Monday, March 26, 2012

Hunger Games on a Bike

I had the privledge of teaching two Hunger Games themed flycycle classes last week. ( People LOVE these books and the characters and I didnt want to let them down! I wanted to do this class to allow us "ADULTS" to have a little fun. Play pretend and get inside our imagination. The soundtrack to the movie came out the day of the first ride. The songs were very slow, dark, mysterious, almost sad. This not a traditional soundtrack for a cycling class but I knew the magic would be there.
I had to rely on the people in class to make this an EPIC experience. If they were willing to play along and go INSIDE themselves, this was going to be amazing.

Both classes WERE AWESOME!
I stayed pretty traditional to the soundtrack with the first group. It was a heavy and dark ride and they were able to go inside themselves and find the work. I felt comfortable telling stories and quotes from the book and we even had some trivia! My favorite prize was (Dave's Killer) bread from District 11. (Get it?!)

I threw in some faster songs for the second group because I knew atleast one person was doing this for the second time. It worked out perfectly because this group was definately a bit sassy. They were fired up and ready to have fun. A few of them were going to the midnight premier and they came into the class excited for anything Hunger Games.

I personally loved all three books and can understand why people are creating and looking for Hunger Games workouts. The story is so powerful, suspensful and full of hope. People want to connect to the characters as much as they can, wherever they can. When the books are over you are kind of left with.......whatever you can find. The movie, a workout, a book club, maybe even a mockinjay pin. (I saw these in my class!)
I had both classes write down a quality about Katniss that got her through the first Hunger Games. I loved what they came up with!:

Strong Athlete

I do think everyone has a little bit of Katniss inside of them. You can choose to tap into that Katniss power or not. If she can battle to the death against all odds, we can do whatever we set our minds to, right? That is all she did. She DECIDED how it was all going to go down. She was rarely weak minded and usually had goals and a plan of action. She was willing to adapt to her situation and even when everything was against her, she never let herself be a victim.
The odds were NEVER in her favor and yet she became the Mockinjay.

I hope this story and the hype behind it keeps going for awhile. It helps us all remember Katniss and helps us connect. I know she is a fictional character in a book but we are all just as strong as the story we tell ourselves. In every situation.
WHEW! All this Katniss talk makes me want to go throw some sand bags or run some sprints.
Happy Hunger Games!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Burning the Mommy Uniform

That is it. I am having a fashion intervention for myself. Moms, how comfortable and safe does it feel in your sweats with your hair pulled back, lookin like maybe you have some relaxing to do? Maybe your kid is kicking your ass and it feels nice to be comfortable while it happens? Makes sense if I am working out in the afternoon to just wear workout clothes all day long. How practical of me?! Right? Very wrong. I have always felt very out of place when it came to fashion. I have always told myself, it really doesn't interest me and I don't even really know what my personal style is. I have never felt like I had any so I would avoid it at all costs. Shopping makes me beyond uncomfortable and almost depressed. I don't know how to shop or how to even put articles of clothing into a style so I just don't do it.

I started to realize this really needed to change. What did I just learn from Tony Robbins on Oprah? That we all have a story we tell ourselves about our lives. We need to make sure we like the story we are telling. This can apply to fashion! I WANT to rewrite my story and help myself find some sense of style. I realize it's not that I don't have an interest in fashion, I just avoid it. Deep down I do care but it scares the crap out of me. I need to believe it's possible and know I can do it. You may be reading this and thinking....she is thinking WAY too much about this. It's just clothes!!! Fashion is bigger than that to me. It is my fear. My phobia. One of my major insecurities. I think it's time I kick this insecurity in it's ass. If I am coaching people to get past their fitness fears, I need to look my fashion fear in the face.

