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Author: Keely Grand

Angels Rest to Devils Rest – Adventure or Torture?

Angels Rest is perched up high in the Gorge. To get there you have to push yourself up 2 miles of steep, rocky, super challenging terrain. This adventure was a run for us, but many others hike. Angels Rest offers a spectacular view and is a great reward after the climb. Devils Rest is a continued accent from Angels Rest but with no view at the top – it’s hell to get there and has no reward, hence its name. The entire run is an adventure but teeters on torture as well.

The idea of this run began as an adventure, but after a half mile of running it quickly began to feel like torture. My last bit of writing was about the rewards of pushing past our comfort zones, so I tried to keep that in my mind as I scrambled over rocks and one foot after the other tried to push up the mountain. It was a struggle. On the other hand, my husband loves trail running. He describes trail running as an adventure and “feeling free.” He looks like he’s gliding over the rocky uphills and eloquently galloping the downhills. Every quarter mile or so, my husband pauses and waits for me to catch up to him. He stands  there with this giant smile on his face and says, “Isn’t this fun? You’re doing great. We’re almost there.”
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I’m a high school running coach, fitness specialist, and I’ve been a runner for more than half of my life; I’ve never needed anyone to really coach me in a workout or race. Yesterday, though, I needed every bit of encouragement from my husband. He’s so happy running trails. The happiest. Meanwhile, I’m cursing under my breathe the entire time.

Having PMA (positive mental attitude) is a way of living that I work on every day. My favorite books are Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, The Energy Bus, Real Love, and The Power of Positive Leadership, but yesterday I struggled to bring the positivity out of me. I didn’t spread the torture I was feeling, but I also wasn’t shining positivity like my husband. I decided to praise the beauty around us and every time we ran down a part of the trail that felt good I made it a point to tell my husband. That little bit of positivity that I put out in the world took the edge off of the physical torture I was feeling. In the past, when I felt physical pain in a workout or race I’d repeat the words “you can do this” so I decided to give it a try. It worked when I needed it during this torturous adventure.
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After six miles of mostly uphills, I ate my date with almond butter. Then we had 2 miles of rolling hills, and ended the run with 2 miles of insane downhill running. I told my husband I’d meet him at the bottom and like a deer he trotted off down the rocky mountain. I tripped without falling a handful of times, but finally made it to THE END. Water, an Orgain and half of a Picky Bar refueled my tired body and sore ego. My husband is really good at trail running. Trail running is really hard for me.

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We hugged, kissed, high-five, fist-bumped and hopped in the car to meet our kiddos and my parents at the Vista House. They had a great time exploring Larch Mountain, blueberry picking, and running around the Vista House while we adventured, borderline-torutured ourselves on a glorious trail run. In the end feeling free on the trail felt good and the thought of it puts a smile on my face. So, go #livefree and #befree among nature!

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Comfort Zones: Step Out, Push Up, Expand Your Reach.

I like comfort. Don’t we all? Some of us like to remain in a constant state of comfort, others like to push the boundaries of our comfort zones, and some like to teeter on the edge of both worlds. I’m one of those people who teeter totters; however, as of late I’ve been stepping out, pushing up, and expanding my reach in running and it feels so good!

I’m one of those who typically has no trouble putting myself in uncomfortable situations. Comfort is nice, but challenges are what change you. I can work through my own discomforts but don’t really want to worry about others, so when other people come into the plan, I tend to be pretty conservative on the comfort scale.

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Unfortunately, this comfort scale carries through to family excursions and travel. Luckily, I am married to a guy who has a great sense of adventure and enjoys pushing beyond his comfort level. Recently, we were discussing the new fad of taking cold showers as a means to make yourself deal with discomfort. My husband said, “I push myself, my mind, and my body every day. My body feels discomfort and I give myself challenges. I don’t need to do it with a cold shower. Cold showers are for people who don’t push themselves in daily life.” Great case and I can agree.

