Fitness Archive

The Number 100 & the Time We Have

Posted November 21, 2013 By electrafi

100 Squats.

100 Kettlebell Swings.

100 Repetitions of an exercise of your choice.

What is it? you ask.

A warm-up? Can’t be a workout, can it?

100 years of age.

I don’t get it? you say.

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I’ve mentioned, as of late, my career (nursing) has been taking a lot of my time. Luckily, by choice. By a conscious, calculated set of choices I made.

I’ve had to make some adjustments and decisions recently with where I have been choosing to spend my time.

I love my website. I love fitness. I love real food, a bit too much? Smile with tongue out I love nursing. I love ER nursing, trauma nursing. I love helping others. I love my family. I love supporting up-and-coming businesses. I love connecting with all of you.

^Not in any particular order.

All of these things take time.

  • Behind the scenes on the website takes houuursssss.
  • Fitness takes time out of the day.
  • Food and cooking can take as little or as much time as you’d like.
  • Nursing has long shifts and odd hours – which naturally, as a glutton of punishmen, I love.
  • ER and trauma nursing is my passion, and a completely separate beast of its own.
  • Helping others. My MO. Can’t help others without spending time with them. Giving someone your time is one of the most VALUABLE gifts you can give. You never get that time back, they don’t either.
  • My family deserves my time and my undivided attention. Memories made with people you love are some of the best of the time spent in this life.
  • Up-and-coming entrepreneurs are some of my favorite people and businesses to support with my time. The passion they have for what they do makes time supporting them worth every minute.
  • Connecting with all of you is a blessing – one thing that takes time that I am very thankful for.

Time is a beautiful thing, that once it has been spent, you cannot get back. This is both a blessing and a curse. If you choose to spend your time wisely with only the best intentions in mind, it is a blessing. If you spend it without choice, “waste” it, it can be a curse. When older patients I have tell me “It’s hell getting old,” and “one day you’ll know too – I’m old now. Nothing works the way it used to.” I always respond with, “Unfortunately, the sands of time stop for no-one,” as I smile at them with empathy, but the inability to full understand. They always smile. They smile because they know better than I do how that feels. They smile because I understand enough that I will too, one day be old. I will too, one day need a helping hand. And I will too, hope that I have a nurse that takes that extra minute and gives me that extra smile if I have a need, as they do now. The more I think about it, the more I think I should take away “unfortunately” out of that statement I say often. It may not be unfortunate that the sands of time stop for no-one. Maybe it’s the best fortune we’ve been given. Maybe it’s given to make us realize how important the time we DO have is. Maybe it’s given to us to remind us to consciously decide what we’re filling our time with. Maybe it’s give to us to make us realize how important it is to see the positive, to help others, to smile, to be thankful. Maybe it’s really a very fortunate part of life.

A few months ago, I was spreading myself too thin. Going in too many directions. This caused stress, anxiety over “not getting done what I was supposed to,” on a to-do list made by me. I sat down with my rock, who helped me weigh out my options, different avenues I could take, and where I would be happiest, most successful (remember – success is whatever YOU define it to be). I have made many conscious choices that I will keep evaluating and tweak or completely change as necessary at that point.

A few choices I have made:

1. Nursing:

I have chosen to make an investment in an increased time commitment to my nursing career. I truly love nursing, I truly love ER and trauma nursing. I have a very large passion for what I do. I want to soak up every bit of knowledge I can about the field every day I work, I want to take it as far as I choose to take it. I want to continue to help save lives. I went into nursing after seeing my brother lacerate his spleen when we were younger. I took him to the ER. I saw them work on him, be compassionate to my best friend in the entire world on one of the worst days of his entire life. I saw them smile at him and joke with him, make him laugh. From this point forward I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted and still want many things…

  • To be a nurse thrown into the most critical of situations.
  • To have the patients who were having the worst days of their lives.
  • To have the most difficult patients.
  • To have the most ornery patients.

To sum it up: Every day I continue to want to care for people on the worst days of their lives, help make them better, and put a smile on their face while I do that.

Many people want easy days at work. I want the hardest days. I want the most chaotic days. I want to have it all thrown at me. I want to make a difference in my patients’ lives. I want to make a difference in their family’s lives. I want to be the nurse that they remember made them smile while their arm was hanging off their body. I want to be the nurse that they remember holding their hand as their loved one passed. I want the good stories and the bad. I have many stories in my brain from the many ER nursing hours I have worked, and I cannot wait, each day, to gain more. Not to tell over the dinner table or to my nursing friends (although we all know an ER nurse has some wicked humor Winking smile), but because each story is a life touched. To me, this is something I have chosen to dedicate a lot of time to. I have chosen to push myself, put myself in situations and in the right situations to gain the knowledge and experience I have and want. This is important to me. That one smile, that one hand touch, that one look from the patient that knows I actually care, that I am there for them. That’s why I do this.

