Change is…

Last summer, my then boyfriend, now husband and I were driving home from the beach when I asked him what he would title the summer we had been enjoying. My answer was “The Summer of Love.” Oh so cheesy but I am cheesy especially when it comes to my husband (my best friend is reading this nodding her head in agreement). Anyways, this year has been a very unique year. At this point if I had to title my year it would be “The Year of Change.”

Change

This year has included moving apartments, starting to teach at a new gym, writing a blog and getting married mixed in with races and vacations. Needless to say, it has been a year filled with constant change. Let’s be honest here:

Change sucks. Change is hard. Change is scary. Change is inevitable.

BUT

Change= growth. Change makes you stronger. Change brings new life. Change is exciting.

I find it funny how much I let my fear of change cripple me at times when I crave a change of scenery (literally) every day of my life. Why does the change of a different country excite me when other changes frighten me? I have concluded it is all in my perception. Every change I listed from this year has been amazing and beneficial. All change including those that were stressful and emotional, were for the better. Sometimes you have to get through the growing pains to get to the beautiful result. Just like I look at traveling as an exciting change I crave, I need to learn to crave change in other aspects of my life. It is how we grow, improve and push ourselves.

With that being said, there is one big  (sometimes stressful) but exciting change coming for the blog. I am in the process of switching over to a self-hosted site. The majority of my site will be moved from WordPress to Planks and Planes. As this process happens, I appreciate your continued support of the blog as the back end stuff gets worked on. You will notice some changes in appearance but there will be minimal disruption. Same blog, same blonde girl rambling on – just a different website title at the top of your screen. I do owe a special thank you to everyone who has read my blog filled with my wordiness (my mother always said I was a talker not a listener), amateur pictures and type A personality. Again, this change has been one I never expected to be so well received and please know that every comment, like, view and subscription is noted and extremely appreciated. See, change can be good!

Today is a perfect day for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Linking with Amanda at Running with Spoons.

Fill in the blank: change is _________________________

 

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I think when I was creating last night’s Bootcamp workout, I was wishing I was in Vegas. The last time I was there when in November for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon which in my book is too long! Anyways, different subject for a different day. Last night’s goal during class was plain and simple – get as many points as possible, however you can within each round. For each round, I put 10 minutes on the clock and let the students go at it. I was a very proud instructor when almost every student started with burpees! Competition definitely creeped in with my students (I can’t blame them as that’s one of my worst traits) but they all commented how much they liked tonight’s game after class. This will definitely make an appearance again soon.

Winner Winner Workout

The other day I used this playlist in cycle class which resulted in many people saying “I love this song” during class. Just as I like compliments on my classes, I love compliments on my playlists. It helps me to know what goes over well in classes and what doesn’t. This one has a good mix of songs on the radio now and some hits from months, even years ago!

Mix It Up Playlist

Here are the songs from the playlist:

Go Big or Go Home – American Authors
Somebody – Natalie La Rose
Magic – B.O.B
Dance, Dance – Fall Out Boy
Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris / Florence Welsh
Weight of Living, Pt. 11 – Bastille
Evacuate The Dancefloor – Cascada
Somebody Told Me  – The Killers
Fun – Pitbull / Chris Brown
Shut Up and Dance – Walk the moon
Sandstorm – Darude
All Night – Icona Pop
Marchin On – One Republic
Bright – Echosmith
Landslide – Dixie Chicks

Tell me: Do you like group or individual workouts?

Sometimes You Just Need A Day Off…

…so a day off is just what I took and I enjoyed every minute of it. As I mentioned on Friday, after subbing a lot of classes last week, I was able to get Sunday off of teaching. Therefore, I made sure to utilize every second of my weekend which started on Friday night with a delicious dinner with the hubby’s family. Saturday morning kicked off with teaching a class followed by cleaning up before we hit up Chipotle for lunch and the movies to see Ant Man. I absolutely loved the movie. Although I am usually not into action or super hero flicks, this movie was extremely entertaining. The rest of the night was spent relaxing, taking a nap and working on the computer.

