The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.
Remember those cotton tennis shoes we all wore in the early 90’s? They were adorable, but by early summer, I had already worn through the soles. And as good as they looked on (with three pairs of tube socks of varying colors, rolled down… why did we do that?), they felt even better… well, off.
While my running and CrossFit kicks are both comfortable and good looking, my everyday shoes all seem to be one… but not the other. I have clogs so comfortable I could dance a jig (or just, like, do normal things) in them all day long, but they’re hideous. And I have heels so beautiful they belong in a museum, but by the time I slip them off, I’m in so much pain that I Google things like “DIY foot amputation.”
I was able to back away from both my clogs and Google’s search results the minute I slipped into my pair of hot pink Reebok Skyscapes. They’re comfortable and good looking, and I’ve barely taken them off since they arrived.
Floating through the week with Reebok Skyscape
I tend to be a shoes off the second I walk in the door girl, but I’ve found this pair to be so comfortable and lightweight that I’ve kept them on long after a post-yoga coffee run, a visit to the market for flowers (I’m taking a floral arranging class this month), a walk along the water with Clark, a trip to the doctor’s with Grace, and a short road trip to my parents’ house. I’ve been wearing them mostly with jeans or leggings (my maternity leave wardrobe), but I’ve seen more fashionable ladies wearing them with spring dresses, too.
Made with a seamless foam upper and a low profile, the Skyscape is designed to be flexible, supportive, and stylish. And unlike the kicks of our childhood, you won’t need to stop at the drug store to stock up on various blister remedies. Or multi-colored tube socks. Reebok Skyscape is available online, in Reebok FitHub and Outlet locations, and in select Kohls stores.
Things start to feel really real when you go crib shopping. Trust me. After a surgical strike at Jordan’s Furniture (we were in and out in an hour, and five weeks from now we will have a crib, a dresser — which we will also use as a changing table — and a glider), we spent a bit of time walking around Babies R Us. Those little folks need a lot of stuff! I am so excited for her room to come together though. While I am not wishing away then next couple of months, I just can’t wait for our baby girl to arrive.
After another long week (and yes, I did end up with a third nail in one of my tires…), I was tempted to skip Sunday’s workout and sleep in. A little encouragement from Nick and a fresh pair of Nanos from Reebok (thank you!) got me out the door, though.
The WOD required a bit of creative scaling, but it felt good to get moving. I strict pressed 50 lbs., but I think my days of PRs will likely be on hold for a bit. I’m getting more and more comfortable doing my own thing, substituting and scaling when needed (crossfitmom.com is a great resource for pregnant CrossFitters), and focusing on the fact that doing something is better than doing nothing. Especially when it feels like I am wearing a weighted vest… all the time.
I could make six different trips to the paint section at Home Depot and I imagine I’d leave with the exact same paint strips. Regardless of the intended room. We used chinchilla (Martha Stewart, surprised?) in our first condo, and I’m leaning towards the same color for the baby’s room. I love color. It’s like nail polish for your house.
Can we discuss the fact that I missed number 5? To quote my husband re: pregnancy brain, “What will you forget to think of next?”
This little snail keeps showing up on our front steps. I like his outfit.
Running low on mascara (my personal nightmare), I ducked into Sephora… and accidentally bought one of everything. While reaching for a fresh tube of Diorshow Black Out, a pre-teen (or tween… or maybe she was an actual teen) complimented me on “my makeup taste.” She then followed me around the store and approved of everything that went into my basket. She made my day.
I got to spend some quality time with my favorite blondes (my younger sister and our niece) this morning. We did baby yoga, hid in closets, sprinkled bagel crumbs everywhere, read a book about penguins, sang “head, shoulders, knees and toes,” put a human sweater on a baby doll, and made monster noises. I wish every day started that way.
Back in Southie, Nick and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and coaxed the Frenchie up a thousand stairs to enjoy the gorgeous view of the city from Dorchester Heights…
…which explains why Clark has been asleep for approximately 50 hours.
