Tag Archives: workout

GRIT, Sophie, and how I’ve been feeling lately

A lot has happened since my last post! So much that I keep thinking that I need to write a post about each individual thing and then I think that it would take me forever to do that! I figured I’d just start typing and see how much I get through – how’s that sound?

About two weeks ago I went to initial instructor training for Les Mills GRIT. If you’ve never heard of GRIT, it’s a high intensity interval training (HIIT) style class that’s 30 minutes long. The premise is quick bursts, followed by short rests, to burn fat fast! HIIT has been around for a long time, and has many benefits cardiovascularly as well as for your overall health! The weekend was long, grueling, and tiresome. My husband and I drove the three hours to West Chester University (in West Chester, PA) early Saturday morning to arrive at a quarter to 8am so that I wouldn’t be late for training!


The training modules are two days long from 8am – 6pm, and include learning about the company, learning to choreography for the class, a physically demanding challenge, and teaching the choreography many times over the course of two days. After you have completed the two days you are given a grade out of 3.



When the weekend was over, I had gained 10 new friends, was tired and sore, got a recipe for some amazing low carb/gluten free cookies, and passed with a 3/3!  After we were done on Sunday, my husband and I went to this burger place around the corner from the college and I had a huge burger with bacon and avocado!

The day after training I went to CrossFit (enter surprised smiley face here) and managed to complete the workout, but I was done for for the rest of the week! Exhausted really isn’t even the word!! Since training (which was about two weeks ago) I haven’t looked much at GRIT but after this weekend I plan to really practice and learn the choreography so that I can tape and pass to become a GRIT coach!

Later in the week last week, I went to an interview at another gym for both GRIT and Body Pump. They were interested in taking me on as a substitute instructor for now and willing to help me with my GRIT certification. I was very pleased with them and happy they want to help! I look forward to working with them and practicing! I am excited for what the future holds with these programs!!

This past week was actually a really rough week for me emotionally. At work we had a dog come in who appeared to have been hit by a car, she’s paralyzed in her hind end and had no microchip. A good samaritan brought her in, and with no known home we began calling shelters and rescues. Due to the nature of her condition none of the shelters would take her but we were hopeful in one rescue who said they had to call us back. I felt horrible, she was emaciated, and clearly mistreated. Depsite all of this she was extremely gentle and sweet.


There’s no surprise that I fell in love with her at first sight!! They named her “Cali” and then changed it to “Joy” but I felt she needed a better name. I didn’t think Joy was appropriate so I began thinking of names for her. She spent one night in the hospital and the next day I came to work and asked what was going to happen to her. The doctor said that if they couldn’t find a rescue they would have to euthanize her. That just could not happen. I asked to take her home that night to buy her some time and so that I  could think of something to do. They told me a rescue had called but had to rearrange some things and would be calling the following day to let them know if they could take her or not.

When I got her home she ran inside as if she knew we were home! She smelt my whole apartment and took an interest in my boy Charlie. Where he went, she went. Charlie is kind hearted and wouldn’t hurt a fly so he quickly took her under his wing. She slept comfortably on my couch next to me snuggled up to my leg, melting my heart with each and every deep breath that she img_9827took. She was comfortable, home, and it showed in her demeanor that she was no longer scared, but happy to be in a warm home in a “bed” (my couch) with a loving human and friendly dogs. While I watched her sleep, the name Sophie (which mean wisdom) came to mind. I lovelingly named her Sophie.

The following day, I brought her back to work as she’s special needs and couldn’t be left home alone all day. Around 12pm I was informed that a rescue was coming to pick her up at 2pm and she was scheduled for an MRI the following day. I was prepared for this, but my heart was broken. I knew that it was best for her, but I wanted to take care of her, I wanted her to be mine. Saying goodbye to Sophie was one of the hardest things I’ve done in quite a long time. I know that she was getting the medical care she needed, that I would not have been able to give her right away, and she would be safe and free from euthanasia, but my heartached and I img_9839felt like the wind had been knocked out of me with the news that my sweet girl would not be coming home with me again.

Sophie had an MRI the following day and it showed that she has spinal inflammation likely caused by trauma and she was prescribed physical therapy. Sophie may or may not walk again, but the rescue is willing to give her the chance. If you’re moved by Sophie’s story – please considering donating to Oliver’s Orphan Oasis at www.gofundme.com/ooohelp.