Weekend Recap 2

I was most excited to have Sunday off of teaching to be able to sleep in, which I most absolutely did. The husband and I spent some time at Barnes and Noble finding some new books to add to the library. Taking one of the books I bought, Starbucks was our next stop to enjoy some coffee while reading. After a delicious pesto and broccoli pizza for lunch (gotta love Trader Joe’s) and a nap, we planned to get a workout in.

Weekend Recap 4   Weekend Recap 6

We decided to go to Pedal Spin for a killer class. I left with a raging appetite so we capped the night off with sushi and True Detective. This weekend was exactly what I needed with the past week of subbing extra Cycle classes and the next upcoming week of work.

Weekend Recap 5     Weekend Recap

Although I am not posting my weekly workout recap this week (almost the exact same as the last two weeks), I taught a class without participating on Tuesday and had a full rest day on Friday. My rest days have become an important part of my weekly routine. A couple years ago, one of the things I struggled with most during workouts was taking rest days. I was too consumed with staying at a certain weight and keeping my workout regime. However, I often would ended up injured resulting in needing to take day or weeks off. The worst was when I needed surgery due to too many ab exercises (yep it can actually happen) that resulted in more than a month off of working out.

In the end not taking one day off resulted in taking much more. As my goal has changed to maintaining my health and fitness, I have learned that rest days are an important part of my health. Sometimes you do just need a rest day. Rest days are necessary to allow your muscles to rebuild and allow your body to recover. Make sure that your workouts incorporate rest days which will only help your fitness improve in the long run.

Tell me: How often do you take a rest day? What is the last movie you saw in theaters?

Friday Favorites #9

“It’s the freakin’ weekend baby I’m about to have me some fun…” Ignition is that one song that always, no matter what pumps me up! It is going to be a glorious weekend because I finally got a Sunday off. With the 10 classes I subbed last week I needed a break to catch up on some things and relax. So after my usual Saturday class, hopefully seeing “Ant Man” at night, Sunday will be a fun day at the beach. I am looking forward to tackling some of my July goals by reading at the beach and *fingers crossed* taking a Soul Cycle or Orange Theory class! Without further ado let’s get to the wonderful fun post of Friday with Friday Favorites as I link up with Katie & Heather!

Friday Favorites

1) On Wednesday night I posted a picture on Instagram at Pedal Spin (one of my favorite cycle studios). It has been awhile since I have been to a cycle class as a student and I loved every minute of it. I love pushing myself and getting lost in the music. It is such a different vibe not in front of a class! Plus I LOVED getting to go with my sister for her first class and the hubby of course. It reminds me that I need to keep taking more classes as a student because I love it!

Pedal Spin Studio Cycling

2) As I talked about yesterday, acupuncture has been my favorite this week. Tuesday night I started to notice my back and legs were sore but luckily I had an appointment scheduled the next day. I went in during my lunch break and came out 20 minutes later feeling much better. I think that helped in pushing myself in cycle class that nighr as well!

Acupuncture Review 2

3) While watching this week’s episode of True Detective, a teaser for one of my very favorite shows was aired. I am counting down the days until the fall when The Leftovers comes back. Such a crazy show that ended with me asking a million questions so I am hopeful answers are coming this season.

4) “8 Quotes Only Wanderlusters Would Understand” – My favorite has always been ‘not all those who wander are lost.’

5) My mother visited my grandparents in Kentucky a few weeks ago. She asked if there was anything I wanted as they were going through some of their items. Over the past few years visiting my grandparents I would remember my nana sitting at her vanity overlooking their beautiful backyard where deer would come run past. As she sat putting on her makeup, she would tell me stories, always calling me darling. So I requested a trinket that she had off that vanity to put on my own jewelry shelf to remind me of them everyday. My mom brought me back this lemon which I absolutely love. It fits perfect in my shelves and makes me smile when I see it everyday.

Friday Favorites

Tell me in the comments some of your favorites from the week! Have you watched the Leftovers? What is one of your favorite quotes?

Missed the past Friday Favorites? Check out #1, #2, #3, #4#5, #6, #7 and #8.

