired by each of your giveaway entry comments…your goals and intentions for 2018 motivate me to move forward with similar aspirations. It’s time to announce the lucky winners for today’s New Year’s Win-It Wednesday!

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of our generous contributors; many thanks to our friends at:

Aurorae Yoga




Our lucky winners are…

Aurorae Yoga mat, tote & beach towel: Tina 

OOFOS choice of one pair recovery footwear: Julie 

Black & Gold Mix Rollga Warrior foam roller: Missy

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

Now let’s all get with it, to put in the strong work and focus it will take to achieve our goals and intentions for 2018…putting out Best Foot Forward!