2. Company Relationships

I had an opportunity offered to me recently by a large company that wanted to have me as an ambassador. There’s no need to disclose names – I’m sure many of you can figure this out. It is a fantastic company with fantastic employees and fantastic product. I still have a great relationship with this company, believe in their mission, wish them nothing but the best, and may work with them at some point in the future if the opportunity and time is right for both parties. At this time, I have chosen not to sign on as an ambassador for many reasons. I want to stay authentic to me. I love supporting up-and-coming entrepreneurs, which I would have been unable to do. The passion the small business people have for what they do makes me feel that the time I spend on supporting these smaller brands sporadically is where my authenticity and my heart is at in regards to working with companies. I need to stay authentic to myself and to my readers and my values in order for this website to work. In order for me to be happy with what I’m doing. In order for me to stay true to my values and what I want to be and do and give in life. I hope that this does not disappoint anyone. From what I’ve learned, it’s so important to be honest, be real, be truthful, and authentic. When you do this, the response can only be positive, and you can only be happy with your choices. I wanted to share this with all of you because I am sure many of you have been wondering what was going on with that business relationship. Now you’re up to date. Open-mouthed smile I will continue to work with small brands, medium size brands, even some large brands, depending on the opportunity, the incentive for all of you, and each time will be on an individual basis. I love being able to review things for you, tell you things I’ve been loving lately. I’ve always done that and have chosen that that will not change.

3. My Site

I have chosen to continue my blog, my website, my social media channels, working with small brands. I love this site, I love sharing things with you. I love the release of writing things out. I love interacting with all of you on all of the social media channels, seeing how awesome you all are doing with your goals, answering your questions, asking you questions. You all inspire me daily, and I would never want to stop connecting in that way. I have chosen not to “promise” how many posts I’ll be writing. I have chosen not to “promise” how often I’ll be active online. Funniest thing has occurred. Even with my increased time and workload in relation to my nursing career, I have been posting more. Why? Because I took away the pressure I had on myself to “get posts done NOW.” That gave me writers block. Now that I’m back to writing because I want to share things with you and help you through life as I’m learning my own things, I’m back to posting more. No promises though Winking smile ! Back to being authentic hm? It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.

4. Fitness

I will continue to work out. It is very important and I feel better when I do it. I will not dedicate hours every day like I once did. I simply do not have the time to do that, get adequate sleep, work more than one nursing job, and write here. I will work out at home, as I have been doing for almost a year now, with the equipment I have here. I will work out when I can, hopefully 3-4x/week. I will move when I can. Luckily, ER nursing is a profession where I never sit. I am thankful for that, and was part of the draw for me. This brings me to the number 100 I was talking about earlier. The beginning of november brought extra workload nursing-wise into my life, by my own choice, and I am very thankful for the extra work I sought out. That does mean less time for workouts. Every day in november I have done 100 repetitions of an exercise. Mainly squats or kettlebell swings. I have worked out on my off days, but those are few and far between.

I have made the time daily to do 100 repetitions of an exercise of my choice.

Sometimes it was 50 in the morning.

Sometimes 50 in the evening.

Sometimes 100 inbetween my first job and my second job.

Sometimes 25 here, 30 there, until I reach 100.

Meeting a small goal, daily, has brought confidence to me. It seems small, may seem silly. But having that goal, and accomplishing it, even in the midst of my self-created chaos, has created a calm in that chaos. Sweating will always be a huge part of my life, sometimes more time will be available, sometimes less. I will always make time for sweating. Even if it’s only 5 minutes before work and 5 minutes after a 12 hour shift. I will make it work, and am learning to be flexible with this. Being rigid makes it hard. I used to be rigid with my fitness, and that cause much pain when changes were needed. Being flexible in regards to fitting it in has decreased my stress levels two-fold.

5. Food

I will continue to eat healthy food. I have tried many diets, many nutritional approaches. I have come back to just eating real food, paleo-ish many times. No artificial anything, no sugar free anything, almost nothing processed. It’s what my body likes. It’s what my mind likes. It’s what tastes best to me. I eat a lot of meat – I try to do organic. I eat a lot of eggs – I always do organic/cage free. I eat a good number of veggies, both fibrous and non (sweet potatoes rock!). I eat veggies often through things like spirulina and wheat grass powders when I’m feeling veggie-lazy. Yes, it’s a term that I made up, but you know you’ve felt veggie-lazy at some point too! Smile with tongue out I eat a LOT of healthy fat. Coconut oil, avocado, egg yolks, chia seeds/hemp seeds, nuts sparingly that I’m not intolerant too (slowly healing some intolerances), cacao. I eat some fruits – dates, bananas, raisins. I eat things like larabars, ostrim sticks and protein powder when I’m on the go. I eat chocolate. Often. With no guilt Open-mouthed smile! I eat some gluten free bread from time to time, and some cottage cheese from time to time. Are those “paleo”? No. I’m not paleo. I just eat real food, that is paleo-ish. It’s how I explain it so people can visualize what I eat. It’s not something I’m rigid about anymore. Again, just like fitness, I used to be VERY rigid with my eating. Too rigid. It led to eating disorders and disordered thoughts about eating and deprivation and food. I now am not rigid. I’m flexible. I do stay away from trigger foods – which I will post about more soon – because sometimes moderation doesn’t work. Stay tuned for that post – it’s a GREAT one. I now eat when I’m hungry, stop mostly when I’m full (unless the chocolate just tastes soooo good Smile with tongue out). I eat more intuitively. I no longer count calories or macros. I eat generally high protein, high fat, and moderate/lower carb (but not LOW carb). I eat at least 2200 calories a day if I had to make a rough estimate. At one point I was lucky if I would let myself eat 1200. That was at least 1000 calories under maintenance. Not healthy. Not ok. And since, I’ve promised myself deprivation will never happen again. This is a zone where deprivation isn’t allowed. We work against deprivation. We work on love instead. I will continue to listen to my body and eat what makes me feel good, and stay away from things that make me feel bad. I will continue NOT to follow a “diet” or “nutrition group” because being rigid isn’t the way I want to spend the limited time I’ve given in this life. I also will continue to make fun recipes – I’ve been getting even more creative in the kitchen – plus it’s much more balanced with a holistic approach. You’ll love these new recipes I’ve got coming!