We are both runners, but lately he’s been challenging himself on trails. I’ve had this desire to give trail running a go, but one big thing has held me back – time and kids. When you have kids, time is just short. But lately my husband’s spirit has prevailed and I’ve been stepping way out of my comfort zone.

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I’d tell, not ask, the kids we were going to explore trails, pack fuel, gather gear, bring a book, and get in the car. No questions. No whining.

In our last three excursions there has been no whining and there has only been happy, curious questions. We leave our cozy, Sellwood neighborhood and 45 minutes later find ourselves parking at a trail head in the Gorge. Our first adventure was Larch Mountain.

Larch Mountain is an extinct volcano that has become a beautiful forrest which provides moderate, sometimes difficult, terrain.  My husband and I took turns doing the 6-mile loop down into the crater and back up. It was 2 miles of fun downhills, 2 miles of traversing over challenging rock, and 2 miles of rolling beauty back up to the parking lot. As a typical road runner, escaping the road was a blessing. The nature, peace, and fresh air was sorely needed in my case. My husband has been running a whole lot of trails these last several months, so his opinion of the trail was different than mine. I had to push up hard over the terrain, but his approach was to hike over the difficult terrain. As a road runner and former track runner, all I think of is speed and power. As a trail runner, you hike sometimes and other times you float over the trail. IMG_1235

The four of us benefited from this trail excursion. Our kids did not do the six mile trail that we did, but they did run and explore a quarter mile up to the viewpoint and back down, a couple of times. They read and listened to books out in nature as well. Larch mountain beat my expectations by a mile.

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Usually, I don’t feel the need to fuel during a typical run. However, on this run at mile 3 my body needed something. I ate a date and drank some water which sustained my energy for the rest of the run. Refueling following the run was not something I thought would be necessary, but trail running affects your body quite differently than road running, so I grabbed Picky Bars new flavor Moroccan Your World that had turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and pistachio in it. It was the perfect blend of flavors for post-workout nutrition.

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This run is more proof that getting out of your comfort zone is important for growth. Our whole family explored and had fun, I ran in and up an extinct volcano that made me a bit nervous beforehand, and I pushed my body way passed its comfort zone. The rewards of a run like this are whole body exhaustion, spectacular views, and the healing of nature.

 

What will you do today to step out, push up, and expand your reach?

 

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Connecting With The Unexpected

Connecting to others is really important to me. It’s why I have a degree in Communications and a Master’s in Health Communication. It’s really something special when connecting comes unexpected, though.

If you put your device down and have your head up, you leave yourself open to connecting. You give yourself the opportunity to connect with people who probably wouldn’t be on your radar. The other day, when I picked my children up from school, I hung around for a bit talking to a mom. She’s a parent of a high schooler and 5th grader. I coached her daughter in track and field for two years. In that two years I hadn’t really ever had a solid conversation with her.

Within five minutes of connecting, we seem to have a few things in common. Mom guilt is high on the list – dangling over our heads, pretty much. Balancing the work-mom life is a thread that we both seem to share even though our children are fairly spread apart in age. We share the same views on running in adolescence and the growing pains associated with the sport. The need to be grateful for what we do have and discussing that with our youth. Lastly, our Bucket Lists! What a deep conversation for a 1:30pm, after school, sunny, warm, playground connection.

The mom guilt is real, but is it necessary?

Our mom guilt is about wanting to do more with our brains and interests but also wanting to be there for our kids. The both of us want to take a step back and analyze our energy and efforts. To consider and possibly execute the notion “can we step a bit farther away yet?” is in our head space. This guilt seems to be a popular one among many moms I speak with. Although mom guilt is an obstacle, it’s not anything we can’t hurdle over.

Student-athelets go through a ton of growing pains and we need to support them in figuring out what works for them.