To make up for the lack of #5… a bonus instaphoto:
This year, I was much less confused and much more excited to cheer on the team from our box, CrossFit Southie, and all the incredible athletes competing in three days worth of brutal workouts.
And I mean brutal. Event 4 started with 100 wall balls, followed by 100 chest to bar pull-ups, 100 pistols (one-legged squats) and 100 one-arm dumbbell snatches (70 pounds for men, 50 pounds for women)…. all with a 25 minute time cap. I imagine it would take me 25 minutes to complete the wall balls alone, and only if I didn’t knock myself unconscious in the process. I’ve nearly given myself a nose job with that thing more than once. Also, more than twice. You can find details for all of the Regionals workouts here.
A few highlights from the CrossFit Games North East Regionals 2013*
…*before I round this post out with a motivational speech that I just wrote… for myself.
Event 5, Heat 4: Austin Malleolo, Daniel Tyminski and Christian Harris on deadlifts (315lbs) and box jumps.
Christina on squat cleans during the final team event
Handstand push-ups and toes to bar
CrossFit Southie came in fourth overall, just one spot shy of the top 3 and an invitation to the Games. Regardless, it was so awesome watching our coaches lay their hearts out. While my husband and I wore matching shirts.
I think about what these women and men are able to accomplish. How fast they work. How strong they are. How bad ass they look in their braids and bandannas. Could I see myself out there? In reality: Nope. In some very small way: Maybe. Aspirational (and somewhat unrealistic) goals are as important as S.M.A.R.T. ones (and acronyms are so annoying to type).
Not too long ago, I believed I’d never complete and single double-under, and one day… I did. And then I did five. And eventually I did fifty. That’s what I love about CrossFit: there will always be someone to inspire you, and there will always be opportunities to improve. And inspiration without action? Welp, it’s useless. You need to believe in yourself and do the dang work.
P.S. There is no better time to believe in yourself (and no worse time to doubt yourself) than when you have heavy metal hoisted above your head. Or when the clock is winding down. Or when you have 100 more yards to go. Clearly, I left this weekend’s events feeling excited and inspired… and sort of like, I have a lot of work to do.
Also On Tap for Today:
Attempting to kick this cold (a lovely airplane souvenir)
I had one of those weeks. The kind where you get to your desk and think… I don’t remember driving to work. The kind where, at the end of the day, you forget where you parked. And subsequently, you walk from one parking level to the next, casually pressing the alarm button on your key ring. The kind where you eat frozen yogurt for dinner. The kind where you wake up in the morning, feeling like you could use another six hours of sleep (maybe because you ate frozen yogurt for dinner?). The kind where you wonder if wearing tomorrow’s suit to bed would give you a jump on the morning routine (a bad idea, I assure you).
Not exactly the healthiest week. But we all have ’em. And fortunately, it’s a long weekend – perfect for getting a little much needed rest, and getting back on track. More good news: some of the best steps we can take for a better life are also the simplest.
A few simple steps for a better life:
1. Take off your shoes when you walk through the door.
Your shoes pick up all kinds of cooties, germs, and particles throughout the day. Leaving your shoes at the door will prevent you from tracking those nasty things throughout your house. Need more convincing? Here’s 37 reasons to leave your shoes at the door.
Fellow dog owners would do well to wipe their pets’ paws after walks. Just think (on second thought, maybe don’t) about what those little fellas walk through.
2. Consider making a switch.
It might be taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It might be a piece of fruit instead of a cup of juice. It might be a phone call to a friend instead of a television show. Small switches can make a big difference, without requiring a lot of added time or effort.
For me, making the switch from dairy milk to almond milk has been an easy and effective way to ensure I get plenty of calcium in my diet, without the unpleasant effects of lactose. I grew up drinking skim milk with every meal, but when my doctor and RD prescribed all kinds of tests and elimination diets last summer, dairy was at the top of the no-no list.
Single-serve cartons of Silk PureAlmond – I was thrilled to find these minis in the market. They’re much more commuter-friendly than a large, previously-opened carton of non-dairy milk. And yes, I have had one of those tip over and spill in my handbag.