 

^Lasagna (left is “regular,” right is “healthified”) & a recent tasty meal of eggs, avocado & bacon!

6. Family

I will continue to spend time with my family. Memories we make with those we love are precious, one of the most amazing things about this life and the time we’re given. I have made a conscious effort and will continue to work on turning off electronics around my family. I used to see myself and my family sitting together, all on our phones. I am working not to look at my phone while I’m with the people I love. I spend most of any free time I have with my boyfriend and my brother. They’re my rocks, and I can’t be thankful enough for the blessings they are in my life. Time with them is something I’ll always make time for and value.

^The brother. Love him to pieces & couldn’t ask for a better best friend. Open-mouthed smile

7. Helping Others

I will always do everything I can to help others. It’s my MO. Remember no-one gets time back. Spend your time giving others what you would like them to give you. Smile at them, give them a helping hand, a penny at the register. Let’s bring back the willingness to help others. It’s a beautiful thing.

8. You

I will do my best to make time for you. I love hearing from all of you. I love your comments, I read EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. and try my best to respond. I love our interactions. I love answering your questions. Please reach out to me. I’m never too busy to try my best to reach all of you. I can’t promise a time-line on a response, or that it’ll be a long response, but I can promise that I’ll read your email, your comment, and I will do my best to respond!

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I work hard on living my life by intention.

Living through my choices.

Not letting life pass me idly by.

Working in an ER makes me think twice about how much time I have in this world.

We never know when it’s our time.

We have to choose to make our time what we want it to be and fill our time with what we want it to be filled with.

I’ve added 100 repetitions of an exercise to my days in november. It’ll probably continue even after november’s time passes.

None of us know if we’ll reach 100 years of age.

Or really, even if we’ll have tomorrow.

I do know though, that with the days I am blessed and the time I am given…

  • I am making conscious choices.
  • I am helping others.
  • I am smiling.
  • I am trying very hard to live life without judgement.
  • I am doing what I think is right at any given time. Not doing things because it’s easy, but doing things because it’s the right thing to do.
  • I am spending time I have with those I love.
  • I am living in a language all can understand…

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// Email Me // http://electra-fi.com //

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Tell me…

  • I cannot wait to hear what you’re doing with the time you’re blessed.

Please share?

  • Also – will you join me in 100 repetitions every day? Working on a hashtag now… ideas? Open-mouthed smile
12 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

October Challenge Success & Winners

Posted November 19, 2013 By electrafi

I know I’ve been MIA … I promise I will be back blogging more regularly sooner. I cannot apologize – I have been working very hard at my career, making choices that are authentic to me and for you all (that I can’t wait to share with you), and I have so much to share with you – what I’ve been loving lately (especially some things I won through blog giveaways I can’t wait to share with you, a protein discount code), updates on my career, updates on some choices I’ve made lately, and lots of awesomeness I have planned for all of you. Just wait… :D!

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The #Sweatfor5 October Challenge I hosted was a COMPLETE success. I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of you that participated. YOU all inspire ME! You truly took the whole message I was working to send to heart. You knew that I was going to push your limits each and every day, but only for 5 minutes. My goal was to get you to learn that you can fit in those 5 minutes in very creative ways. I had one mom who was fitting it in at her daughter’s extra curricular activities, parents including their children, couples taking 5 minutes to be active together, and individuals who thought they couldn’t try all these new moves completely rocking them and finding that they actually LIKED them! How insanely cool is that!? There’s not much more motivating than someone becoming more confident in themselves, stronger, happier. The random winners were chosen by challenge loop, announced on the challenge page and emailed. I know it sounds cliché, but we all won – we all got sweaty, pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones and had a blast. I’m proud of each and every single one of you!

Here are a couple things challenge participants shared with me that inspired me & made me happy; hopefully they’ll do the same for you! I wanted to share pictures too but if I did this post would be a mile long. Go check out everyone rocking all the exercises and workouts on IG with the hashtag #electrafiarmy & #sweatfor5! I promise it’ll be super motivating and may just make you get up and bust out a quick five minute sweat! Open-mouthed smile

Challenge Participants Thoughts About the Challenge!

