Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What are your hopes for Orange Visor?!?

A friend of mine asked me the other day...what are your hopes with this whole Orange Visor thing?  I guess like many things in life, for right now it fits my mind and my lifestyle.  Being home with four kids is crazy enough and this is a great little outlet for me to sit down for a bit and empty my head.  It allows me time to reflect on moments in my life that if I had a hard back journal I may fill the pages and get a cramp in my hand.  It lets me share those quiet thoughts with others that may be feeling the same way.  It allows me a space where I can continue to chronicle my journey and show that I will never give up on me.

Yes, I post a lot of pictures of me and share my success with you, but I hope you also see the many times I fall down, that I don't reach the goal, that I had missed my mark at one time or another, and that I didn't start with this drive and determination.  In fact I started at the other side of the spectrum.  I didn't know that I wanted fitness to be such a huge part of my life but as Bob Ross used to say...that is what you call a happy accident.  

I guess I want this Orange Visor page to be about the unthinkable.  I want other people, especially women and moms, to know that you are capable of more than you know, that a bigger strength is within you and you can in fact move mountains.  I know that we are told time and time again that the days are long but the years are short when we are out carting our kids about town doing errands and an all knowing older woman drops that knowledge on us.  Well guess what...same goes for you.  Our time is also short and we are not getting younger.  Our kids will continue to grow and our schedules will always remain full.  There comes a time where we just have to say okay I am going to do this for me...and for them...and be that healthier, happier you!

following in my footsteps...literally!!
I know that my husband and I are a tad bit crazy, that we are truly dedicated to our fitness routines and something we don't really let slip off the to do list.  I can probably sell all my corporate suits and fancy shoes as this is the new me.  This person wants to be strong for more than just myself...I am trying my best to lead by example and let them tag along for the fun stuff.  I am a person that still indulges in brownies, doughnuts, ice cream and cookies but also loves a great chicken salad with goat cheese and kale!  This girl knows that life is about balance but in finding this balance I have uncovered a new me...one that finds challenges fun and pushing myself to new limits a great test of mental and physical strength.

So I don't know what this whole Orange Visor thing is about...but I know that I love hearing from people that are making those changes, that are believing more in you, that look at that picture of me in Camden Yards and ask who is this?  Change is possible...and it is slow...and it is hard....but it is possible.  It doesn't have to be running, or zumba, or bodypump classes, but pick something and stay with it!  You have one time around on this track of life...you might as well give it your all and be the strongest, healthiest person for you and your family.
feeling strong
Embrace the suck...choose you...make the change.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Be proud...very very proud!!

Kids today get a lot handed to them, especially in activities.  I fear we are teaching them that they can just show up and not have to work for a reward or acknowledgement...it will just happen for them.  Effort, real hard work, teeth gritting effort is lacking and as a result I feel that our children are losing the true perspective around hard work and many are just going through the motions.  I don't want to make the kids sad or unhappy...but I want them to learn to be proud of themselves and want to work hard for that reward...how to instill this at a young age is the trick.

Python Pacers 2016

I coach a running club at my kids' elementary school and we just finished up our season with a 5k race.  On the  last day of practice they run for their longest allotted amount of time.  They have learned from the start of the season roughly how long it takes them to get around the track and what it feels like to push themselves.  Some have finished and looked at us and said...I feel like I may throw up, others have started to cry because they have pushed themselves to the limit and did not make it to the line before time had run out.  These are not things that we encourage but they happen nonetheless because kids are competitive and very competitive with themselves.

With running that is the one thing I was hoping they would learn.  Yes you are running for time and there are a 40 other kids doing the same thing but at the end this is about you and your own improvement.  It does not need to be about time or laps but that you told yourself that today you were going to not stop until you got around the track one time...or to the the football post.  I wanted these kids to realize what they were capable of and see the changes that they could make to themselves with just a little bit of focus...and to be proud of that accomplishment!!  I wanted them to set goals and crush them!

