Happy Weekend!

Are you doing anything fun this holiday weekend? It’s our last few days before school starts. I’m going to soak up every minute. If you have children I urge you to get them outside. Summer will be over before we know it. The kids will be stuck inside all day at school. Being active and getting outside is so great for them. I provide some examples over here.

We plan on playing a little soccer. Maybe catching some fireworks. Enjoying some fire pit time. Breathing in the fresh air while we have the chance. It’s going to be hot this weekend so we may even sneak in some pool time. Sounds like a perfect weekend in my book :)

pool

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Feature Friday (5)

Hello peeps! Today is my last edition of Feature Friday. I had so much fun introducing you to some of my fitness inspirations this month. I hope you learned something or even was inspired yourself. So without further ado…

Meet Farrah from Fairyburger. She is amazing! Seriously. She’s a fitness rockstar AND a medical student. Her plate is full and I love her for it!

farrah

Why did you get started on your fitness journey?

My fitness journey began in the middle of my junior year of undergrad. The deans of both my colleges decided over winter break that they were no longer going to stand in my way, since I’d been so hellbent on committing academic suicide since freshmen year. I was permitted to double major, change one of my majors to Exercise Biology, and take any and all the classes I wanted to—as long as I graduated in 4 years. (That’s still the best Christmas present I’ve ever received from a school! :] )

I’d never actually been sedentary, but aside from 4 years on my high school’s gymnastics team (I was absolutely terrible), weekly hula/Tahitian practice, and walking/biking everywhere, I didn’t really exercise and didn’t have a set routine. I didn’t want to be a total disgrace to my major, and my boyfriend at the time was awesome in that he always supported me with the things that I wanted to do. He also happened to be an aspiring personal trainer at the time, so he offered to teach me to lift weights, and who was I to refute the chance for potential badassery?

I remember sitting down with him on the floor of the gym as he asked me what my goals were, and what I wanted to get out of it. I told him that my main goal was to get stronger. Back in the days of high school fitness testing, I could smoke everyone else in pushups and hang around forever with the flexed arm hang, but I never did get that pullup.  He set me up with a 5×5 lifting routine, counseled me on nutrition, refueling, rest days, cheat days (<3), and from thereon out, I was hooked. I’ve since added a billion other hobbies into the mess, but lifting will always be one of my favorites. :]

What has been your biggest health or fitness accomplishment to date?

Thus far, my best accomplishment is probably my state record in deadlifts! Last year in June, I competed in my very first powerlifting competition and pulled 269 pounds at 121 pounds. My best PR since then was in September (275 at ~120 pounds). It felt really easy and I definitely should have tried for more, but I tend to be really conservative with my lifts at competitions because I’m scared of disqualifying.

What piece of advice would give someone just starting their journey?

Don’t be intimidated by the weight room, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! This is purely anecdotal, but…in my experience, the guys in the weight room have always been incredibly respectful and a lot of them have been very helpful. (Make sure you don’t blindly follow what everyone says though! There’s always at least one Advice Guy in every gym.) I never would’ve competed if one of my classmates hadn’t seen me lifting at the gym and offered to train me for a competition. (He actually ended up not being able to train me, but I decided to go for it anyway.) Also, if you need someone to spot you, just ask! The worst anyone can do is to say that they won’t. I was recently saved by a burly, super-nice stranger on bench press.

Also, remember that everyone has to start somewhere and there is no quick fix; it’s a lifestyle change! Find some kind of physical activity that you enjoy and incorporate it into your life! If there’s a lot you want to work on, break it down into steps so it doesn’t seem quite so daunting. Small but consistent changes lead to substantial differences! On that note, don’t be discouraged if you don’t start seeing results right away. What matters most is that you’re doing something! :]

What are some of your goals going forward?

I entered a powerlifting competition (September 20!) and want to set state records in everything! My more conservative goals are just to PR in everything (squat 180+, bench press 120+, deadlift 275+), but someday, I’d like to break national records. :D I figured I’d start with smaller goals first though.

Go show Farrah some love! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bloglovin!

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Are you ready?

Are you ready for back to school if you haven’t started yet? I have mixed feelings this year. I’m excited to get back to our normal routines. But I’m sad that wild #2 is going to school for the first time! How will both my babies be in school?! I just had them. Check out the post here that I wrote about our back to school routines.

Today was the meet the teacher and supply drop off for Nathan. His teacher seems very sweet. I’m hoping he really likes her and has a great year. His teacher from last year moved up to first grade. Her class is right next door. I think he’s going to do great! Only a few more days!

Any big plans for Labor Day weekend?

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Sail Away with Spartan

Remember last week when I told you I had another Spartan Race announcement?! Well…next spring there will be a Spartan Cruise!! Yes, you read that correctly. The Spartan Cruise sets sail on March 3rd. You will sail to a private island in the Bahamas. There will be a Spartan Sprint set up on the island! How freaking cool is that?!

What’s Included:
-3 day cruise
-3 ½ mile Sprint Race with 15 obstacles
-$50,000 prize pool for Elite Racers*
-Meals
-Onboard entertainment
-Book signing by Joe DeSena
-Guest speakers
-Award ceremony, finisher’s medal and professional photo and video
-Gratuities
-Insurance
-Kids Jr. Spartan race (ages 4-13)
-Kids travel  FREE* (up to 17 years of age at time of booking)
-Spartan Cruise tshirt
-Full day at Great Stirrup Cay for lounging and playing with family and friends

I think the Spartan Cruise sounds awesome! This just takes the Spartan way of life to a whole other level. And guess what?! You have a chance to win a free trip for two!!!

cruise

Click on the graphic above or here to enter to win! Let me know what cabin you are booking. I’d love to stow away in your suitcase!

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My ER Trip

On Saturday evening I thought I was in labor with my third child. Oh you didn’t know I was pregnant? Neither did I. Turns out I was carrying a 4 mm baby in my ureter in the form of a kidney stone. The pain was worse than being in labor. At least with contractions you get a break. Not with this. The pain had me balled up in the fetal position on the floor. After a couple phone calls I decided to head to the ER. John put the kids in the car and off we went.

We do not have any family here in Virginia. I told John it would be best if he just dropped me off. We could have called friends to watch the boys. But it was late on a Saturday evening. And I would have much rather had John home with the boys. There was nothing he could do for me anyway. Nathan was already concerned and having both parents gone would have concerned him even more.

Now I wan’t bore with all the ins and outs of my emergency trip. Long story short they got pain meds in me very quickly and I could finally think. The doctor ran tests, ordered a CT, and confirmed our initial guess. I had a kidney stone making it’s way down my urinary tract. And it has friends waiting in both my kidneys. Seriously?! Good news is they are all small and just minding their own business right now. I was sent home with meds and a strainer. Yep, they told me to try to “catch” it.

We finally got home at about midnight. I could not sleep at all. I finally fell asleep around 5 in the morning. John let me sleep in. The boys came up a couple times to give me kisses and ask if I was okay. John took the boys out for the afternoon so I could rest. God Bless that man. He knows that when I’m not feeling well I just want to sleep and be left alone. My husband gives me a hard time most days. That’s his personality. But when something is not right with me, his soft side comes out. John can be very compassionate. In these times I see just how much he cares about me :)

So anyway as the Doc put it “You’re a stone maker”. I will be dealing with these stone babies for the rest of my life. Yippee! At least now I know the symptoms. I’ll do my best to hydrate and to avoid foods that contain oxalate in them. I’ve dealt with health issues before i.e. my hypertension. I got through that and I’ll get through this. We are stronger than we know!

 

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