  • “I’ve learned that no matter how busy life gets, there’s always time to get out of my comfort zone, challenge myself and learn new things. Even 5 minutes a day makes a difference. Thanks SO much for this challenge, Electra!” –Marcia Kadens
  • “These were totally new to me so thank you! Love learning new moves” –Marcia Kadens
  • “I have learned that you can accomplish a lot in a few minutes. Not just in regards to exercise but also giving yourself that time. We all have so many distractions in our lives and this month has taught me to stop and regroup- even if it’s for 5 minutes. Thank you for this ! I was going to head to box of munchkins outside my office but instead when to an empty room with no windows and did the challenge! Turned up my music and went at it. The perfect fix to get me to the end of this workday. I’m all energized – thanks Electra” –Claudine Muccini
  • “Challenges are so fun because of the variety. This challenge taught me that I can get a great workout in 5 minutes.” –Amy Caine
  • “I definitely feel stronger since staring this challenge. I am new to this and came across the app by chance so this is actually my first challenge ever! Before I started this, I was really struggling with not having enough time to exercise. I have an infant at home, work at least full time, and have a 45min to an hour commute each way. My husband is a teacher and varsity basketball coach so his schedule is crazy too. When I saw this challenge I couldn’t think of anything more perfect for my life right now. I am excited to say I am much better at planking and my legs are feeling stronger too. I look forward everyday to seeing what is next. Thanks ElectraFi for helping me make even just a little bit of time each day to get my heart going!” –Stephanie Ogorek
  • “I like the variety of the challenges and how they add to my daily run. I also enjoy reading about the accomplishments of the other people who are involved in this challenge . Plus, I have to admit that getting the email and finding out what’s in store for us today is exciting.” –Sherri L
  • “Had soo much fun walking on my tip toes! Something so simple can be amazingly affective!” –Laura McManus
  • “I spent today at the hospital. This time last year my husband was diagnosed with leukemia at 29 years old. He went through 3 rounds of chemo, radiation therapy, and a bone marrow transplant in April 2013. Today was his 6 month post transplant bone marrow biopsy, MRI, CT, echo, pulmonary function test, etc. He is likely going to be declared in remission:). While he overcame such a tremendous challenge through this year, today I reflected on how things like these 5 minute challenges ready us for the bigger challenges in life. Thank you Electra for encouraging and building strength/character in all of us!! Every little bit helps!!” –Laura McManus
  • “My husband and I love doing these challenges together…I try and beat him, but never win haha…Thats okay though it makes me work harder!” –Courtney Milewski
  • “Great job to every one rocking the challenge so far. You all seriously keep me accountable, THANK YOU. Happy Sunday :)” –Clare Kessler
  • “I wanted to skip my workout so badly today, but everyone here inspired me to push through it. Great job, everyone!” –Alysia Sena
  • “I wasn’t going to join challenges this month because I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I can’t stay away from Electra’s workouts!” –Axel Kussmann

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Here is a compilation of each day, in order from Day 1 to Day 31. I am going to be throwing some of these together into workout mash-ups soon for longer (still not long – probably somewhere between 10 & 30 minutes) workouts that you all can do for fun and strength and variety and all of the above! Feel free to mix and match these, or bust out a 5 minute sweat session on a day you can’t seem to fit in any movement. It’ll change your entire day – I promise!

day1collageday1

day2day3tridips

day4day5

day6day7

day8aday9

day10aday11

day12day13

day14day15

day16day17

day18day19

day20day22

day23day 21

day22day23

day24day25

day26day27

day28day29

day30day 31

Let’s get on rockin’ some of these exercises and workouts so we’ll not only break a sweat but a smile too! Open-mouthed smile

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I’d LOVE it if you’d join me here too so you don’t miss a thing…

// Subscribe to ElectraFi // Instagram // Twitter // Youtube // Pinterest //

// Email Me // http://electra-fi.com //

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Tell me…!

  • What are some of your tips for fitting in movement when you’re busy?
  • What are some of your favorite versatile exercises?
3 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

9/11 Remember Workout

Posted September 11, 2013 By electrafi

9/11 Remember Workout is a full body workout with 9 reps of 11 exercises. Normally I prescribe a certain number of rounds, but today I want you to do as many rounds as you feel it takes to push yourself and to make yourself better while remembering those that cannot do the same today. The anniversary of 9/11 is a great reminder to tell those you love what they mean to you. Working in the ER I am reminded daily that life is uncertain at times. Today is a global reminder not to take anything for granted. Motivation and inspiration for me changes depending on where I am in my life. One thing that never stops motivating me is the thought of someone who lost a part of their body or function of a part of their body helping others, and thinking of this never fails to motivate me to do more. There are people wishing and praying they could move the way you can – makes me remember not to take our functional ability for granted, and to push harder!

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter , or Pinterest , TAG @electrafi & #911RememberWorkout today after doing this workout or moving in whatever way you do today! Let’s remember and support together today, I’m looking forward to all of you joining me!

Today’s Takeaway?

Remind those you love what they mean to you & don’t waste a minute – be what you dream of, starting NOW! Open-mouthed smile

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I’d LOVE it if you’d join me here too so you don’t miss a thing…

Subscribe to ElectraFi // Instagram // Twitter // Youtube // Pinterest // Email Me // http://electra-fi.com

Hashtags where you’ll find me: #livebright #sweatitout #electrafiyourlife #sweatscore

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Tell me…!

  • Where were you on 9/11?
  • If time and money were of no constraint – what is your biggest dream?
2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Move and Eat Whole Foods

Posted September 10, 2013 By electrafi

In my opinion, through my research, from experience, I believe that inactivity and overfeeding are two of the worst things for your health and body composition.

  • Keep yourself active – in a way that’s enjoyable to you.
  • Eat enough, but not too much.