Something clicked when I was speaking with my boss at work last night. I was telling her I needed to either get a superfly makeover or someone needed to send in an application in my honor for that show, WHAT NOT TO WEAR. I confessed some of my awful fashion NO NO's and she said something that really struck me. "You have to realize that you are worth the effort." OH NO SHE DI-IN'T. She was totally right. I am always on a mission to find love for myself and this is a category where I need to get uncomfortable. (Zone 3 in flycycle land) I am constantly telling my students to get out of their comfort zone, go beyond where you think your body can go, surprise yourself. I realize I need to practice what I preach, not just in fitness-where I feel safe pushing my limits. I need to do this with my everyday fashion too.

Again, you may be thinking-this girl lives in her head way too much. Actually, I do, but that is beside the point. I did something radical today and it felt amazing. I showered and I put on makeup AND JEANS all before 9am. My usual routine is to throw on my "mom uniform" which is workout stretchy pants and a hoodie. I do my fave hairstyle which my husband tells me looks like Tom Cruise in the movie Magnolia. Then I rock the day. BLAM BLIGGITY. After taking the time to actually care about my appearance and value being a beautiful woman, I felt better today. Things seemed to feel really good and I was way more proud being me. I am not saying all mom's have to look smokin hot everyday and get all done up, although I am sure dad's would love that. I am just recognizing a pattern in my life that needs to change because it would make me feel better. I felt so good I took pics with Dutch to share with my fit mama's. I know how mom's can put themselves LAST, VERY LAST, in most categories and my whole mantra is to value yourself because it sets a great example for your kids. So this is my declaration to give myself a new story. I am now a fashion Goddess and I plan to find my own personal sense of style.

First challenge as a fashionista. Sorority girl shot with the hands on the hips, looking over the shoulder. I think this pose came out way after 2000 when I graduated from my sorority days. When would I ever get the chance to embrace the pose, especially with no fashion sense??? I decided to do it at home, with Dutch and Vader standing by. ME: "oh hey---I am just casually turning around and looking awesome. I didn't realize you were there."

Who's your sexy mommy? Oh.........that's me.

NO MORE, Tom. NO MORE. Well, atleast not before 8pm.

So where are the patterns in your life you WANT to change? What stories do you tell yourself that need a revamp? If Casey Phillips can find fashion, YOU can do anything you set your mind to. I can promise you that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mama Ain't Tired-Rally Time workout

Dutch and I had quite the day today. It was crazy pouring rain outside and yet we had to get out. My family has one car so if I want to use it, I have to take the bus or walk to get it from my husband's work. It is a quick ten minute walk or five minute bus ride but when its pouring cats and dogs outside, it can feel like forever. The weather has been so bad that Dutch and I have chillaxed inside for two days too many. We had to get out today, plus we had a date with some homies for library story time. We went for it. There were times of joy, times of frustration, laughs, tears (his, not mine) and fun. All in a day's work, right moms?? Needless to say I was smoked! So tired! I really wanted to workout though because I created a fun workout and wanted to finally make a video. I was in lazy mode after our adventures and I had to pull myself out of it. I did, and my video is proof! I am so glad that I did. The workout I am going to share is SUPER hard or at least it should be. Like any at home workout, you will need to create the intensity for yourself. Feel free to wear your most ghetto at home workout gear, like I did. Grab your timer and dumbbells and get your sweat on. I created my first video and I have to say, it was super fun. I watched it back and cringed a little. It's hard to watch yourself on camera and I felt like a total dork. I am posting it anyways because it's real. I also think seeing me demo the exercises will make you realize we are doing this together.

Alright peeps, here ya go:

Mama Ain't Tired-Rally Time workout

warm up your body for at least 3 mins before you start this.

Do each exercise for 1 minute. Repeat this set of exercises 3x and BAM! 39 minutes of work and you are smoked like bacon!