Nick and I were already using almond milk in smoothies, coffee, baking, and protein shakes, so it was not hard to make a total shift. Cheese was another story. I came close to weeping before a wedge of brie at our favorite Whole Foods Market. While I am back to eating dairy in small quantities, we still tend to opt for almond milk over cow’s milk.
There are the obvious benefits (50% more calcium per serving than dairy milk, shelf stable before opening… in your purse or elsewhere), but it’s also a taste thing. I simply prefer almond milk at this point. If you’ve made the switch and are looking for a little inspiration, check out these recipes featuring Silk PureAlmond Unsweetened shared by a few fellow bloggers on Silk’s Facebook page (where you’ll also find a $1.00 off coupon to um… sweeten the deal). New recipes are being added regularly, and they all look fantastic.
3. Bring home a plant.
Plants help purify the air around us. They give us something to care for (I think this is important). They look pretty. And, apparently, they can make us smarter.
Every now and then, I use my iPhone for making actual phone calls. You know when you’ve chatted just a little too long, and suddenly your phone feels like it’s been in the microwave? That can’t be safe. When Pong Research sent me a protective case, designed to reduce radiation exposure, I hesitated to read their materials for fear I’d be convinced to forgo my phone all together. Then I saw something really cute I wanted to Instagram. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too prevent harmful radiation aaaand over-share on the Internet too.
This is the thing: It’s possible that many of the devices we use daily are harmful. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Spending time worrying and imagining (two favorite past times of mine) accomplishes very little. Give your cell phone usage, or microwave usage, or super-amazing-hold hair spray some thought. Research alternatives. Come up with a plan to limit the harm you may be causing yourselves or others.
5. Take a walk.
I take what I call a “wellness walk” (nearly) every day. I usually fold in office errands, like grabbing the mail or making a bank deposit, but I always make sure I have a few minutes to myself to just be. To say hello to the older people who gather near the playground by my office. To look at the clouds (another favorite past time, one more productive than worrying). To stretch my legs a bit.
I always return to my desk feeling refreshed and re-energized. On days when I am at the office for especially long hours, these walks help break up the day and keep me feeling connected to everything going on beyond my desk. They give me perspective. It only takes a few minutes (I am rarely gone more that 10), but it makes a world of difference.
It’s pretty incredible how one simple, smart choice can lead to more simple, smart choices. And how simple, smart choices lead you to the exact spot where you parked this morning.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.
If you’re like me and follow 9,000 CrossFitters on Twitter, Instagram, and just in general, like… around the neighborhood, you’ve possibly heard or seen some of the following:
Your workout is my warm-up.
That’s not a real squat.
(Insert other activity)? B—-, please. I do CrossFit. (And I have a foul mouth.)
I am better than you because I can lift your Ford Focus over my head with one hand, whilst I eat my paleo breakfast with the other.
Seven months ago, when I finally bit the bullet and joined our neighborhood box after a trial run at Reebok CrossFit ONE and much encouragement from my husband, I ate that nonsense up. I thought I was so tough the first time I lifted at barbell over my head. And then a week later I completely ate shcrap while attempting a slightly higher box jump. And my ego was firmly back in check.
Please stop saying things like this.
Like anything challenging I have faced, CrossFit has made me stronger, but it has not made me better than anyone else.
I may have thought the whole “your workout is my warm-up” mentality was badass initially, but after some consideration, it’s just plain bad. And poisonous. [For the record: I’ve met very few people who walk around saying things like that. They are, for sure, the minority in the sport.] Our workouts may be brutal, but their value does not lie in being more brutal, more challenging, more whatever than someone else’s workout. And frankly, if you’re doing it right (that is to say, working your tail off and supporting your fellow CrossFitters), you should have neither the time nor energy to minimize anyone else (or how they choose to work out). Someone high five me on that. Please.