There is no one that can be inactive and overfeed and stay healthy. The body is meant to maintain, to survive. It is very possible to change that set-point through proper exercise and nutrition. If you’re worried about your health AND what you look like – some of my BEST advice is just to go get out there, move around, and make sure you don’t stuff yourself so you feel like it’s thanksgiving dinner every day. Eat whole foods with a lot of nutrients.

If you move and you eat truly healthy, your body will help you self-regulate. Your hormones will work back into a better pattern. You will make yourself a more well-oiled machine.

Need some inspiration?

Today’s Takeaway?

Move in a way that’s enjoyable to you & eat nutrient dense whole food.

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I’d LOVE it if you’d join me here too so you don’t miss a thing…

Subscribe to ElectraFi // Instagram // Twitter // Youtube // Pinterest // Email Me // http://electra-fi.com

Hashtags where you’ll find me: #livebright #sweatitout #electrafiyourlife #sweatscore

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Tell me…!

  • What is your favorite way to move?
  • Do you tend to overeat or undereat?
2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Quick Sweaty Labor Day Workout

Posted September 2, 2013 By electrafi

One of the things I’ve learned best from being an ER nurse, working crazy hours, having family & house responsibilities, having a website, working in the fitness industry all at the same time is how to fit in a good, quick sweat most days and how it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. I am happier, feel better physically and mentally, and am a better person to be around when I take even 12 minutes to sweat most days. My goal is to get in at least 20 minutes of sweating daily. Some days I compromise and it’s 12. Some days it’s an hour or hour and a half. Set yourself an approximate goal you know you can fit in. With the amount of time we spend on our computers and in front of the TV, I have found that finding 20 minutes to sweat it out is very do-able for almost everyone.

That being said, I work today so I’ve got to get sweating, and I know you want your quick and sweaty Labor Day workout so you can go #sweatitout before your holiday plans take place!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this when I posted it this morning. One of my favorite fitness gals, She Rocks Fitness said “40 burpees??? Seriously? Winking smile“. I love the online fitness community! We all know I’m a glutton for punishment, especially when it’s a quick, down and dirty workout. My take on it: If it’s going to be short, it’s got to be intense.

Post your times below!!

(P.S. If you join me this month with all the workouts I post, there may be some winners or featured friends! Stay posted! )

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I’d LOVE it if you’d join me here too so you don’t miss a thing…

Subscribe to ElectraFi // Instagram // Twitter // Youtube // Pinterest // Email Me // http://electra-fi.com

Hashtags where you’ll find me: #livebright #sweatitout #electrafiyourlife

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Tell me…!

  • Post your times from the workout above!
  • What are your labor day plans?
  • Do you prefer short or long workouts? Moderate or high intensity workouts?
4 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Under Armour Workout

Posted August 27, 2013 By electrafi

Going into the amazing trip at Under Armour headquarters (If you haven’t read that post – start there!), I had no idea what to expect. The one thing I DID know was that we were scheduled for a workout first thing when we got there. THAT I was excited about. Under Armour has an awesome training facility (Combine Training) where we witnessed their employees coming in for workouts at all times of day – before work, during work, after work. I know I keep saying this, but the atmosphere they have cultivated at Under Armour is so inspiring, so healthy. Seems like every one of their employees took advantage of the killer facilities they have to put you through a sweat-fest!

They decked us out in UA gear for the workout (I can’t wait to tell you all about my favorite pieces!!)

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2013-08-20 11.20.38

Chris Welch was our trainer. In his past life he was a motocross racer. Have I ever told you all I had about 3 years of my early teenage years where motocross racing was my dream? Well, if not – there’s a fun fact for you! Winking smile From everything we heard until we met him, we knew we were going to work our tails off. And that we did! But you all know I wouldn’t have it ANY other way! Maybe it’s my athlete days, or just that I am a competitive glutton for punishment, but if I’m working until I have no gas left in the tank, sweating into my eyeballs with every muscle burning – you know I’m having the time of my life!

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We slipped on Armour 39 bands. I have used polar heart rate monitors and a Garmin in the past, and holy moly. NOTHING compares to this bad boy. I am psyched to get my own. This workout monitor puts you through an assessment so you can find your maximum heart rate. We all know the “how to find your max HR” calculation: 220-age. This would put me in the 190’s. After doing my assessment, mine is actually 211. WAY off. Just not even 10 minutes into working with the Armour 39 monitor and it’s given me more information than any other workout gadget I’ve ever used has. Individualization is my MO, and this is going to blow the fitness world out of the water. I’ll have more info on all that later. Back to the sweat dripping into my eyeballs! Winking smile

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Kasey & I sprinting – LOVE the matching shoes & ponytails!Winking smile

The first 8-10 minutes left my legs feeling a little like jello. Even when I work out alone, I push myself hard. There is just a little extra in that tank though when you’re being motivated by an awesome trainer, your fitness girls, and a killer environment. I have bottled up that “little extra” motivation and brought it home to make sure my workouts here contain that “little extra.” Open-mouthed smile

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After our assessment and 1 minute 30 second ALL OUT SPRINT on the treadmills – I know, you’re saying 1 minute 30 seconds? That is NOTHING. Try it. Go 100000% and that “little extra” for 90 seconds & come back and tell me how those legs feel! – we went outdoors (MY FAVORITE!) to the turf outside of the UA Combine Training Center on a beautiful sunny day right on the harbor and got started on our circuit workouts. Like I said in my previous post, the sweaty circuit, interval, high intensity, sprints thrown in workout was right up my alley and I loved it! Ladder work (hadn’t done that since volleyball!), renegade rows, dumbbell swings (like kettle bell swings with a DB), sprints, bicycle abs, squats, rows, trx bands thrown in there, lunges, step-ups – you name it, we did it!!