If you read the explaination of Sophie’s story on that go fund me account, that tear-filled tech — yea that was me! Damn, I really fell hard for that girl!! She is such a sweet sweet girl, and will need a furever home. If you want to feel the love of a rescue pet please consider adopting Sophie, or another baby who needs a home!

I’ve had quite an interesting week between Sophie, my tire going flat on the parkway to work, getting peed on and bitten by a cat, and feeling like the world is out to get me. I really hope that next week is better, and that whatever is going on with all this negativity stops soon!!

On a good note – 41 days til I turn 30! I’m not sure why that’s exciting, butIMG_9871.JPG I like my birthday, and I look forward to another year older – hopefully I can continue to grow as a group fitness instructor, continue to grow as a person, and maybe just maybe become a parent — I was hopeful that this last one would have happened sooner but looks like someone has different plans for us!

Heres to learning Body Pump 99, GRIT 18, and hopefully having a better week!!




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Getting stronger::New ink

I literally learn something new every single day that I go to crossFit. The cardio work is my least favorite but mostly because it needs the most work. I am starting to become a stronger rower, but I still find myself going out too hard to start and tapering off at the end. I do, however, feel like my technique has gotten better which has resulted in better pulls and better overall results. I also seem to have my best rowing work when one of the coaches (specifically Dave) tells me to row harder – something about having someone tell me what to do while I’m forcing out mental negativity — that helps push out those “I’m tired, I can’t” type thoughts. 

I find myself pushing harder than I have ever before – not stopping nearly as much – and being able to go for longer. I’m not sure if this is mostly mental or if it’s because I’m getting stronger in my endurance. Can you increase endurance in only a month? I can’t wait to see where I am in a year!   I can say that since starting crossFit my workouts have been MUCH more consistent – and maybe that’s why I feel like I’m getting stronger. I wake up every morning around 5-5:15am, regardless of the day – and I head to either crossFit or body pump. When I’m done I either practice something like double unders (or attempt to practice them), do some strength work, or run at least a mile. It very likely that as the summer progresses I will be doing more after work – crossfit or pump in the morning, work, and then lifting like I used to. I haven’t don’t a traditional bodybuilding workout since I started going to crossFit – mostly because I don’t have enough time in each day, plus I really need to focus on the cardio and breathing for the Spartans that I have coming up. 

Either way I feel like I’m on my way to becoming a better person both in and out of the gym. I find myself encouraging others much more than I have ever done in the past, and really looking at my abilities as a whole rather than comparing to anyone else. I still have moments where I get unsettled by a comment or someone telling someone else how strong they are… Like hello?! What about me?! But I’m learning that it doesn’t matter what other people think or say, what matters is that I dont give up and I keep trying to be the best version of myself!   

I also haven’t really talked about my eating disorder much lately. I actually think I’ve been doing pretty good – I haven’t had any real bad binge moments – I have had a few times over the last month or two where I’ve eaten either too little or too much but it hasn’t been an all out binge where I’ve considered throwing up. There has been a shift in my mindset since starting crossFit – it’s almost like unconsciously I know there’s a lot of cardio, and I know if I consume a lot of food – more than I need – I will feel heavy and my workout will suffer – whereas if I eat what I need – I will feel good and my workout will be awesome. I had an unintentional low carb day the other day followed by a high carb day — I really didn’t plan it – it just happened to be what was available – and I’ve gotta say – the day where all my carbs came from fruits and veggies rather than bread – I felt like a million bucks. My diet is always a struggle but I feel like I’ve taken a lot of the pressure off by not focusing on how I look, but how I perform. I’ve noticed how I feel during a workout after eating different things and have shifted gears towards the more whole/natural foods – craving and then therefore eating less processed foods. So, overall I feel like I’m in a good place, and headed to an even better place nutritionally.  

In other news – I got a new tattoo (thanks to my hubby)! It says ” the road less traveled” which is a paraphrasing of the famous Robert Frost poem: The Road Not Taken. To me, this means that in all that I do – I will not just follow the crowd, I will not let obstacles stop me, I will overcome all that is in front of me and I will take the road less traveled.   

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Spartan Workout Tour

Today I went to a free Spartan workout as part of the Spartan workout tour. I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous – but as I arrived I saw people of all different shapes and sizes and my nerves began to ease. 

I didn’t know what to expect other than burpees… Lots of burpees… And I wasn’t wrong about that. 

After picking up my tshirt and wristband, I was off to the workout!  

