Sunday, June 21, 2015

Push yourself

One thing I am not; a runner! I've always had excuses as to why I couldn't run! First, I'm an asthmatic! Even when having to do the mile run in high school, I was lucky if I finished in 12 minutes. From time to time, I would get on a treadmill and still last less than 30 minutes. So I always labeled myself as a non runner and always had in my head that I couldn't do it!

I was tired of my own excuses. Since January, I have dedicated my Sunday's as "Sunday Runday"; where I would run a 5k every Sunday no matter how long it took me. I started off slow on a treadmill at the gym and would warmup for half a mile, run a mile, walk half , run half and cool down for a half mile. I slowly worked my way up to running for two miles without stopping. That felt like progress for me, until I took my 5k to the streets and boy, what a difference. I felt like I took two steps back because I couldn't run for a straight two miles like I did on a treadmill. Obviously my streets were not a flat surface and it was not a controlled climate. Again, here was another excuse I was allowing myself as to why I could not run!

Enough was enough. I told myself that I must run in the neighborhood, rather than on a treadmill, and however long it took me, it took me! It is what it is! Without giving myself excuses, I just ran! Instead of worrying about my time, I just ran! Instead of worrying about the weather, I just ran! I just focused on my breathing and positive thinking and just ran! 

I pushed myself today despite the things I used to worry about and I am nothing but proud of myself! I ran under a ten minute mile this morning. I can't say I've ever done that! Now to some that might seem like nothing, but to me, it was an accomplishment! I can and will call myself a runner! No matter what it is you want to accomplish, believe in yourself and you can do it! Push yourself! Your mind gets in the way of what you think you can and cannot do! Tell yourself you can and you will! 

Regards from this runner,

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mocha protein shake

Are you one of those people that must have coffee in the morning? I totally am, but I don't always finish the pot (or even the cup I make). This is because I'm running out the door each morning, as I'm sure most of us are! Well today, I decided to put my cup of coffee in the fridge before heading out to my Body Pump class at the gym. After lifting weights, I always like to have some protein, so I decided I'd use my leftover coffee in a shake. OMG! I think I found my new favorite shake!!!!

It was so easy to make! Here's my recipe:

1 cup of brewed coffee (mine included some French vanilla creamer and half teaspoon of coconut sugar already)

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (vanilla, chocolate, or plain... Whatever your pleasure!)

1/2 a frozen banana

1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)

2 handfuls of ice

Add sweetener of your choosing (I didn't since I already had some in my coffee)

Blend well in a blender or Vitamix

That's it! Simple as that and you have your breakfast or post workout meal! It completely filled my Blender bottle (26 ounces).

Give it a try and let me know your thoughts! 


Monday, June 1, 2015

Motivational Monday: Music

For as long as I can remember, music has always been a part of my life.  Music evokes a number of emotions as well as memories for me.  My earliest memory of music was the family 8-track player that sat in our living room. Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell was a favorite, and probably why I know every song on that album by heart...Thanks Ma!  I even remember growing up listening to ACDC with my big sister and rocking out with her in her bedroom.  She even quizzed me on Led Zepplein songs.  The 80s were full of Duran Duran songs and other hair bands.  Each of my sisters "had" a member that was theirs, and being the youngest, I got the ugliest member (sorry, Simon Le Bon).  My mom even "had" a better guy than me....ha ha ha ha!  I remember singing (rather screaming), My Country Tis of Thee  for whomever would listen as a young girl, and well as screaming the hymns in church.  In fourth grade, I started playing the violin and remained playing it for nine years. 

As I listen to music now, I am reminded of times in my life that bring back good, and not so good memories.  Biggie Small songs will always remind me of middle school.  Lauren Hill songs will always remind me of high school.  Sister Sledge's We are Family is a song that reminds me of my sisters and I getting together to sing at every event where it is played, and little by little, family joins us until everyone is signing and dancing with us.  For college, there are too many songs to remember, but chances are I was either in a basement frat party, pledging, at a mixer, Greek Week, or dancing in the back of Murph's Study Hall (our local bar).  As a family, I remember singing Raffi songs when my oldest niece and nephew were little, all to make them smile.  Even now, certain songs remind me of people I love (or hate), and most importantly; they get me pumped.  Family dance parties often occur and we love every minute of it.  Last Christmas, my nephew Jake and I even had a "twerk off," and of course, he won.  (I don't even want to tell you how I lost...LOL)!

Why am I telling you all of this?!  Because music has always been special to me, and most of the time, puts a smile on my face.  Music can certainly motivate me to push through a workout or even a school year (this year especially).  I even use it as a motivator for my students.  My students will often work quietly if I put some music on softly in the classroom.  Today was one of those days that I needed a little push for my workout.  A crazy school day and the dreary weather made me want to sit on my couch and catch up on all of my DVR'd Ellen shows.   All I did was turn on my music from my phone, and that was all I needed to get my rear end up and into gear.  It truly pushes me and reminds me of why I am working out.  I made the decision to live a healthy lifestyle and I must do it. 

Here is my new playlist that totally pumps me up by either the sounds or words.  My hope is that in the future when I hear these songs, I will be reminded of all of my hard work and the positive changes in my life.  Please keep in mind, I have no preference for genres of music.  I love them all, so this playlist reflects that too.  Check them out; they may help motivate you too.

  •  Electric Heart by Sia
  • Hideaway by Kiesza
  • If it Wasn't for You by Alesso
  • Fight Song by Rachel Platten
  • Cheerleader (Felix Jaehan Remix Radio Edit)
  • Centuries by Fall Out Boy
  • Don't Look Down (feat. Usher) by Martin Garrix
  • Hey Mama by David Guetta
  • Emergency by Icona Pop
  • GDFR by Flo Rida
  • Sweet Escape by Alesso
  • Get Low by 50 Cent
  • Five More Hours by Deorro and Chris Brown
  • Trap Queen by Fetty Wap