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Grit through it! LOVE that feeling!!!

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PUSHHHH! Open-mouthed smile

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Surreal!

We finished it off with a little sprint football catches, what a fun way to cool down!

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It was amazing. We high-fived, boosted each other up, pushed each other harder than we thought we could go, it was both an individual and team effort and it reminded me how much I love being around like-minded people and being around the athletic team atmosphere. My entire life my best friends and I played sports and sweated together. I am so thankful that I still get to spend time sweating with people I am so lucky to have in my life and love sweating as much as I do!

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We broke it down with an #IWILL #ProtectThisHouse and a whole lot of sweaty smiles.

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Happy, sweaty face post workout. Looking at Armour 39 recap of my workout (it tells you your effort level! LOVE IT!) & sharing pictures with YOUUUU!

We then showered and ran off to a whole lot of “meetings.” These weren’t your average meetings, folks, all the Under Armour employees are AWESOME (there’s got to be something in their water!), and their future plans are out of this world. If you think they’re awesome now (which they completely are!), it’s only getting better and I am so psyched to be along for the ride! I can’t wait to share more next time!!

P.S. The AMAZING photography was done by Matt Ryb!!

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I’d LOVE it if you’d join me here too so you don’t miss a thing…

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Tell me…!

  • What is YOUR favorite kind of workout?
  • Do you prefer to workout alone or with others?
  • Do you use a heart rate monitor of any kind?
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Train To Be Ready For Anything

Posted June 18, 2013 By electrafi

I’m always transparent & honest: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Soldier of Steel™. Don’t you worry – all opinions are my own – I have a very firm disclosure policy and I never work with anyone or share anything with you that I don’t believe in 100%. Promise!

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Most of you know I am an ER nurse. I work with life or death situations every day. I do CPR and perform advanced cardiac life support to save people who are – for a lack of better words – not technically alive anymore. I work with firefighters, I work with trauma victims. I have worked through hazmat events where I wear a full suit – hood, and breathing mask included. I train because I need to perform. I train to feel strong. I train so my every day tasks are easy compared to the training I do. I train to keep myself safe, to potentially save my life or someone else’s’ life. I not only have my own lives in my hands every day, but I potentially have the lives of my co-workers, my patients and my family in my hands every day. That is nothing to take lightly. I train because I realize the importance of what I do and what I need to protect. I train because I can’t afford not to be strong, capable, and functional in those situations.

I just confessed I hadn’t been to a gym in a good four months. How am I training to be functional, strong and capable outside of a gym? I wrote about many different “no gym necessary” ways and options and go-things & workouts I use and do in order to keep pushing myself daily. Just as I shared that with you, I was lucky enough to be connected with Solider of Steelworkouts through my affiliation with FitFluential. I will try anything once, and if I like it – I’ll include it in my programs and my workouts and share them with you. I figured what the heck, I’ll try these workouts and see if I like them enough to share them with all of you.

No joke. I LOVE THEM! And when I say love, I mean I have a “I am a sweaty, out of breath, burning muscles, salty sweat burning my eyeballs” kind of love for these killer workouts. You all know I am a GLUTTON for punishment – so you knew I’d love these. You all also know that I LOVE functionality and focus on form, rather than the weight or speed until u can do it correctly!

^Me during workout one!

Mark Twight is the trainer that created the Soldier of Steel™ Transformational workouts, and he believes it teaching fundamental universal movements and believes that you can get better by working on your weaknesses. He wraps that all up into functional training. Yes. I think he took that approach & those words out of my mouth, don’t ya say? He also said something very similar to what I posted monday – “If you can’t do it correctly, you have no business going up in weight.” Truth. Like I said, it doesn’t matter how heavy it is – 20 lbs or 200 lbs, all that matters is that you do the correct form and it tires you out. Not a little, but to where you can progress.

Tell me this isn’t motivating…

Mark Twight trained the actors who were cast in 300 (can you say ooo la la … ?!) and Man of Steel (Clark Kent played by Henry Cavill) – if he can get them ready to be superheroes, he can help me live up to my superhero name. Winking smile Here are a few of my favorite quotes from listening to his philosophy on training and my response to them:

  • “We are using physical effort as a means of self-discovery.” <—Sometimes hearing your own breath and feeling your own sweat is all you need to connect yourself back to exactly who you are.
  • “Hold yourself to a higher standard.” <—Yes.
  • “We value horsepower ahead of appearance – NOT VICE-VERSA.” <—This embodies my MO. It’s about what you can do and how you feel – not about how you look. How you look is the consequence of being a badass.
  • “Physical fitness is an essential trait for every Soldier … Soldiers are trained to be ready for anything … Citizen-Soldiers transform when their communities call.” <—I talked about being a soldier in my own right. Clearly, true American soldiers are our men and women who fight for our freedom. I have friends who have gone overseas and my Grandfather was in the army during WWII. I have the utmost respect for our military (the National Guard is associated with Soldier of Steel workouts), our firefighters and policemen and women who keep us safe here, and for citizen soldiers – who take responsibility to help others when the need arises. Don’t forget to train so you can help when you may least expect you’ll be needed. Be ready. Can you give me a good reason why you would not want to be ready for that?