A common ground between many parents and coaches is adolescent bodies in sports, specifically running. As adults, we can forget what it was like to have a growing body. Coaching middle school and high school athletes is a daily reminder of those growing pains. Knee pain and shin pain are the most common, but of course back, hip, and ankle pain pop up as well. Everything is connected, so when we become an athlete our bodies are tested as a unit – the entire body. If one area is weak, it will effect everything.

When athletes reach puberty a number of changes take place. Hormones, in particular. From our mental state to our physical bodies, so many changes occur in the high school years. In boys, they get a surge of testosterone which makes them stronger and faster. They also switch to a higher metabolism and typically have a lower BMI due to an increase in lean muscle. On the other hand, females get a surge of estrogen, higher body fat percent, and a lower rate in metabolism. Often, there will be girls who are faster than boys in 8th grade but in high school the girls plateau or get a bit slower and the boys excel. The whole process of growing can be frustrating and exciting; it can also be a rewarding experience with the proper support.

Having patience, listening to our body, making sure we rest when we are supposed to, and also pushing our limits while also understanding and accepting the body we were given are all necessary. It’s important as parents and coaches to teach this to our kids/student-athletes. This is a conversation that I wish I could have with every parent who has a child entering athletics.

Occasionally, we can get caught up in what we can’t do or don’t have.

Bringing into our awareness to have gratitude for what we do have is so much more productive than to dwell on what we don’t have. Maybe our time isn’t the fastest, but our legs are working. Maybe we don’t have the best training shoes, but we do have a pair. We can often get caught up in the details of life, rather than the big things that make life brilliant.

Drive is a good thing. Having a drive to do and to be is how we end up getting to a place within ourselves that we love!

It’s pretty magical causally talking to someone when a ‘bucket list’ conversation pops up. My bucket list seems to grow every day. Some days I feel like I don’t come close to reaching one bucket, but other days I feel like I can smell the bucket being checked off the list. To have that drive inside, to push us to do something and be someone more than we were when we woke up is a pretty incredible feeling. It may take a month, or a year, or a decade, but we will keep on driving ourselves till we do it!

As I finish writing this post, four days have past. I thought for sure that I’d get it done that night. It’s ok. I did it and I didn’t abandon my initial words. I still feel completely connected tho this conversation that I had no idea would transpire so naturally. If we can just keep our heart, eyes, and minds open then who knows what type of connections we can make.

 

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Therapy Via Exercise for Trainer and Client

Exercise acts as therapy for a lot of people. Fitness goers often say that their exercise programs and the people they exercise with are like therapy. I think that this is also true for the trainer as well.

Many people have said that ‘exercise is their therapy’ and I completely agree. It definitely is for me every time I lace up my shoes for a run. Aside from the endorphins, your mind has time to be quiet. Often you’re just focused on your movements or surroundings.

IMG_8521As a trainer and group fitness instructor, my job has become my therapy. I feel just as good as my clients do after their workout. To prepare, I do some positive self-talk, go over some movements, play some music, and get myself pumped up. For that hour or more I’m completely in the zone for those in front of me.

The feeling that I get during and after a class is like flying through the sky with a big smile on my face. I’m pumped up but I’m also seeing people push their bodies in ways that they normally wouldn’t. That’s therapy for me.

Therapy can be different things to different people. When we get that freedom from exercise or our work, that’s pretty incredible!

Earlier today, my client said that she would be unable to make it to our session tomorrow, “my therapy”, she said. Without a second thought, I responded with “It’s my therapy too! I will miss seeing you but will look forward to next week.” I truly meant it. I’ve had a handful of different jobs, with the majority falling short of waking up with fervor and passion. Instead, most of my jobs felt like every day was a “Monday.” No other role has compared to the after-effects of teaching a class, coaching a team, or training a client.

If any of you reading have that “I’ve just had therapy” feeling from a fitness class, know that your instructor is feeling the same way. We give our enthusiasm and expertise equally, so our clients can feel good and leave with a positive vibe. Maybe a client has to hire a babysitter, leave work early, or put their husband in charge of house duties for the hour they are with us. Our hearts are in fitness, so we give our hearts the minute the music starts.

