Invest in Yourself

On Sunday morning I woke up, nice and early, and began to peruse Instagram. Okay, so I probably need to work on the whole social media when I first get up thing, but that is for another day. The first thing I saw was a post from Way of Gray (see feature picture) with the following quote: “Your body will be around a lot longer than that expensive handbag you carry. Invest in yourself.”

This was just the thing I needed to remind myself, yet again, that the money I spend on my fitness is far more valuable than the money I can spend on a designer handbag or shoes or all those other materials I find myself drooling over. Don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful designer items. I drool over beautiful leather shoes and bags, or amazingly soft and silky shirts. But, instead I make my monthly investment into a gym membership that works for me, and healthy foods that I know benefit my body.

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After a workout! Feelin’ good!

And really the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is not only a monetary investment that a person needs to make for health. There is more importantly the investment of time. I have discussed this concept of time before, and yet it continues to reappear as an issue that I experience and hear of over and over again. Time becomes an excuse for many, including myself, and yet a one hour workout is only really 4% of a day.

Now isn’t that something to think about? I know I”m thinking about it…so I’m off to spend 4% of my day today doing a benchmark WOD at Vantage! Wish me luck!

JUICY SUMMER COLLECTION

An Adventurous Story

As you may recall in my very first blog post I talked about Greece. I won’t lie…I’m still dreaming about it. In fact, on my bloglovin’ feed today, one blog mentioned that there are some Greek islands for sale. Anyone want to go in on that with me?!

Anyway, one of my suggestions was to meet the locals and make friends. I mentioned that I had a story to tell about that, and felt like now would be a good time to share. I do know some of our Greek friends have been following the blog, which just makes me so HAPPY! However, one situation I faced was an experience many of you may not have ever had!

My husband works for an international travel company and so for our trip he was already in Europe on a work tour for a little while before our official vacation. Thankfully his company encourages world traveling, and so the only airfare we had to worry about was my own. In addition, I am blessed with a very sweet aunt who has been a flight attendant for Delta for as long as I can remember. So, rather than buy the pricey summer Greek plane ticket, I chose to buy a buddy pass from my aunt with full awareness that the flights may not be what I expected. My trip started off rocky, with the flight from JFK to Athens oversold. Thinking outside of the box I was able to get a flight to Rome (and get my own connection to Athens). Pro to this- I got a first class seat on the upper level of a 747. Talk about a comfortable ride! The good news is I made it to Athens on time with just one minor hiccup along the way.

Fast forward to the trip home. There is only one flight from Athens to the US per day on Delta. That means there was only one shot I had at making a flight. However, we happened to choose the most popular time to be in Greece and as luck would have it, the flight was full. As I hovered over the flight desk (hoping and praying that something might change) I overheard a middle-aged man and a woman (Faye) discussing what they would do since they too did not make this flight. I decided to interject, as I was alone in a foreign country with no secure flight plans. Not only that, but it was 3 am in the states, and so my aunt was definitely not awake to help me find an alternative route. The gentleman had done this many times before, and had decided that Rome would be his best bet. He jetted off to find a ticket to Rome, and attempt to make a flight out of Rome the next day back to the States. He kindly offered for Faye and I to join him, but we both were unsure about traveling with a man we had never met. That left the two of us.

I can tell you that I was fighting tears this entire time. A lot of people would say “Oh how sad to be stranded in Greece” in a sarcastic tone. But, I had never traveled to Europe alone before, and I was mentally ready to get back home. I was nervous because I had no clear communication with the Greek airline employees, my aunt would be unable to help me until far later in the day, and a hotel for another night would likely break my bank account. Enter Faye, the New York Greek woman, and her amazing heart. Greek natives, Faye and her husband, a retired Delta employee, have a second home in an oceanside town close to the Athens airport, and decided to open their doors for me while we determined the right plan to get the both of us to the states. You can imagine some of my fears, and my husband’s freak out via text message, about whether or not this was a safe idea. I mean, my father is not Liam Neeson, and we all know how Taken starts. I would not condone this idea, but I also am so thankful for the choice that I did make.

This amazing couple took me in, treated me to an authentic Greek dinner (best food I had the entire trip! see photos below), put me up in a nice chilly room (it was summer- its hot in Greece!), made me authentic Greek coffee, and searched for countless hours on the Delta airline employee site for a viable plan to get me home! They did my laundry, brought me to the airport the next morning and checked in with me the entire time I was traveling.

Needless to say, this was an experience I will never forget. I had to face my own fears (of flying, of being alone, etc.) and found myself to be blessed by the true (and still existent!) kindness of people. Also, if you didn’t figure it out, I did get home! I ended up on a flight to Venice, with a stand-by seat to JFK! I made it on (another first class seat too! thank you stand by!)…only to get stuck in New York, where I finally did break down in tears. But, I made it home! Eventually!