So who wants to try? I am on Day 3 of the workouts. Day 1 had wall squats. I saw the pictures of the exercise and saw the calendar call for 3 rounds of 5 reps. I was like seriously!? 15 reps with body weight? That’s it? I was clearly convinced I’d blow past them in two seconds flat. Then humility called my name. Humble I now am. Wall squats are no joke. They’re freakin’ hard and awesome all in one and I cannot wait to work on them more. I am good with dropping down low during my squats but these are teaching my body and mind to squat backwards and to keep my chest up. I am so excited! LOVE progressing!

^Wall squats – don’t knock ‘em till you’ve tried them.

Don’t underestimate these awesome Soldier of Steel™ workouts – they’ll remind you why the basics are so important and how hard they can be. The FREE (did someone say free!? no cost? Score!) training program is one month long and there are diagrams of the exercises, videos, tutorials – everything you could need from beginner to advanced. They pretty much address any question you might have, but just in case, Mark Twight will also be on the @NationalGuard twitter page (with #TwightTakeover) answering questions from 3pm – 4pm EST if you have any questions for him! And if those questions include anything about the actors from 300 – feel free to share those answers. Talk about bronze Gods. I digress… Winking smile

When I choose the workouts I do, when I focus on ensuring the functionality, strength and capability I push myself to gain, and whenever I share any workouts that in any way pertain to any military, fire department, or citizens who will be ready to help out in times of need (Boston bombing, anyone? We all heard about the citizens who ran towards the bombs to help instead of away. I’m not talking gibber jabber. The need is here.), I take it seriously, because if the men and women who take on those roles aren’t prepared for the demands of their jobs, it’s not about having a bad day – it’s potentially the difference between life or death. (Something Josh Henkin from Ultimate Sandbag Training also has talked about.) It’s tactical training. It’s functional training. It’s training to build the body up – to be functional, strong, capable, and confident. I wouldn’t share a program with you that I thought was a bunch of crap. I’m honest around here. I believe in this program completely and it’s rockin’ me. I am a sweaty, happy mess during and after my workouts, and I wake up sore, but good sore, the next day. These workout are pushing me to the next level and I’m loving it. These will definitely be workouts that I pepper into my own routine along with my other “no gym necessary” go-to goodies I shared with you on Monday!

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Just wanted to throw the links out there for you in an easy-to-find place:

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***

  • Where in your life are you a soldier?
  • Are you a soldier with your family? In the gym? Out of the gym? At work? I can’t wait to hear…
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No Gym Necessary

Posted June 17, 2013 By electrafi

Confession: I haven’t worked out in a gym for at least a good four months.

How am I working out then, you say?? A whole gamut of different ways.

  • Sprints outside.
  • Sprints on hills outside.
  • Kettlebells.
  • My Ultimate Sandbag (I use the pink one from Ultimate Sandbag Training & LOOOVE it!).
  • Bodyweight workouts – my own, some of Zuzana Light’s workouts, some of Myomytv’s workouts.
  • Clutch Bodyshop workouts by Ashley Conrad (who is, btw, a freakin’ ROCKSTAR!).
  • Pushing my SUV, flipping tires, jump roping.

My gosh I could go on for ages.

  • Tabata … you name it. I’m doing it.

Do I have a plan? Of course. I lift, I do HIIT like sprints/tabata for cardio, I stretch, I foam roll.

Here’s the age old question: Do you need a gym to workout? NO. Can it be helpful sometimes? Yes, of course. Is it bad if you work out at a gym? GOSH NO. But if you:

  • a) don’t want to pay for a membership
  • b) can’t get away from the house for that long
  • c) have limited time due to work, kids, etc,
  • or so many other reasons, you can ROCK some killer workouts ANYWHERE.

No gym necessary. No fancy equipment necessary.

My thoughts: If you cannot move your own bodyweight functionally, efficiently, in many different planes of movement and in many different ways, you have absolutely no business moving weights. And I mean that.

Lift heavy they say – lift heavy I’ve said. Do I mean it HAS to be X amount of weight? No. By lifting heavy I mean lift heavy enough for your muscles so you keep progressing. Could lifting heavy be doing 20 pushups if that’s where you get to failure? Yes. Could lifting heavy be doing squats with a 30 lb sandbag until failure? Yes. Could lifting heavy be squatting 200 lbs? Yes. It’s all about you. Choose your battles wisely. If you can’t get to a gym, lift your own body weight. Lift apparatus around your house. Push your car. Lift your child. Don’t let “not getting to a gym” be your excuse. I’ve found that working out at home has given me freedom to DO WHAT I LOVE and do what I feel like and play and have fun and move and get outside and get to a park and enjoy the small amount of time I give myself for myself. It’s allowing me time to do handstands. It’s giving me time to be creative. It’s breaking me out of my comfort zone – my go through the motions zone. One day at a time. One “no gym needed” day at a time.

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Where do you workout? (And what makes you love that – or not?)

What battles do you overcome by working out where you choose to work out?

What are your plans to move and play and workout today?