As I say at the end of every class, “Breathe in all of the strength and energy you put into your workout. I hope that all of that strength and energy takes through your day and your week!”

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The BIG 3 In Fitness Can Bring Transformation To a Group

Fitness isn’t just giving people a kick-ass workout. It’s not about making them puke or sweat so much they need to be peeled off the ground. Of course, that can happen, but it’s really about being completely present for your people for the hour you are with them and about transformation. Over the last two months. I’ve noticed for the first time that my personal training, coaching, and group fitness instructing skills and methods have collided. Instead of keeping them all separate like I usually do, I’ve applied my style, personality, and methods of each to each of them and have found greater success. Coaching, Knowledge & Energy Combo, and Personal Attention are my BIG 3 In Fitness. My athletes want the knowledge and personal attention. Fitness members often need individual attention and like to be coached. Personal training clients want the energy and knowledge I bring to a class and thrive on the coach that comes out of me.

IMG_8521 IMG_8552In the past, my style would change like you’d change a hat. “Ok, it’s time to a be a one-on-one trainer now and stoically pay close attention to each muscle movement and effort.” “Oh! Now it’s time to coach these kids to understand the point of this workout and inspire them to execute it properly.” “Time for a show! Amp up the energy and get these members ready for some fitness fun!” Every group that I work with, needs the BIG 3’s and they all require them in different degrees.

As fitness professionals, I think that if we all take one big step back we can notice that every person in a group or solo needs us to be completely present and needs to be seen, heard, encouraged, enlightened, and energized. When a group is informed rather than just told what to do, their movements take on a whole new effort. When someone is having an off day and is truly seen by us, we’ve just made their day a bit lighter for them. During instruction, if we can step away from barking movements, to succinctly explaining why we do certain movements a certain way, enlightens people. We end up not only promoting health but we are also teaching. When negative self talk has crept into any one of their minds, someone to plug “This pull-up represents you pulling yourself up out of anything!” will literally pull them through their day, or more! Bringing all of this together naturally promotes transformation. When you’ve got someone dedicated to all of those things, just for you in that hour, how can transformation not take place?

The BIG 3 in Fitness – Coaching, Knowledge & Energy Combo, and Personal Attention are essential to fitness success. Whether you are in just one of the roles that I am in, the BIG 3 will transform the people you are working with in a big way.

 

 

 

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Instructing Treadmill & Outdoor Running for Body Adaptations

As you know, I love running! It’s the constant in my life. No matter what is going on in my day, running is always there for me. Aside from the mental clarity and emotional support that running provides, it also makes me stronger and fitter. I can get these good running vibes on the treadmill, out on the roads, and definitely out on the trails. Going out for a long run, I can tune out the world and just be with each step. However, it feels good to push myself to its limits some days. VO2Max intervals or other interval training work great for creating adaptations to your body. When we work hard, we get fast, stronger, and fitter.

Reviews.com recently contacted me to include their treadmill research on my site. I thought this was perfect timing, as I’m in the process of designing a treadmill class based on my Revo2lution Running Master Trainer certification. Having a treadmill class allows clients to run in a way that most people neglect to do for themselves. Running at the same pace for the same amount of time or distance every day, not only gets boring for you but also for your body. I’ve always said, “Your taste buds like variety and so does your body.” Instructing treadmill classes allows me to coach everyone at the same time regardless of their speed. Everyone is given the opportunity to work and push at their own pace depending on their fitness level. This treadmill article is a thorough article that narrows down the best of the best. http://www.reviews.com/treadmills/  Who knows, maybe I will open up my own “running” gym and outfit it with one of these beauties!

Let’s get out there and run on the roads, trails, or mills together.

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Running Clinic Series at Sellwood Yoga & Align Fitness

Health Unleashes Greatness Through Running. Come join the Running Clinic Series at Sellwood Yoga & Align Fitness.

