Monday, July 27, 2015

Partners in Training

Biker Babes

Mary Andelt remembers hitting her low point while training for the long distance bicycle ride, Tour de Nebraska. She calls it "The Meltdown". It happened during a regular Tuesday evening ride with her training class from the YMCA. She had two flat tires and then accidentally drove off the trail into a ditch.

“I picked up my bike and threw it in the weeds,” Mary remembers. “And then I called it an f-ing piece of s#*@. In front of the instructors. Need I remind you the C in YMCA stands for Christian?”

Mary rode back to her car crying. And there was her friend, Lee Anne Von Seggern, waiting in the dark for Mary to get there. Lee Anne gave Mary a big hug and helped get her bike back on the car.

And that might be the key ingredient in meeting a challenge like this one– a supportive training partner.

The cycling class met twice a week for indoor spinning and guest speakers. When the weather improved, they moved outside with trips to Pioneers Park, Cortland and Eagle. Lee Anne and Mary pushed each other through dark nights, long hills and early Saturday mornings. As Mary says, they “ham and egged it", a golfing term that refers to partners on a two person team trading good shots.

“I wanted to quit about every other class,” said Lee Anne. “In all honesty, Mary and I kept each other going. We were never on the same page at the same time. One class, Mary would be saying, ‘We can do this!’ and I’d be saying, ‘No way!’ and then we would flip-flop.”

They started the class as a way to fill the long winter hours, with no plans to actually join the Tour de Nebraska, a five-day ride through the Sandhills. But as the hours of training started to add up, the idea of joining the Tour began to gel. In March, Lee Anne and Mary loaded their dogs in the car and drove the route to see what they’d be in for. They were at once encouraged and terrified – but ready to sign up.

Mary had another motivation. She had seen the movie, Wild, the story of Cheryl Strayed who hiked more than 1000 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail after losing her mother, her marriage and her confidence. Mary had lost her husband Bob to cancer and joining the Tour de Nebraska was her Pacific Coast Trail.

“I saw the movie on Christmas Day with my mother and I bawled like a baby all the way through it,” said Mary. “It moved me. I wanted to be the person Bob and my dad would be proud of.”

The day before the Tour, Lee Anne says she felt sick and almost had a panic attack. But the next morning the jitters were gone and they were ready to go. Over five days, they rode a total of 245.8 miles, between about 50 and 68 miles most days. And loved it. In fact, they’re both ready for next year and maybe another ride in between.

Lee Anne’s favorite part was making it up the “big ass hill” on day 2 before reaching Ord. They made new friends, visited a winery (of course) and enjoyed the beauty of the Sandhills.
Big Ass Hill
Here are a few things to remember if you decide to try a similar challenge.

·   It’s an investment in time and money. Lots of both. Lee Anne and Mary  bought new bikes, tires, clothing and other equipment. And they spent hours training.

·   It's Nebraska so the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Be prepared for wind, rain, cold.

·   Many of the Tour participants camped out along the way and food was provided by local groups. But others, including Mary and Lee Anne chose to stay in motels. That would be my choice, too. There’s nothing like a hot shower and soft bed after a long day.

·   Get a training partner!

Do you find it better to workout with someone or alone?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fit Fashionista Rant

Amy Schumer
Quit telling me how to talk and what to wear.

There’s been a spate of articles lately on women’s voices, how we should or shouldn’t sound when we talk and words we shouldn’t use such as “sorry” or “like”. Then there are lists of things we’re not supposed to wear ever or over a certain age.

I’m here to tell you that I’ve been talking on my own for years and I actually communicate just fine. As far as what I choose to hang in my closet, I’m an adult and I can make own decisions, thank you very much.  

In fact, I’m an offender in at least six of the categories on this list of 24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30 (hello, hoop earrings and leopard print!) and if I can find some sparkly pants like the ones in the article, it’ll be seven.

If I want to speak in a low voice or a high voice while I’m wearing my furry boots, that’s what I’m going to do. The author can kiss my lovely, Jazzercise-sculpted, leopard print and 
bling-covered rear.

Okay. I’m stepping off my soapbox.

On to fun stuff I saw this week.

It's all in the details, like the patch of lace on this top.
Strong but soft.

 These green and black, leopard print shoes from Nike. (Worn by a woman over 30.)
Because they're so cute.

This tote bag. 
I'm sort of into the animal print thing.

