Sunday, July 2, 2017

Getting Back in Shape

TRX at In-Shape Health Clubs
If I could give just one piece of advice to people in their 30's and 40's it would be to stay active, work out weekly and keep building muscle. Because as you get older it's really important to have muscle mass and getting back in shape is really hard. It hurts. A lot. My muscles hurt for days sometimes because the muscles are non existent. Had I been working out all this time this wouldn't be happening. But I didn't. So here I am.

I have also learned that all that hiking and walking I was doing is great. But it did nothing to build my core strength and upper body. It would have been much easier to have been doing some sort of strength training all along.

The good news is it's not too late to start. You can get back in shape at any age and it doesn't take that long with a little bit of focus.

Here are the things I'm doing to get back in shape.

Working out at the gym/club
Lucky for me I work for a chain of health clubs called In-Shape Health Clubs. I love the club because I like having a variety of things to do (strength, cardio, pool, tennis) and I like working out with people. I now work out in the club 2-3 times a week doing different things.

Working out with friends (aka, find your people)
I definitely prefer working out with friends. Because let's face it. Working out is hard. I need my friends to keep me from quitting. Because I really do want to quit. No one wants to do another round of planks. When you're with your friends you realize you can do it. Plus all the laughing adds another element of workout for your core.

Trying new things
I have found that I love strength training classes. I was always a cardio/dance kind of workout person. Now I really love a class called Les Mills BODYPUMP. And I love working out on TRX. This is what I'm doing in the picture below.

I know if my friends read this they will say "You don't love TRX, you hate TRX." because I'm always complaining. TRX is hard. It hurts. But it works. And I need results so I love it.

I am here (in the pink shirt) with Sara on the TRX.
Tobias (blue shirt) showing us the exercise.
Working out with a trainer once a week
A trainer will help you reach your goals and will show you how to use all the equipment in the gym. We have an amazing trainer at our Antioch club named Tobias Young. He works us hard. Puts up with all our chatter. And has the patience of a saint. Plus, he's the real deal. You can check out his website here. I may have to do a whole separate blog just about Tobias. He's kind of amazing.

You can workout with a trainer one-on-one or as a group. Our marketing team works with Tobias every Thursday as a group. We are all levels of fitness. Me being the oldest and weakest and most annoying because I complain all the time. The rest of the team is quite a bit younger and in much better shape. The great thing is we can all workout together because everyone uses different weights based on their strength. So we all get a great workout.

Set goals 
My goal over the next 6 months is to build more muscle and lose 10 pounds.

So there you have it. I would love to know what you're doing to stay in shape. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite exercise or tip to stay motivated!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Making wishes (on hay)

From the archives. This was originally posted in 2011.

Have you ever heard of making a wish on moving hay?

When I was a kid anytime we saw a truck full of hay we would make a wish. You had to follow a few rules in order for your wish to come true.

1) lick the end of your thumb, hold it up, and let it dry as you made your wish
2) make the wish and don't look back until you're sure the truck is out of sight

I grew up with this crazy myth. I thought everyone did it. My mom was so enthusiastic about it I just assumed it was a natural method of making wishes. Kind of like carrying a rabbit's foot in your pocket. Or throwing a penny in a fountain.

But apparently that is not the case.

On Monday we saw two huge semi's full of hay rolling down the road in Napa. This was too good to resist so I made a wish. I can tell you what I wished because it already came true.

I wished that someone would call me about a job.

One hour later I got a call from a headhunter, then a Human Resources manager a few hours later. The next day I got two more calls. Then one more call yesterday.

So I tweeted about it. Cuz that's what I do when I get excited about something. I tell everyone. I can never keep my mouth shut.

One of my followers who grew up surrounded by farmland was bummed that she didn't know about this when she was little.

And then nine people un-followed me.

Holy cow. Really? Just because I wish on hay (and tweet about it.) Ouch.

I haven't had this much action in my job search since I started 3 months ago. So it was pretty exciting.

My brother says I got the calls because there's a full moon and yada yada. My husband just rolls his eyes. Elli believes in the magic of hay. I do too. She is also worried I'm going to jinx myself writing this story. Great.

It's just a myth. I sent my resume to all these people. It's just a coincidence they all decided to call me after I made my wish.

Oh, and just so you know, I Googled "make a wish on moving hay" and "wish on hay."  And I found nuthin. Not one thing. So guess what you'll find now if you Google it. That's right. Me. Ha.

So, I have to ask "Mom, where did you come up with this outrageous gag? It's time to spill the beans.

*Thank you Mike Lowrie Trucking and their Big Rig Video for the hay image.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Teens traveling

Elli left for her trip to Costa Rica this morning.


Don and I didn't say much on the car ride back to Mill Valley. It will take a day or so to get used to her not being here.

It's not like she's ever home that much any way. But she's in our town. Or close by.

Not 3,919 miles away.


I am really proud of her for wanting to go on this adventure with Cross-Cultural Solutions. She worked hard for months to raise the money needed for the trip with her GoFundMe campaign. Now she's on her way with one of her best friends.

They will be with a group of teens from all over the United States. Their purpose is to lend a hand to under-resourced organizations. It will be an eye opening experience being in a country where 1 in 5 people live in extreme poverty. Their home base is in Cartago, an historic, bustling city located within a more rural region of the country.

The volunteer assignments will be in Orosi, one of the oldest communities in Costa Rica. Orosi is situated on the Reventazón River in the Orosi Valley a deep valley and humid climate, surrounded by hills and lush vegetation. (I hope Elli doesn't get eaten alive by bugs! They do love to bite her.) Their work assignments will focus on Education/Literacy and Global Health.

The itinerary for the two weeks sounds amazing.

Week 1: Volunteer at the Loaiza Elementary School every day. Every afternoon they will be going on adventures in Cartago, taking cooking classes, latin dance lessons, going to the Irazu Volcano National Park, the National Museum, visiting the arts and crafts market and going on a canopy tour in La Carpintera Mountain.

Week 2: Volunteer work at the Manos de Jesús Nursing home every day. Then lots of fun adventures including visiting the La Paz Waterfall Garden, an excursion to Charrarra Pura Vida Park, Ujarras Look Out Point, and a trip to Fia in San José.

So that's it! It's going to be a long two weeks waiting to hear about everything. I'm not loving being an empty nester. Don and I better figure this out because in 2 years we really will be empty nesters.