IMG_7795Why run? Who has got time for it or even enjoys it? I do! I do! I’ve been running for over 20 years. I don’t compete as much as I used to, but I love this activity more than I ever have. When every muscle works together, like actors in a musical, it can unleash joy, the feeling of freedom, and GREATNESS. This I do believe.

Randomly, stepping out the door and going out for 10 miles is not the way to do it though. We need to prepare our body for such a feat. How do we prepare? With me, of course! We prepare mentally and physically for the demands we put on our bodies. Visualizing the work ahead and how we see ourselves performing and accomplishing the work is a first step. On top of our mental team, our body also needs to be prepared. Warming up with exercise-specific drills and running to meet our bodies where they are is the place we begin – starting and training smart! Once our mind and body are prepared, we can play with body weight exercises to enhance our groundwork, play with effort, speed, distance, and hills.

On top of all of that, we need to condition our core because proper form often relies heavily on a strong core. Flexibility plays a key role as well. If our hip flexors and ankles are flexible, it will allow us to run with proper form to avoid injuries and gain speed and power. If we just go out for a run without taking care of the pieces of us that help us run, then we won’t get very far.

Come run with me and a handful of runners every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30pm at Align Fitness.

See you there!

 

Keely Grand has been a competitive runner for over 20 years, a high school running coach, holds numerous health certifications, and recently became a Running Specialist with Run-Fit, Revolution Running. In two weeks she will become a Master Trainer under Jason Karp of Run-Fit, Revolution Running.

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Becoming In All Aspects of Life

IMG_7554Last month, my son’s second grade teacher opened our last class meeting with the statement, “We are all becoming.” BECOMING. This is a word that we all know and have probably felt, but to put into a thought such as this, that yes we truly “are all becoming” is extremely powerful. This not only holds true for children, but for all of us. I think this is true for myself and for whoever is reading this. We are always becoming in every aspect of our lives, wellness included.

Over the last 13 years, I have had the privilege of personal training many different people living and moving in varied bodies. Group fitness has occupied a lot of my last nine years. Primarily pre & post-natal fitness in the beginning, and in recent years I’ve moved more to a broad spectrum of athletes. Yes, athletes. We are all athletes in a fitness class and in life. Michael Johnson said it best, “Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.”

During my second semester in graduate school at Emerson College in the Health Communication program, Tim joined the staff. Dr. Tim Edgar was brilliant and tough. He scared me. I was shy, timid, unsure, not confident at all… he didn’t see me at my best and he knew it. I did well, but wasn’t a star. I wanted to be the star. We wrote emails back and forth over the last 14 years, as I wanted to stay connected and, at times, to show him that I was making a difference in the world. In one exchange he wrote, “I just clicked on your website, and it sounds like you’re doing wonderful work.” What Tim did for me, was he lit a fire in me. His high expectations and academic standards pushed me to “become” throughout graduate school and still today. He lit a fire in me that drives me to be better every day – to constantly learn and seize every opportunity to grow in my profession.

Recently, I began writing a book that I knew he’d approve of, as a graduate of his program. In addition to the book, I decided to become a ‘master’ of some of my current skills, so I enhanced my comprehension of youth fitness literacy and of running – my favorite sport. I longed to master these two areas of fitness and that fire from Tim grew as I began yet another educational endeavor. I found myself studying from the guys at SpiderFit Kids and the expert of everything running, Jason Karp of Run-Fit. Sellwood Yoga & Align Fitness recently gave me the opportunity to put this fine-tuned knowledge to use with two new classes this winter – Kids Fitness Series and Running Clinic Series.

Today, as I was locking up the studio after class, I was met with this piercing cold that took my breath away. It reminded me of the cold winters in Boston as I’d leave class from the Emerson College and Tufts University buildings. In the moment of bitter cold, I couldn’t breathe. My mind shot to graduate school and my time there flashed in front of me. It was a tiny sliver of time in this life we may sometimes think is long. However tiny, this sliver of time overwhelmed me.