For me, CrossFit and humility go hand and hand. Nearly every WOD is an exercise in being painfully aware of my deficiencies and weaknesses. In fighting that little (sometimes medium, often big) voice that says, Maybe you should just sneak out the side door and watch Sunday’s episode of Downton Abbey. In trying desperately to not compare myself to others. I’m not sure about the rest of the Universe, but I know it goes strongly against my inner guidance to repeatedly do things I am not comfortable doing. To share a strength platform with someone who can lift twice as much as me without breaking a sweat. To try new things, and then try more new things. To put at risk the significant orthodontic investment my lovely parents have made by holding a 36 lb. kettle bell directly over my face ( Turkish get ups make me want to American throw up). To willingly do things I am not good at. To attempt something, knowing there’s a high probability I will fail. To fail, over and over.
I have more stories about mortifying things — the many, many times I have missed a lift (I have gotten quite good at safely dropping barbells, to my credit), the time I somehow jumped and fell over a box, the time I got knocked over by a wall ball, the time I hit myself in the chin with a wall ball, the time I hit myself in the nose with a wall ball, the time I pinched my index finger in one of those weight clip things, the time I crumpled like a wet noodle on the last rep of over head squats, the time I got tangled in a jump rope when heading out the door for a 200m sprint, the time I had to go crouch down behind the dumpster after a WOD because I thought I might faint and/or expire — than I do about glorious things that I’ve accomplished while Crossfitting (Not a word? Not sure.).
But I know this: I am more humble than ever. And that can only be a good thing. [I feel like I am channeling Bill Belichick, talking about humble pie. Imagine if he went on Project Runway and just cut the sleeves off a million sweatshirts, and then won? Neither here, nor there. What else is new?]
I know this as well: I wouldn’t keep going back every week if I didn’t feel supported by my community. If I didn’t feel like it was okay to be a total boob and drop things every now and then. If I didn’t feel like it was okay to ask many, many questions. If I didn’t believe that setbacks are necessary for progress. A supportive community, whether its comprised of two people or two hundred people, has an incredible ability to motivate and empower.
I don’t care if you’re a yogi, a kayaker, a football player, a dancer, a runner or a shuffleboard player. We are all at our best when we lift one another up.
I wasn’t sure whether to lead with that, or save the best for last. It seems like much of the year (and the end of 2011) felt like a lead up to the wedding, and I loved (nearly) every minute of it. From marriage prep class to cake (pop) tasting, it was quite a bit of fun. Seriously. There was certainly a melt down or two, but when you get to marry your best friend, the silly stuff (like table linen swatches) sort of fades to the background.
A close second to getting married was the time we spent immediately thereafter. Nick and I took a ten day honeymoon to St. John, where we swam, snorkeled, explored, sailed and floated to our hearts’ content.
After months and months of listening to Nick and friends rave about CrossFit, I got my first taste of the proverbial KoolAid while visiting Reebok World Headquarters and Reebok CrossFit One with FitFluential. I was hooked at 3-2-1 go! I joined Crossfit Southie and started going to WODs twice a week with Nick. If you’re looking to be challenged, and to find a great community to keep you going, I highly recommend taking your own sip of the (paleo?) KoolAid.
Clark passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen and therapy dog exams earlier this year (I like to think I did a little work, too, but it’s his name on the certificates…). We’ve made visits to a local children’s hospital (specifically to a pediatric and adolescent psych unit) nearly every week since July and I can say without reservation, it has been the most rewarding and moving volunteer work I have ever done. It’s such a privilege to be able to connect with such wonderful kids, and the adults who care for them. Though some visits are more difficult than others, I always leave feeling like my heart is spilling over. And Clark always looks pretty darn happy, too.
5. Putting down roots in my ‘hood
Perhaps it’s because our condo was good and renovated by the start of 2012, but it feels like we really put down roots this year. From Crossfit Southie to our local coffee shop, our routine is very local. And I love that. I love that strangers know my dog’s name (I don’t love when they try to feed him Cheetos, though). I love that I see the same people, doing the same things, day after day. I love that I have to cross a bridge to leave, and a bridge to come home.
Simply put, I love our hood. Especially when I’m wearing a (Reebok) hood.
