Friday, February 28, 2014

Fat Tuesday, Here I come!

Fresh Air…Really fresh!

One of the many wonderful things about my job is that I usually have a few hours open right in the middle of the day.  This gives me a chance to catch up on life, but also allows me to get some fresh air! Today I was looking for a mental break, so you know where I headed:

Our own local paradise!
It may not be as photogenic as a Hawaiian Island, but it's food to my soul.

As I set off on my 10 trips up and down the stairs.   I switch up my ritual a bit.  If you remember my earlier post, 99 Problems, Your legs are going to be tired!, you know I have a system.  Today, instead of "letting go" of problems, I assigned my rocks to some of my favorite memories.  I'm not going to list them, because this isn't meant to be a memoir of my life, but just another idea for you to implement for meditation or [like me] a means of survival during cardio.  It was awesome!  I was smiling and laughing the whole time.  No one else was around to witness my craziness, thankfully :).

The Breakthrough

2014 is the year of being fearless, right?  Or embracing fear and using it in a positive way.  One way to help embrace fear is to identify your goal(s) and announce them to the world.  Once it's out there, the level of commitment increases tenfold.  Last year I had very specific and defined physical goals because I was training for Figure Competitions.

Ahhh, the infamous "tan" further accentuated by standing in-between my loving & fair (complected) parents.

I learned a TON through competing and I loved every minute of it.  Even the "hangry" ones.  I continue to stay connected to this industry, but now through a coaching and training perspective.  I may compete again, but for now, I'm ready for my next experiment.

I love submerging myself into experiences so that I can offer better support to my clients.  While my post run endorphins were high, I began brainstorming on how I could best serve my clients through my next experiment.  I have found significant well roundedness and mental clarity in the recent years from Yoga.  Not just through my own personal practice, but the connections I've made with other people and the sense of community it can bring.   I've also learned much about myself through the humility that Yoga can impose.  All of that mental-jazz will come naturally, so I decided to set some specific physical goals with Yoga.  Yes, that is allowed and yes, it's still Yoga.  I do things in 3's, so here we go:

1)  Be able to hold a handstand (unassisted) for 30 seconds.

2) Improve back flexibility (measured by the distance between the heels and fingertips in full wheel).  I am using that as a means to scale my progress.  I will measure my current status tomorrow after yoga :) There are many elements to wheel pose.  I will be focusing on the integrity of all elements.

3) Hold front splits pose (Hanumanasa) in both directions.

Yoga is a personal journey.  You can (and should) create a practice that supports your own needs and supports your own personal health.  I am happy to help you sort out your thoughts (ie:listen) so that you can determine how you can use Yoga to enhance whatever you feel like enhancing.  With that in mind, if you want to work on the items I've listed above (in part or all), you are welcome to join me!  This also compliments our theme for yoga this year.  Tackling some audacious (looking) poses!  Because let's admit it, they look crazy & cool & make us feel like the champions that we are.

But wait, there's more!

No fitness plan is complete without the element of nutrition!  Even when I was competing, while the physical demands were intense, the nourishment even more vital!!!  This one is going to be really tough for me.  I have entirely mixed feelings about what I am committing to.  I am virtually doing the complete opposite of what I did last year.  

I'm going VEGAN…for (at least) 6 weeks.

I have been vegetarian and I've been lacto-ovo, lacto, and pescatarian (favorite so far!), but I've never been completely vegan.  I don't even necessarily think this is the all-around best nutrition plan.  I think that it can be done very healthfully when done properly, but I also think that it can be dangerous when done without proper research and education.  I look at this as an opportunity to learn to create a vegan meal plan that provides all of the important elements of nutrition while still maintaining a lean, healthy body (including hair, skin and nails :).  I also look at it as furthering my education to provide a better service to my clients.  My competition diet was very meat inclusive.  It was designed to give me a very hard, sculpted look.  This vegan plan is going to be all about nourishment (body and mind).  I'm interested to see if I will be able to maintain as much muscle as I normally carry.  I have some great resources available to me.  I also have some great vegan cookbooks that I will use to keep things delicious.  I will share the pros and cons with you along the way.  Please feel free to ask me questions, offer me advice or yell at me if you disagree :)  I can handle it.  I'm going to include this as part of my lent sacrifice, so I will be starting Wednesday.  I might hate this, I might love it.  But I PROMISE, I will be honest about my experience.  Want to do it with me?

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