We have a runner in the group that is in fourth grade and this was not his first season.  He has run with us before, he is quiet and strong and has a smiling face 99% of the time.  On our last day of practice he asked how much time was left as he rounded the track and picked up his lap bracelet.  He knew how many laps he could probably get in the time.  He said to me that he was going to try for two...he would really have to push hard to get around...and sure enough he crossed the line before we finished out countdown.

That night his mom posted a picture of him on social media wearing his running medal around his neck.  I commented that he should be really proud of himself and how hard he pushed himself despite the heat and pure exhaustion!  This was her reply:  "Thanks Julie. He told me he was so proud of himself for pushing at the end. I teared up because I'm not sure I've ever heard him say that he was proud of himself. Thanks for giving him this opportunity!"

Reading this again...just now...makes me tear up.  We need to raise children that know what it means to work hard, play hard and then be rewarded.   They need to want to try not for a medal or to pass a friend on the way to the finish line...seeing his beaming face of pride was better than any medal he wore around his neck.  He knew what he had to do, he set a goal and he crushed it!  I am so very proud of him and blown away that it clicked with him...and he was proud of himself!  That made my season!

Pride can have a negative tone as well...overly boastful and showy...well if that is the case...I hope that he is as boasty as he can be!  He earned it and nothing he should be quiet about.  A ten year old set a goal, a hard physical goal...and he nailed it!!  We go from one extreme to the next...were we show no effort and give rewards or we do an amazing job and are rewarded and told to be quiet about it.  I say be proud of our hard work...things are not easy and when those goals are met you should shout from the rooftops....BE PROUD!

Embrace the suck...choose you....and be VERY PROUD!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

It's still hard

May has come and gone and here we are in June.  I used every excuse I could think of last month to just "enjoy" myself...I had days where I didn't exercise and days in which I had more than my fair share of sweets.  I slept in...did my best to fit in some sort of activity...didn't finish my monthly challenge...just gave myself a "break."

As much as I believe you need to let your body rebuild and regroup there is a point where indulge turns into over indulge.  I knew it was happening...I could feel myself losing the control and eating mindlessly.  I could see those old habits and feel them start to creep in on me.  I was losing my motivation and starting to feel down...all because I was "enjoying" myself.

It's crazy how the mind works...well at least mine...all that month I could feel the slipping of my routine...I was aware it was happening...I would tell myself it was happening...and yet I still let it happen.  The other part of my mind was telling myself I deserved the break...I worked so hard...it was time to chill out.

For me...it's harder to recover from that month of relaxation then to just stay on point.  I enjoy fitness, I enjoy healthy food and am happier when those things stay in their routine.  I am not perfect, far from it...but for me that routine allows my brain to just go into autopilot.  I can just do my day to day routine and know that it is not hard.  The hard part is fighting back from those poor choices.

Some of you that are just getting to hear my story may thing that fitness and running have always been a part of me...and I am just this extreme oversharer enthusiastic crazy mom of four and wife of a four time IronMan.  While that last sentence is true it was not the case when I started this journey...23 years old...200 pounds...and not happy...not even thinking of my full potential.  I learned through all of this that you sometimes don't know what you want until you find it.  I never thought I would want push myself hard on a daily basis and enjoy feeling sore.  I would never think smoothies with kale and rice made out of cauliflower would be on my dinner plate.  I never knew a stronger me was waiting to come out!
remembering the beginning of the story

Running this morning was not ideal...it hurt...my legs are sore from starting up a squat routine again...and my body is just heavy...heavy to carry...heavy to push...heavy to motivate.  I needed this bad run to remind myself of how far I have come...to remember how great it feels when I can run without this extra strenuousness effort.  I needed to remind myself that this is never easy...it's still hard.  Take the time today to regroup... and maybe realize that you don't need to "enjoy" yourself anymore...and it's time to work a bit so you can celebrate your journey...finding that new you on the other side of it all!

Embrace the Suck...Choose Your Hard...it's okay that it's hard...it's worth it!