6. Making a health plan
After vowing to find a new primary care physician for years, I finally made good on my promise and ended up with not only a great doctor, but an entire team of health care professionals. Though the months of blood tests, elimination diets, poking and prodding got old fast, I am feeling better than I have in years. Like, 10 years. Though chronic illnesses like colitis don’t vanish into thin air, I’ve learned so much about managing symptoms and making changes. This former pastatarian has forgone gluten and lived to tell of it. And the weekly B12 injections? Completely worth the literal pain in the butt.
200 miles, 12 girls, 2 vans. A recipe for disaster? Or the ultimate weekend? Thanks to New Balance, we averted disaster and had the ultimate relay experience. I think of my teammates whenever I hear “Call Me Maybe.” Fortunately, I love my teammates. I hear that song a lot. Still.
This should have been far closer to the top of the list (my brain has a tendency to wander, we know this), but becoming an aunt has been a highlight not only of 2012, but of my semi-young life in total. I could have never imagined loving someone as much as I do my niece. When my older brother called me from the hospital to say that Nora Elizabeth had finally arrived, I cried and cried and cried. And when I held her the first time, welp… I cried and cried and cried. She is just incredible.
Being a guest of Nespresso and Emirates Team New Zealand on a VIP boat (complete with the best espresso) in Newport Harbor felt like something that should be reserved for a, welp, VIP. Somehow, I got a spot on one of the boats and enjoyed a front row view of the match races this summer. It was, quite simply, incredible.
Earlier this month, Reebok sent me a pair of Bose SIE2i sport headphones and they’ve been along for every run and trip to the gym since. Talk about a cute workout buddy.
Unlike other sport headphones I’ve tried, these allow for a bit of outside noise to sneak in, too – which helps when running outside. Safety first, jams second. The sound quality is unmatched. Seriously. Robert Palmer never sounded so good. Reebok partnered with Bose earlier this year to launch the line of sport headphones, which comes with a matching breathable armband (complete with a key pocket and touch-senstive window), and was clearly designed with athletes in mind. Details on the SIE2 and SIE2i sport headphones such as a shorter cable and a small clip to hold it in place (so it’s not flying up in your face or tangling around your chest as you run), as well as iPhone-specific features are an added plus.
What have I been listening to while I #getafterit, you wonder? My latest workout mix includes the aforementioned Robert Palmer, Calvin Harris and Florence Welch, MJ (obviously) and a few others.
Perfect for getting after it. Speaking of which, there’s a #getafterit Twitter chat tonight (12/27) at 9 PM EST with @Reebok and @FitFluential. See you on the internet to chat about fitness goals and resolutions!
I received these headphones from Reebok at no cost, but my opinions (and questionable taste in music) are all my own.
Need a little Monday motivation? I’ve got you covered.
Following Saturday morning’s crossfit WOD, our coaches encouraged us to spend some time (five minutes, precisely) stretching our hamstrings with our legs up the wall and toes pointed towards our bodies. It was sort of like yoga, but with more swearing. After a leg-heavy workout, it felt torturous. While one of our coaches applied pressure to my heels, another recommended breaking out our iPhones to help pass the time.
I was about to text “Waaaaaaa” to Nick, who was on the other side of the box, but I decided to see what the App Genius had in store for me instead. As I came across Popsicolor, I was all “Apple… you are a genius.” When the next recommendation had something to do with grilling meat, however I was all “Apple… wrong, all wrong.” Regardless, I snapped a few photos at CrossFit Southie and Popsicolor-ed every last one of them.
With Monday morning upon us, I thought I’d share a few of the results, complete with some of my favorite motivational sayings (not including kumbaya, my Lord).
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I can’t help but be mindful of the many reasons I have to be grateful. The love and support of my husband, family and friends tops them all. Faith, health, shelter and security are not far behind. I am grateful for all the luxuries I am afforded, and the things I often take for granted.
As I schedule my workouts for the week, I am reminded just how thankful I am for fitness – for the privilege of having time each day to devote to wellness and to challenging myself, and for the communities that have grown from commitments like marathon training, CrossFit-ing, my motley soccer team and fledgling yoga practice.