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Re-Lighting My Fire

Posted May 27, 2013 By electrafi

[P.S. (Can I start a post with a P.S.? Smile with tongue out)

This post may make more sense after reading these:

Another way awesome and completely unexpected thing for me through participating in the Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign is that it’s re-lighting a fire within my competitive nature, but in a completely different – MUCH MORE HEALTHY (and balanced) – manner. I have always been competitive. I’ve talked about this before. I was an athlete growing up, volleyball, gymnastics & soccer.

Who would have thought a competitive nature + balance could be the best of friends? I’ve found What’s Beautiful to me.

Competitiveness & winning was my MO. My MO got the best of me when it turned into a perfectionism, can’t deviate from the strict rules I set for myself competitiveness. That’s an unhealthy state to be in.

My MO has since become a lifestyle of embracing balance, promoting self love, and remembering to love myself along the journey. This has been well complemented with the Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign that I’m participating in through FitFluential. I have been able to dip into my competitive nature by completing challenges they have laid out as well as create my own.

I have also been able to balance this and keep from going too far by enjoying the journey and reminding myself of What’s Beautiful to me, every step of the way. I am thankful to be a part of this campaign for many reasons, this being one of the main ones. Re-igniting competitive fire within me while allowing myself to stay balance and remind myself I love myself through each day I work at being better. Being better no longer means to me “leaner, leaner, leaner.” It now means stronger, happier, more balanced, SELF LOVING.

I completed the Exercise Take Down challenge, where I took an exercise I avoid. Or USED TO, in this case. I have been working on practicing & incorporating pistol squats into my workouts for about the last month. I used to avoid them like the plague (and that’s saying a lot – I work in an ER Winking smile). I now love putting them into my workouts – ESPECIALLY because they’re hard – and working through them gives me a sense of accomplishment. For the Under Armour campaign, I set a one minute count down timer and did as many pistol squats as I could do within one minute. I got 10 alternating. Not bad!! I will work on increasing this number.

Who’s in?? Who’s going to attack an exercise they used to avoid? Who will try the pistol squat challenge I completed? How many can YOU get in one minute?

Come join me in the What’s Beautiful movement and show me what you’ve got!

Make this movement work for you – whatever it is you need to re-light or balance out – let’s do this!

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***

  • What are you working to re-light or balance?
  • What exercise do you avoid at all costs?
  • What exercise did you choose and how many did you get in one minute?
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What’s Beautiful? Loving Yourself.

Posted May 22, 2013 By electrafi

BAM! This post is a must read. It’s long. It’s important. It’s one of the most important posts I have EVER written.

I have written many posts embodying these three main concepts:

  • Promoting self love
  • Embracing balance
  • Fighting back against deprivation
  • (I will do a post round up in the near future!)

I have learned the hard way that it’s so important to live a lifestyle that not only allows, but truly embraces, balance and fights back against deprivation.

Last year I wrote a post for Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful campaign. I will not join a campaign unless I truly believe in the heart of their motives. I am lucky enough to be working with Under Armour through FitFluential because I believe in what they’re promoting. They aren’t promoting unhealthy ideals. They’re promoting a way to redefine the female athlete, a way to accept everyone, a place everyone can help inspire each other.

The post I wrote last year was THE MOST RAW POST I HAVE EVER WRITTEN. I posted pictures and words I thought would never leave the dark skeleton laden place in the closet of my memories.

(^A picture from the original post I never thought I’d share.)

But this campaign pushed me to share my experiences, and the feedback I got from everyone was BEYOND AMAZING. It breaks my heart to look at my pictures from that deep dark place. But it heals my heart a million times over to get the support and kind words I’ve received, but most of all, to hear that I am helping. If I have helped even just ONE person through a tough experience by sharing my own fight, it’s worth putting out there.

 

Read: My first Under Armour What’s Beautiful Post!

 

I am now taking it up a notch. Not only am I posting about this campaign, but I’ve created a profile, which I’d love if you’d do too so we can interact, and I’ve also created a team. When creating a profile you must create a goal.

Here is my #IWill statement:

I WILL remember to love myself along the way to being the best athlete I can be.

My Team is called TEAM LOVE YOURSELF. This team welcomes EVERYONE. No one is left out. I don’t care if you run, strength train, crossfit, walk around the block, do summersaults & cartwheels across your living room every day. If you’re an athlete in your own right, if you’re pushing yourself every day to get better and to LOVE YOURSELF THROUGH THE JOURNEY, you’re welcome. If you’re reminding yourself every day to remember that happiness isn’t an end point, but something to be grabbed by the horns right now. If you’re reminding yourself that your body is beautiful just the way it is all the way through your journey, not just at the “end point,” you’re in.

IF YOU NEED HELP REMEMBERING YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, EVERY BIT OF YOU IS BEAUTIFUL, through your journey to be the best you, the best athlete, the best person you can be, COME LET ME INSPIRE YOU. Join my team! Follow me! I will be here for you ever step of the way. Let’s do this! Let’s do this together!

Say it with me:

What’s Beautiful?

I AM BEAUTIFUL!

AND as if that’s not all enough to make you want to be part of the movement, the winners get surf lessons in Costa Rica, and weekly swag bags of Under Armour goodies are given away for those who are rockin’ it. I mean, c’mon, how much better could this get!? Winking smile

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***

What is beautiful to you?

What is your I WILL statement going to be?

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