So what theoretically age-inappropriate items do you have hanging in your closet? 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fit Fashionista Friday

I can't wait to go to Jazzercise this weekend because I have new clothes to dance in! And you know how very happy that makes me. :)

I've been lusting after the new tops that have interesting back views and the activewear pieces with mesh details. This month, I ordered two items from the Fabletics website and they just arrived last night. I'm posting a few pictures but keep in mind, I had just finished working out  and my hair shows it.

The green top is Plain Jane from the front but get a load of the back! Yowza. Obviously, this isn't good for yoga because it will just fall off in downward dog. But it's perfect for Jazzercise and the price is right at only $19.95.

It's harder to see theme mesh in the crops but here they are. Fun, huh?

The crops are a little pricier at $44.95 but the fabric is sturdy and they feel like they'll last forever.  You can order pieces individually off the Fabletics website or join as VIP member. Every month they send you their "picks" and you can order complete outfits starting at $49.95. You can skip a month anytime you like.

My weekend will include at least one Jazzercise class in my new duds. It's also supposed to be blazing hot so I'm going to plan on pool time as well?

What's on your agenda?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Climbing out of the July 4th Food Coma

Move over, Thanksgiving. July 4th is turning into the new king and queen of food coma-inducing holidays.
Me at work on Monday. :(
Yes, I indulged. Juicy burgers, potato salad and ice cold beer. S’mores around the fire, cookies and a delectable cake that we fell on like a pack of wild dogs sometime around midnight. It wasn’t pretty.

Sunday, I could barely move. My brain was foggy and all I wanted to do was sleep and watch TV.

According to Scientific American, a large amount of any kind of food causes that lethargic, sleepy feeling known as a food coma. Common table sugar found in desserts causes the biggest crash.

Your body breaks food down into glucose, which is used for fuel, causing an increase in blood sugar. As that process happens, the hormone insulin is released and begins mopping up the excess glucose. That process causes your brain to produce serotonin and melatonin, and that makes you feel drowsy.

Here’s what I’m doing this week to get back on track.

  •  Get moving. In addition to all the goodies I ate this weekend, I skipped my workouts and opted to float in a lake instead. I don’t regret it because it was glorious way to spend a hot, humid weekend. YOLO. But it feels great to get back to my regular workout schedule.
  •  Eat nutrient-rich foods: lots of veggies, lean protein and fiber.  Yesterday’s menu included oatmeal, a mixed greens salad with carrots, cucumbers and avocado, a little chicken and some broccoli and grapes Greek yogurt for snacks.
  • Water, water, water. And more water.
  • Sleep. When I’m tired, I tend to opt for what’s easy and fast. Like cold pizza eating standing up in front of the refrigerator.

I’m feeling better already. And my motivation is strong. Or it will be until someone brings cake to the office.

What are you doing to recover from the holiday weekend?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Motivation Monday: Take the Leap

Do you ever want to set a goal for yourself but it never seems like the right time? And then you finally realize that you just have to take the leap and do it because there’s never a perfect time.

That’s what Bailey Feit did when she decided to become a Jazzercise instructor. She’d been Jazzercising for more than a decade and friends told her she’d make a good instructor. But there was always something standing in the way.

“I always had an excuse, whether it was school, planning a wedding, paying for a wedding, coaching volleyball. But I loved Jazzercise. I would do the routines in the car when a familiar song came on the radio. I just needed to take that step and do what everyone around me was telling me to do,” Bailey said. 

After she made the decision to take the leap, the first step was the screening, where an instructor observed her taking a class to make sure Bailey could handle the basic moves and rhythm. After passing the screening, she received a training DVD with ten routines on it that she had to learn and prepare to teach, along with cues and low impact demonstrations.

It was a challenge to put in the practice time and work with her fellow instructor trainees, Luba and Amanda, and Christy Firestone, their coach and mentor. Bailey’s biggest worry was getting on stage for the final try-out and freezing, completely forgetting how to do a routine. But the day came and her fears didn’t come true. She passed with flying colors and took part in the all day workshop, learning more about the ins and outs of teaching Jazzercise.

The hardest part for Bailey was learning to master the art of talking while Jazzercising, thinking ahead about the next move so she can cue the students. The best part about being on that stage is looking at students who are singing along with the music or seeing a sheen of sweat on a smiling face.

“I love knowing that I am helping them accomplish what they came for, a good workout,” Bailey said.

Bailey recommends setting fitness goals because they push you to be the best version of you.

“You feel really good when you meet a goal,” she said. “There are always ups and downs and times when you want to give up. But when you have reached the top and look back at the choices you’ve made and at what you’ve accomplished, you are on a high!”

What’s holding YOU back?