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

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?

 

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!

52 Fridays…Don’t Take it for Granted

Well, Friends…we did it; we made it to another weekend! I know Friday seemed to somehow slip past me yet again (as it often does), but I wanted to take the opportunity to share another thought provoking prompt with my die hard journalers.

Summer flew by again, and as I reflect on all the adventures, experiences and great moments of calm, I keep coming back to a simple thought. Each and every one of them have been such blessings. Even the struggles I encountered lately remind me just how good my life is when I consider this…

This week I invite you to take a look around. Think about where you are and what surrounds you. I encourage you to witness all of it through eyes of profound gratitude.

When I consider where I am in life, it would be easy to compare myself to others and feel a sense of lack. But as we well know, comparison is the thief of joy. So I choose to look back within my own past. I vividly remember a time not so long ago, I hoped and prayed for what I have now.

Gratitude.

If I shift back into comparison in a positive direction…perspective reminds me that the abundance of blessings in my life, even though they may not seem like much to some, are the answers to others’ prayers.

Friends, if you find yourself in comparison mode, place yourself into that positive perspective and you will be astounded at just how blessed you truly are. Take some time to sit within that beautiful notion. Jot down some thoughts on where you find yourself and know that you are exactly where others hope and pray to arrive.

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?!?

 

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!