Looking to get after it and give back this week? There are a number of great events in town this week that are worth checking out.
Ultimate Bootcamp is holding the 5th annual Thanksgiving Day 90 minute Bootcamp Blast for charity, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to three different local nonprofit organizations, on Thanksgiving morning. Workouts will be held in Boston (to benefit St. Francis House) from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; in Providence (to benefit Providence Parks & Rec) from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; and in Watertown (to benefit the Watertown Boys & Girls Club) from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. I can vouch for how awesome Ultimate Bootcamp workouts are, and know that starting the day off with a little sweating and a lot of giving back can only be a good thing.
Boston Volvo Village 5K benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter – log 3.1 miles on Thanksgiving morning before sitting down for dinner.
As much as I’ve loved being away (and floating around on Cloud 9), I am happy to be back to my regular ol’ routine. I made it to the gym twice while we were away, swam my little heart out, and walked everywhere in the 85 degree heat, but still came home missing CrossFit and the usual grind. I’m looking forward to setting out my workout gear before crawling into bed tonight.
The air in Boston is so crisp lately – perfect for layering, and not so cold that I’ve attempted stowing away on another flight to the Caribbean… yet. I’ve been getting compliments left and right on my new Reebok RealFlex Fusion TRs and their screaming orange laces. The shoes were designed to support a natural foot strike for runners, while also providing cushioning and flexibility for jumping, stretching and other natural movements. I’ve worn them on shorter runs, for plyometrics, and weight training and find they work well for days when I am fitting in a combination of strength and cardio. In addition to these kicks, Reebok also sent me their new Play Dry jacket.
It was the perfect outer layer on this weekend’s ride through Mystic, and has been great for going to and from the box. Despite being a “slim fit,” I find it runs a tad big (I have it in a size small — I am definitely more of a medium human being — and it’s still a bit loose), but the fabric wicks really well and lining is very cozy. Oh… and bonus points for the thumb holes, of course.
For the record: Reebok sent me these items at no cost, and my opinions are mine, all mine. Also, I wish I had invented thumb holes. I really do.
This time last year, I was counting down the days to the ING New York City marathon. This year, I am counting down to our wedding, which falls the day before that very same marathon. I felt a pang of jealousy this weekend as I saw runners pass through Copley Square on their long runs. After running two marathons in 2011, I gave myself a welcomed break this year, but I’m starting to think it’s time to get back on the road. The crisp fall air and cooler weather have me itching to lace up my running shoes and take on a new challenge.
With this week filled with last minute work projects and finishing touches for the wedding, I’ll have to wait a bit to scratch that itch, but it’s never too early to make plans, especially with the busyness of the holidays approaching. While searching for an early 2013 half marathon, I came across Amanda‘s upcoming Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, which kicks off just as Nick and I return from our honeymoon. Amanda is always logging crazy miles and motivates me to get out there and get after it. With built in structure and accountability, points awarded for healthy eating, exercise and overall wellness, and opportunities to chat with experts like Deena Kastor (for real), I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the HBBC. The challenge runs November 19 – January 5th. For more details, or to register, visit this page.
While we’re on our honeymoon, I am sure Nick and I will tackle a few vacation WODs and take advantage of opportunities to swim, hike, run, stand up paddle board, kayak, and um… hammock. Rest is important. I take rest very seriously. Clark does too.
I’m packing my kicks, a resistance band, and a few sets of workout gear, but one of the resorts we are staying at loans out workout clothes, which I think is pretty cool. I’ll also be bringing my new Yurbuds, which are the only earbuds that don’t pop clear out of my little ears while I am running or working out. They come with several sizes of earbud covers, allowing for a custom fit. Added plus? They’re cute.
While I finish packing and continue searching for new challenges to take on, I’ve got one more #getafterit tee (women’s size L) to give away, thanks to my friends at Reebok.
To enter, please leave a comment below. Barring a power outage or some other Sandy situation, I will select a random winner on Wednesday evening.
Update: Congratulations, Mindy! Many thanks to Reebok, and to all who entered.