1. Jump knee tuck alternating with a push up
2. curtsy squat with a one dumbbell shoulder press, Right side
3. balancing airplane rows, Right leg up
4. plank with knee to opposite elbow
5. curtsy squat with a one dumbbell shoulder press, Left side
6. balancing airplane rows, Left leg up
7. sumo squat with bicep curls
8. triceps kick back alternating with a squat thrust
9. Knee in's Right
10. Knee in's Left
11. Reverse lunge with a hop up Right
12. Reverse lunge with a hop up Left
13. Mountain climbers

I was literally dying at the end of this. I am also cracking up because you can hear me telling my hubs how to film the shots I needed. I kept telling him "okay, babe, enough" because I was to my max! The thing that was keeping me going was knowing I was sharing this with all of you. If three rounds seems crazy, then do as many as you feel you need. This is your workout so you might need to change it up a bit. Maybe doing the push ups on your knees or take mini rests throughout the work. You are working to your level of hard so celebrate that and rock on. If anyone does this workout or wants to make fun of my video, I love your comments. LOVE COMMENTS!!!

Here is the link to my video, y'all. Next time I will learn how to upload it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Diva Within-finding your passion

You know who I was dressed up as, right? Tina Turner. I LOVE dressing up with a little bit of crazy thrown in. My wig was that crazy and it felt good. Amanda and I taught a Flycycle Diva ride the other night which was a cycling class for women only-AKA-diva's. We jammed to Cher, Lady Gaga, Tina, Beyonce and many more. As I am posting these pictures I realize how incredibly proud of myself I am for taking risks in my life. I can't believe I am actually teaching alongside an Instructor of Amanda's caliber. I am shocked at the love and comfort I have found within my teaching style. A year ago I was working a corporate job contemplating finally going after a fitness career. Something I was too afraid to go after for the last 12 years. Looking back, I can't imagine not doing this. It completes me in so many ways. I am sharing this because so many people are afraid to take risks, especially when it comes to a career. So many people hate their jobs and loathe Mondays, this has become the rule rather than the exception. For me, sometimes my job is what keeps me sane after a day with my crazy yet fantastic, kid. I want everyone to know they can have a job they love as long as they believe that. I say time and time again in my cycling classes, "Believe you can do it and you will." This does not just apply to the bike, my friends.

If I would have stayed in my "safe" job, I would have traded my passion for a 9 to 5 that made me feel "LESS THAN." I remember days feeling so undervalued and overlooked that I started to doubt myself. I remember waking up and dreading the work ahead of me and just going through the motions. I would get home from a long day's work and just feel my negativity. I am so grateful for the time I spent doing a job that was "just okay" because it has given me a broader perspective. My biggest point is-TRUST YOURSELF. Deep down I knew I was in the wrong place but it was buried by fear, big time. I almost ignored it. I didn't hate what I was doing but I definately didn't love it and that was very clear.

Sometimes just asking yourself the right questions can open up your eyes.

1. Do you get excited to go to work?
2. Do you feel passion for the work you are doing?
3. Does your job bring out the best in you?
4. Does it seem weird that you get paid to do your job since you love it so much?
5. Do your career goals excite you to the max?

I can honestly answer yes to all of the above. I want everyone reading this to know you can have that same feeling and let me tell you, ITS FABULOUS!

Now, how about finding your passion? I know there are alot of people who think that is a really hard thing to pinpoint. I was one of them, although I am shocked because fitness was always my favorite thing in the world.
Here are some questions to get you thinking:

1. What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
2. What brings you joy?
3. If you could get paid a million dollars a year to have any job in the world, what would that job be. Don't hold back here.
4. Think of someone who has your dream job and pretend that is what you do everyday. Do you feel excited, tingly, have goose bumps?
5. What are you naturally really good at? (Do you ever get compliments on a talent or hobby and shrug it off? For example, I used to try to get my friends together to do workouts in the park. My little sis used to let me pretend to be her trainer when we went to the gym.)

You can really listen to your reaction and thoughts to these questions or you can ignore them completely. There is never a right or a wrong choice, but there is always a choice. The road to your dream job may not be easy but if there is passion and a decision to go for it no matter what-it will be there. That is the law of the Universe.