I embraced the moment and continued to run back to my son’s school to pick up my car and bring my youngest to a wellness check-up. When I got to my car, a notification popped up on my phone from my grad school friend and roommate. Dr. Edgar, Tim, had died in a tragic car accident while traveling in India.

The fire inside will continue to grow as I “become”. I feel blessed to have had such a fierce Professor in Tim. A Professor who wouldn’t himself settle for and didn’t want us to settle for anything less than 110+%. I hope 2017 allows us all to “become” and give that 110+% that we all deserve to give and those around us deserve to receive.

 

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Teaming Up – How To Make A Long Run Even Better

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Enjoy your run moment

After a long run, how can there really be anything else to do? We’ve enjoyed the scenery and taken some pictures. We’ve nodded or peace-signed to our fellow long-run-day runners. We’ve sweat. We’ve strengthened our lungs. Even our heart has worked and grown, specifically our left ventricle, pumping enough blood and provided enough oxygen to complete our run. So, what else do we need? Well, we need to think about fuel and our mind.

When you finally get to press the stop button on your watch, I’m sure you feel a bit of relief. Some words that may cross your mind, “Ahhh, it’s done! I did it!” You did! But before you leave your run behind you and hop in the shower or grab that coffee, go into your closet and take out your yoga mat and foam roller.

We’ve got to stretch and do a little bit of strength before we put our efforts to rest. So, find a nice quiet space to lay out your yoga mat. Sit down with a nice straight back, sitting “criss cross applesauce” or on a mediation pillow, and just take a few slow, deep breaths. Quiet your mind for a couple of breaths, only thinking of your breathing. Next, let your thoughts wander about your long run. How did you feel during and after? What sights did you see? What sounds did you hear that made your long run enjoyable?

After your reflection, go back to taking a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Think of nothing but your breathe.

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Stretching & Foam Roll

Next, let’s team up this long run even more with caring for those muscles that worked so hard for you. Take your foam roller and start to gently roll out your glutes, quads, calves, and back. Remember to keep your core engaged and support yourself. After rolling out, move into a downward dog position and start pedaling your feet (about 6x), then perform 5 shoulder presses, followed by 5 alternating knee crunch-ins, and repeat this about 3-4x. When you are finished, you can lay on the mat and finish up with any favorite stretches.

Fuel! It’s really not just the first 30 minutes after your run that you need to worry about. It’s the entire day and every day after. Are you seriously going to give yourself a nutritiously calibrated post-run snack and then two hours later eat a pizza or buffalo wings? I hope not.

Long Run Nutrition Team Up Ideas to Fuel You Beyond your Long Run:

Post-run Smoothie: date, banana, maca powder, cocoa powder, almond butter, almond milk, frozen berries, spirulina

Lunch: mixed raw veggies and hummus w or w/o toast

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Food for Fuel

Dinner: Wicked Awesome Salad! Chopped Kale, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Pepper, beans with Rice & Apple Cider Vinegar (mixed and sitting/soaking for 10-15 min). Mix in flaxseed meal and nutritional yeast. Then drizzle peanut sauce (peanut butter, a little apple cider vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, wIMG_6587-1ater, rice vinegar.)
This can be served as is or over warm quinoa. Not only do adults like this meal but little humans do too.

There’s so much that we can do for our body and mind even after we’ve put in a strong effort. Remembering that recovery and fueling is just as important as logging miles can be a struggle. However, once you get in the rhythm of stretching your body and mind in those ways, your body will thank you in the end!

Team Up!

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The Epic Week of Fitness Has Come

This is an epic week of fitness – bootcamp classes, coaching, and running!

We are all jumping into the busy season of school, sports, and work again. Often, it feels great to be busy but getting going can be like jumping into a fitness routine after having years off – you’re a bit rusty but muscle memory will prevail.

Teaching is both exhilarating and exhausting.