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On the way home!

New Plan for the New Year

Is it too early to start thinking about a resolution for the New Year? Perhaps…but perhaps not. Statistics say only 8% of resolutions are kept. That means 92% of our resolutions, our goals that we set for ourselves to begin our new year, are forgotten.

Sadly enough, I am part of that majority, that 92%. Not only that, but I am part of the countless people who set goals such as “lose weight,” “eat healthier” or “cut out soda.” So this year I have come to think, perhaps if I consider my resolution early and actually plan for it, I may find myself in that rare 8%.

For 2015 I have a few resolutions. However, this year I am approaching these with a plan. Instead of just making a blanketed statement of what I hope will happen, I am considering what it will take to reach my resolution, and what tools I need in order to make it happen. I challenge you to do the same! And share with me what your goals for 2015 are!

A few of my Resolutions:

1) Learn more about the scripture. I want to take the time in my day and in my life to read God’s word, and start making applications to my life. I was raised a believer, and continue to attend Church on occasion, yet I find myself often times unaware of what the Bible says I should do in my life. My goal is to learn and start making a positive change!

2) Get out of my comfort zone. This kind of goes along with number one. I think as I start to apply some concepts to my life, I may feel challenged or even uncomfortable at times. I also want to challenge myself in my “fitness” world. I have found that as I attempt new things in CrossFit, and achieve them, my sense of pride in myself soars! I never want that feeling to end, and so I want to keep trying and improving.

3) Get organized! Generally, I am a pretty organized person. My house is not cluttered, and I can always find the things I am looking for (at home at least!). However, as I start thinking about my long term goals and how to achieve them, I do not feel organized. I feel like I am juggling a lot of ideas that I never see come to fruition. So this year, I am getting a planner! And I am making my life as a whole more organized.

Look Good & Feel Good

I’ve been on a quest to lose weight, be fit, eat better, and feel good for a while now. It’s been a roller coaster ride for me, as I go through phases of amazing focus and making good choices only to take a few steps back by picking up old habits like french fries and coca cola. Although, what I have learned is not to be too hard on myself. The most important thing is to re-focus, and ultimately try my best!

One thing I know to be true for me is that I can always re-motivate myself with a new outfit or new “goodie” to use while in the gym. That said, I wanted to share a few things that are on my wish-list for a fit 2015.

2015 Fitness

In order from right to left:

First Row:

Second Row:

  • It Starts with Food– an amazing book about eliminating the yucky stuff from our diet! I recently tried the Whole 30, and plan to do it again! Blog posts on that to come.
  • Lululemon Rest Less Pullover – I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m really into Lulu’s athletic wear right now. I just love that their pieces look good in and out of the gym.

Third Row:

  • Scoop Back Long Sleeve– no words needed- just so cute!
  • Hydro Flask– this thing helps me drink water like crazy! And we all know water is important!
  • WODNation Double Under Rope–  a jump rope is a great investment for anyone, CrossFitter or not. It’s one of those exercise tools that is small enough to bring anywhere with you. Plus, jumping rope burns a ton of calories, and it’s fun!

Travel Tips

In honor of Thanksgiving travel, and my own trek from west to east to spend some QT with my family and friends…I thought I would do a little research on the best bars to check out while at the airport!

My home airport is Denver (DIA)…so why not start there! A few places you should check out if you’re ever at DIA for a good cocktail are:

1) CRU Wine Bar

2) New Belgium Hub

3) Root Down

Some other recommended airport restaurants/bars are:

Enjoy the holiday! And now you can enjoy the travel!

Thirsty on Thursday

By: Steph Swogger

In my late teen years and early 20’s  I drank coffee around the clock. My mom owns a deli in New Hampshire, so coffee was readily available and kind of addictive. Natalie can tell you because she worked there for a while, and the both of us never were in short supply of this addiction. A few years ago though I decided that it might be time to cut back on the major caffeine jolt in the afternoon from coffee and switch to green tea. I have found in my research that not only is green tea high in antioxidants which can improve brain and immune system function, but it can increase fat loss and help increase physical performance. Since starting this daily regiment of drinking green tea in the afternoon, I have maintained my weight and been able to sustain my concentration longer. Not only that, but I feel good! I don’t get sick half as often and let’s be honest…what is more comforting on a chilly winter day than climbing on the couch with a warm cup of tea?

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So a suggestion from me…think about it the next time you reach for a cup of coffee. In fact, I challenge you to switch up that afternoon soda or coffee for a cup of green tea. Then let us know if you see this difference!