Back Update: Acupuncture Review

Sorry in advance for the text heavy post today!! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my back and I have not been on the best terms for about a year now. Over a year ago, I pulled a muscle in my lower back during a workout that landed me in the ER to get a cortisone shot, pain medicine and the recommendation to go to physical therapy and get a massage. A doctor telling me to get a massage? A great excuse to sign up for monthly massages, which I did. For the next year, my back continued to get worse despite the numerous efforts I made. I relied on daily ibuprofen and monthly massages which masked the pain but never fully took it away. With my active and traveling lifestyle, having back problems are not ones you want when cycling 5x a week or sitting on 5 hour plane rides. As my pain from the lower back was joined with muscle pain in my mid back I knew that I had to get the issue solved.

Needless to say, I have seen more doctor offices in the last two months than I have in the last few years.  Apart from physical therapy and massages I received a cortisone shot for my lower back as the pain was centralized to the left sacroiliac joint (damn my desk job of sitting 8 hours). However, the doctors identified my lower back pain and mid back pain as two separate issues. The mid back muscle pain was due to pulled muscles that have essentially been knotted for a long time. My  doctor recommended acupuncture to unknot the mid back muscles and get the pain taken care of. I had conflicting feelings, on one hand if it worked, I did not care what I needed to do. Yet on the other hand, multiple needles in my body? No, thank you. Well I sucked it up and made my first acupuncture appointment. So what exactly is acupuncture?

Acupuncture Review 2

The Mayo Clinic states “Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers and increases blood flow. (Source: Mayo Clinic)

My first appointment started after talking about my issues with the lower and mid pain. The doctor explained that they would have me lie face down with they put thin needles in trigger points on my back where my pain was centralized. The insertion of the needles was a micro second prick. For my appointments, the doctor puts anywhere from 6-14 needles in my back (lower, mid and upper), my hip and the back of my knees. After the needles are inserted there are two methods to “stimulate” the muscles. One method is by twisting the needles in one full circular motion. Although it does not sound pleasant, I have never felt more than the initial needle prick. The second method is by way of an electric current which is passed between the needles. The electric current is barely felt which causes no pain, just a soft butterfly feeling on her skin.

My favorite part of the appointment is after the doctor has put the needles in her back, they turn on a warmer, turn off the lights and tell you to nap. Seriously? A chance to nap in the middle of the day, count me in. The first time I just closed my eyes wondering how long it would be. The doctor checked in about half way through but the standard time to lay down in 20-25 minutes. Then they remove the needle and you go home. Yes, it is that easy, painless and quick.

The results? I have nothing but wonderful things to say about MY acupuncture. Not only do I feel better immediately after an appointment, in the long term, it completely erased my mid back pain by the third visit. My lower back pain has decreased by about half with my hip pain being completely eliminated. How is that for results? If you had told this needle phobic girl a few years ago that I would become a person who regularly goes to acupuncture I would have laughed in your face. Let’s just say needles and I were not the best of friends. While I still don’t love them, acupuncture has made me more comfortable with them. I know that acupuncture is not for everyone but I also know that many people are probably like me, not knowing what to expect and worried about having needles in their body. Now I know that the fear was unwarranted and the benefits of acupuncture are worth it.

Tell me: Have you ever tried acupuncture? If not, would you?

Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor before beginning any form of pain relief i.e. acupuncture. I am definitely not a doctor. I’m simply sharing what I’ve learned through my own experience and questions.

Complete & Utter Randomness

Welcome to Tuesday! At this point, it is more like welcome to the end of Tuesday. It has been one of those days where it is hard to think in full sentences so lets keep it short and easy with bullet points today.

  • Why is it that some days just drag on and on while others like today make it seem like there is never enough time! I feel like my life is a mix between counting hours until quitting time and feeling like a chicken with no head. Today= definitely a headless chicken day. Cluck cluck!
  • Speaking of chicken (like that transition) I need to stop being one and sign up for a triathlon already! The Newport Beach Triathlon is in October and as it closer I somehow talk myself out of signing up. I need to just bite the bullet and sign up for one already, especially before pricing goes up on this one!
  • I saw this this bracelet from Alex & Ani from today One of my life motto’s is “Everything Happens For A Reason” so I would love to wear it on my wrist to remind me!