It is a week that I’ve been half dreading and half extremely excited to tackle. Typically, my regular week only includes teaching two Bootcamp classes at Align Fitness and teaching one-on-one fitness sessions. This week, I’m subbing twice. I dread the hours leading up to subbing because I don’t really know the clients attending. I’m a stickler on form, function, and coordination, so the idea of correcting another instructors clients is tricky for me.

This week is different, though. All the classes so far have been the best. The energy, fitness literacy, and pure strength of each client has been off the charts. Every single person has come through the doors ready to work and be pushed!

Picture perfect fitness!

There is rarely time to take pictures of my fitness classes because I am too busy teaching, but I managed to snap one a few weeks ago.Bootcamp Class Align Fitness I clearly remember starting with a particular group of four and where they were in their fitness.

Now, my class has grown to 10-12 in circulation with seven constant every week and with such focus and whole-body fitness. They have worked so hard in the last few months and you can tell in every exercise we perform together.

As an instructor, it’s exciting to bring a group of people to the next level, and the next, and the next, etc… I’m always eager for each week as we reach for new heights, with new exercises and movements.

My Align Fitness Bootcamp routine looks like this!

  • A dynamic warm-up (arm circles, high knees, butt kicks, jumping jacks, plank variation, pilates ball adduction w/ squat series, low-impact a.k.a. slow burpees, and jump rope)
  • TRX Squat w Row alternating between high & mid-rows. Followed by TRX Back Extension. Cardio Burst. 2 sets of 12
  • Push-ups w/ Yoga Block. Squat Jacks or low-impact squats. 2 sets of 10 each.
  • TRX Bicep Curls. TRX Plank Roll-Outs, Weighted Forward and Reverse Lunges. 2 sets of 12 each.
  • TRX Tricep Press. KB or DB Wood Chops w/ Lateral Lunge. 2 sets of 12 each.
  • Plank Series
  • 20 Burpees. TRX Single Leg Squat with Cross-Body Knee to Elbow Oblique Crunch. KB or DB Pullovers w/ (heels together) Crunches
  • Core Work and Stretch

Ending a good workout with some deep breathing.

Lastly, we end with a few deep breaths together and our class mantra, “Breathe in all the strength you put into your workout and let that strength carry you through your week.” For my class, it’s not just fitness and strength of the body that we are working on, it’s also fitness and strength of the mind.

Coaching is back in session.

This week also marked the beginning of my second cross country season as Head Coach of the Portland Waldorf School’s Cross Country team. My team comes from a high school of less than 100 students. Getting kids on a cross country team is pretty hard to accomplish in a large school, never mind a school with less than 100 kids. I’m so lucky to have some interested and skilled kids to kick off this season right.

Today, my plan was to do an easy run to see where the kids were in their fitness. However, a couple of athletes did four miles, one did 3+, and the other did one mile. It was such a great first day of practice. This year, athletes will have an increased exposure to meditation, physical literacy, and sports psychology. As high school coaches, there is more that we can add to our high school teams’ growth as athletes and humans.

Running is a mode of transportation for the body and the mind.

My true love is running. Quieting of the mind is a practice that most of us need reminders to exercise. Running helps with the quiet, and works even better when meditation is happening regularly. I’ve evolved as a runner over the years, as many runners have. As running serves various purposes in my life, I hope that my athletes also find themselves or parts of themselves in their running.

Hitting the trails does the body good.

Trail running is my main focus right now and luckily I have the Oaks Bottom trail in my area. Forest Park is a little too far to travel to when time is limited, but it probably has the best trails in Portland. Presently, we will be staying close to Oaks Bottom. However, in future weeks we may be venturing to Tryon Creek for a change of scenery.

A message I like to practice daily and spread to my clients and athletes – PMA every day. You can turn any day around with a change in the mind. Positivity spreads throughout the body and to others rapidly, so practice PMA daily.

Keep on doing what we do best and do it to our best.

 

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