We started with fundamental movements – jumping jacks, running in place, high knees, squats, push-ups, bear crawls, crab walks, and yes, of course, burpees. We did mountain climbers and ape jumps, and of course, more burpees. 

After about an hour of body weight work – with – you guessed it – lots of burpees, we started rounds of core work followed by burpees, until it was your groups turn. 


Since I got there kinda late I was in group #6 (there were 10 total). They had us get down in plank position, and hold it. Each group was called one by one for a lap around the park (it was a very quick lap – 20-30 seconds tops) and while each group ran around the loop, the rest of us had to do planks, alternating arm lifts in plank position, alternating leg lift in plank position, burpees, more burpees, V sits, hallow back, butterfly kicks, burpees, more burpees, more planks, push-ups, more burpees, and then of course it was my turn – group 6! I was happy because I kept up in the front of the pack – generally I am always in the back of the pack, but it goes to show you that I’m getting stronger because I was able to maintain a front and center position. When we got back it was burpee time, followed by more core work until all 10 groups were done. 


Once this was done they asked us to look to our left and to our right and find a partner. To my dismay everyone seemed to be there with someone… I was without a partner. The partner workouts were wheelbarrows, human pull-ups, and leap frog jump over each other. Following this we stretched, got some words of wisdom from the trainers, took a group selfie, and grabbed some coupons and stickers! 

All in all the day was a great experience and I’m confident I’ll be able to make it through the Spartan race in May! 

What is your job? AROO AROO AROO!


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Free your mind :: and the rest will follow 😉

Today was a pretty good day. I woke up for cardio, and I have to say – that part of the day wasn’t as great but somewhere after that it really all turned around.
If you’ve been following my blog you know it’s kind of been more about the “push-ups” portion rather than the “pugs” and I assure you I’ll start blogging more about all things dog/pet as well! Actually, my husband and I are currently going through a trial period with dog food and diet changes because our pug, Charlie, has gained some unwanted weight this winter. More on that in a later blog though.

For now, I’d like to keep it short but give an update about what’s been going on.
For some reason this week I’ve really grabbed a hold of my training. It’s been a little weird – sort of like no rhyme or reason – but it’s been more than usual and it feels great! Here’s how the week had played out:

Sunday: taught body pump, trained back in the AM and chest in the PM
Monday: legs
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: fasted cardio in the AM (stairmaster 40 min), shoulders PM
Thursday: bodypump
Friday: fasted cardio in the AM (stairmaster 45 min), back and biceps in PM
Tomorrow I’ll have off unless I decide I have energy after work and I’ll do an at home circuit, and then Sunday I teach and go to the gym with hubby later in the day.

I just feel like something has shifted in my thinking. I feel like I’ve begun to learn to free my mind

Like my motivation is intrinsic, and I really think I have intuitive eating to thank, at least in part. For the first time in a long time I’m feeling fed. After cardio this morning I was craving a pumpernickel bagel – weird because growing up I thought they were gross. I got it with veggie cream cheese and also got a chocolate milk and a blueberry crumb muffin. The muffin wasn’t that good – but I ate it all because I was starving (not the best moment but took it as a learning experience and not harping on it — learned not to go to the gym without my post workout shake in tow or I’ll eat an entire muffin before even able to get home and have the bagel which is what I actually wanted).
Hubby came home and we went to the supermarket where I got some yogurts and picked up chips that I ultimately put back because I didn’t really want them at the moment – but I know they are there and I can go back to get them if I do want them later – and a got a chocolate bar. I told my husband that the coolest thing about intuitive eating is that I can buy that chocolate bar knowing I will want chocolate eventually but that I don’t need to eat it as soon as I get home. I did have some of it, but as I sit here at a quarter after 11pm, there’s still 3/4 of a chocolate bar in my cupboard – this is quite unusual but I feel good about it.
This freeing feeling with my nutrition has allowed me to open up my mind for other things – including training. I really enjoyed my workout tonight – it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to truly enjoy a solo workout session and that makes me overwhelmed with joy!
Before I sign out, I’d also like to point out that my amazing husband bought me a box of quest bars, and I chose to keep them in my car because I know that if I get bored I may wind up in the quest bars – small action step to force myself to utilize my intuitive eating steps that I’m learning. The quest bars aren’t punishment, they aren’t bad, and I can have them if I want them… Truly want them…. And for now, I’ll keep them far away so I have to work for them lol.

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