Everything Happens for A reason

  • I love using the notepad on my Iphone to jot things down when I am out and about so I do not forget or can refer back to later. However, lately a lot of my notes have been just a word or numbers. The problem is I have NO idea what I was trying to remind myself about. I may need to come up with a better system for my note jotting. This one from today is a set of three numbers which I think are combos. To what? I have no idea.

Iphone

  • Although we have Thailand booked for November as well as Miami and Portland in the next two months, I cannot stop thinking about our Greece trip early next year. As we have been planning, it seems the best time to go would be the end of March or first week of April. There is so much to see, do and plenty of beaches to relax on. I cannot wait to finally visit Mykonos, Athens and Santorini!
  • I am very excited about my next certification renewal which will be next weekend (I need to write about my cycle certification already, soon I promise). My gym is offering a cycle certification locally but since I already have my certification it will just be a refresher course to help with my recertification next year. Regardless as I have mentioned before, I just love learning how to improve myself as an instructor and taking as many classes as possible.

Is it Friday yet? I wish but tonight is going to be a busy night with my best friend’s Scentsy party and my Tuesday night Bootcamp class. Catch you here tomorrow for some Workout Wednesday action!

Tell me: Do you have a life quote or motto? Do you use your notepad to remind yourself of things?

Friday Favorites #8

I do not think I could be more ready for a Friday. Last night I finished teaching my 10th fitness class in 8 days. Added on top of my 7-4 job, I am looking forward to a relaxing night in! This weekend I have my two regular cycle classes, a planned hike in Malibu and hopefully just lots of relaxing and sun. So Cal has been having some very weird June gloom that has rolled into July. Regardless I am looking forward to the weekend with the husband and Emma of course. However, before we get to the weekend, it is time for Friday Favorites. Thanks to Heather and Katie for hosting!

Friday Favorites

1) I have been eating wayyyyyy too much ice cream this week. On Wednesday night, the husband and I went to a local Nitrogen ice cream spot- N7 Creamery. Not only was the ice cream delicious (I got salted caramel of course) but the atmosphere of the shop was so unique to our area. Wooden floors and walls, travel inspired decorations (of course I loved those) and a live mic night in back of their store front. I like that they not only use local farm ingredients but organic as well. I am even more excited for Portland as friends have told us that this type of food spot is very common over there. .

Friday Favorites N7 Creamery

2) I have definitely had too much ice cream when my #2 is also ice cream again. We tried a second Nitrogen ice cream shop last night called the Creamistry. They have 4 bases you can choose from which includes two non dairy bases- coconut milk and sorbet as well as organic. You can add toppings mixed in or on top. I did salted caramel base with caramel mixed in and whipped cream. Can you sense a trend with the salted caramel? I cannot get enough.

Creamistry

3) “Why Couples Who Travel Aren’t Your Average Couple” was one of my favorites from the week. #5 describes the husband and I to a tee.. Portland is my birthday trip, Miami is the husband’s.. who needs presents when you can see the world!

4) How do you spend $100 in 10 mins? Usually the answer is go to Target. This week the answer is go to Charming Charlie’s. Ahhhhh I get suckered in I tell ya. Their jewelry and dresses are adorable and a great price. It is one of my favorite stores (hint hint family.. my birthday is next month). I bought this dress and one on clearance. I cannot wait to wear them this weekend.

5) When my sister and I went to see Lady Antebellum and Hunter Hayes, they played this song and I have had it on repeat since I heard it. I love the message. #newlifesong

And of course, the best way to finish Friday Favorites off is with the laziest bulldog I know.. this is her every morning as I beg her to get up, tell her she gets food and ultimately get her out with a treat. Hope you have a wonderful relaxing weekend, see you back on Monday!

Emma Rose

Tell me in the comments some of your favorites from the week!

Missed the past Friday Favorites? Check out #1, #2, #3, #4#5, #6 and #7.