So.....what'll it be?
Sometimes a good workout helps me clear my head. What about you?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mommy just threw her food journal away....then ate a piece of dark chocolate guilt free

A client of mine, we will call her Rene, sent me an email last week letting me know that someone in her office gave her a really nice compliment. They said whatever she was doing, was working, she looked amazing. Rene forwarded the email to me to allow me to get the credit for pushing her in her workouts. I always tell my students that they are the one's doing the work, I am just there as a guide. Rene pushes herself incredibly well. She goes after EVERY workout and looks like an athlete in every class. Rene and I had a training session a few days later and I let her know I was so proud of her, not only for that email, but because she does look awesome and has worked SO HARD. The first sentence out of her mouth was, "it was a really nice email but I haven't been food journaling and I just don't think I have been totally on track."
I wanted to support Rene in whatever journey she wanted to go on so I suggested we food journal together. I said I would do it if she would- and I don't do food journals. Rene seemed to like that idea so I went with it. I know she works well with challenges and kind threats (I told her if she didn't complete her food journal and give it to me in a week, her next workout would be HELL) so this idea seemed like the right one at the time. I could tell Rene liked the plan.
When I got home later that day, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. This was my idea!??
I eat very healthy and I am finally to a point in my life when I feel really confident about what I put into my body. Its not always kale and oatmeal but its usually the right balance for me. I listen to the feeling I have in my body when I am eating (this is not always perfect, especially when you have a 2 year old) as my guide. I listen to my tummy, feel the energy the food provides and don't think about it too much. I LOVE not thinking about food all the time because I definitely used to be a slave to healthy eating. That sucked. Period.
I started to question my little food journal idea with Rene. Why did I suggest something that I don't even believe in? It might be right for her and she may benefit from food journaling but I realize that I suggested it because that is what alot of smart fitness people say, it's not my idea.
As the week of food journaling went on, I felt more and more uncomfortable whenever I ate. I found myself thinking about food WAY too often, not listening to my body as much and not enjoying my food. I like to eat and move on. I don't like to eat, analyze what I ate, stare at the choices I have made, judge myself based on what I ate....that is what happens in my brain when I food journal.
I understand the idea behind it is to be aware of what you are eating and to make healthy choices, to hold yourself accountable. I am sure for alot of people, the food journal method is a fabulous choice. I just want people to know it doesn't have to be. If it doesn't work for you or doesn't feel authentic then screw it. Tear it up. Throw it away. Do something else. I used to beat myself up if something that "works for everyone else" didn't work for me. I used to think, "I cant food journal, I am a failure, I am a let down, its hopeless." Dramatic, I know, but really-this girl used to be the queen of being really mean to herself. I can look at it now and think........I don't BELIEVE THAT. I don't. If you are reading this and you suck at food journaling and you don't feel good doing it. too. Lets stop. Lets stop and find something else. BELIEVE in your instincts. Don't do what you think you are supposed to. Create your own tools and love them. ahhhhhhhh, feels so much better.
So what does work for me? INTUITIVE EATING. Eating slowly, sitting down at the table, tasting the food. Asking myself if I am hungry and how will this food affect my energy levels or my workout. Setting a good example for my family and trying new things. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, I am so glad you know yourself well enough to make that observation. What feels best to you? Trust that, always.
I wish I would have said things differently to Rene. Instead of "let's rock that food journal." I wish I would have said, "You know what, you need to accept the awesome compliments you are getting. Your homework this week is to ACCEPT and feel every single compliment you receive." That should have been our first step.
Time to use your instincts, your gut instincts, to plan your own journey. Lets rock.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Kid is Watchin a Movie Like a Zombie BOMB DIGGITY WORKOUT

I found the best kept workout secret for moms in the WORLD! Drum roll please..... The movie Puss in Boots. We purchased the movie a few days ago and Dutch is in LOVE with it. I am confident that if Chad and I dressed up like bears, danced around the living room with drums, and howled like maniacs, Dutch would not even blink. I personally think this is awesome. I feel lucky in the sense that Dutch can get hooked on movies pretty easily. I think of this as advanced intelligence. He is so smart he "gets" the movies that are well beyond his years, right?! Yes, my child is a genius. But really, if you need a distraction, movies can be amazing, atleast for my kid.
I told myself I was going to wake up and go to the 6am class at Fly yesterday. I pretty much knew that wouldnt happen when I was still awake at 11pm. If there is any "maybe" in a decision for a 6am class, that is usually a failed mission. I know for me, I have to tell myself 100%, all in, no doubts, wake up. It is hard to do that now when I know I have the whole day, therefore I did not wake up at 6am. I have been noticing that my desire to workout when Dutch goes for a nap is really low, but I did already know that. When he naps, I want to watch Gossip Girl on Netflix, drink some coffee, sit down and put my feet up. I feel really energetic and I WANT to workout usually at about 11am. I did that yesterday to make up for my 6am no show and it was BOMB DIGGITY!!! Probably because I have the energy from breakfast and a snack in my belly. So-I have done this a few times now-put on Puss in Boots, rock and roll into my workout. Don't worry, Dutch and I do plenty of other fun, non TV activities after I getter done.
I am super sore today and I think that is the coolest thing ever. I love that I did this to myself in my own living room!
I named the workout that I did yesterday, The Sexy Sixy. I led my Organized Chaos class on Tuesday night through most of this workout and they sure did have me fooled. I had no idea how hard this would be. As soon as I started this workout at home, I realized the women who train at Fly Fitness are frickin STRONG! They made it look so smooth and flawless! I knew they were working hard but dang, this had me dripping with sweat and huffing and puffing.

We are going to do 6 sets of work with 6 exercises in each set going from cardio to strength. Do each exercise for 1 minute, no breaks. If you need to catch your breath in any of the work, do it and get back to it as quickly as you can. You can take about 30 seconds in between sets to walk it off, take a sip of water, feed your kid some lunch.

Start with a Dynamic warm up for about 4 minutes.

Set 1
1. jumping jacks
2. burpees with push up
3. high knees
4. reverse lunges with hop ups Left
5. reverse lunges with hop ups Right
6. lateral squat jumps (legs are together and its almost like you are skiing down a slope. Just jump side to side, keeping the legs together, getting as low as you can.)

Set 2
1. push ups
2. up and down plank (start on your hands and feet, then come down to your elbows, push back up to your hands and repeat)
3. dive bombers
4. moving plank (start center, then move to a side plank on right, back to center, side plank on left, holding each side plank for a full breath)
5. Bent over Rows (8lbs)
6. slow burpees with 8lb dumbbels and push ups

Set 3
1. jump squats
2. mountain climbers
3. mary katherines
4. big jump squat forward, two little jumps back
5. jumping jacks
6. high knees

Set 4
1. butt in the air push ups (start in downward dog then do push ups right there. basically a decline push up)
2. tricep dips
3. plank
4. sumo squat with a bicep curl (I used my 8's)
5. sump squats swinging both weights up like a kettlebell ( I remember this point when I was teaching class. One of my all stars was like-DANG! This is heavy and hard!!! I coached her through it and told her to keep going. I now realize how hard this actually was. I wanted to go down in weight but knew I could do it. Stay with it if you can! PUSH YOURSELF!!)
6. chair pose

Set 5
1. Single hops on right leg (just bend your left leg so you can just hop on your right foot. Your calves will be on FIYA!)
2. Single hops on left leg
3. In and Out squat jumps
4. plank jacks
5. mountain climbers
6. high knees

Set 6 -only set where we do reps rather than working for a minute
1. pull ups 15 (I used my pull up bar, you can sub rows here if needed)
2. split leg bicep curls 15, switch legs, 15 - 30 total
3. lateral raises 25 (8lbs)
4. pull ups 15
5. butt ups (I used my sons little chair, put my feet on it, laid on my mat and lift that booty.)
6. Boat pose -30 seconds to a minute, as long as you can

Whew! That was a crazy good time!!! I really did love it and was happy when I was done. If anyone does this workout, I want to hear about it!