Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Proud Moment

We learned of Longmont Pride accidentally.  We decided that we would make a quick stop uptown before heading to watch the Boulder County Bombers roller derby at the fairgrounds last nite. 
Upon our arrival, we are asked by a photographer if he could take our photo for a local gay organization's Facebook page.  Of course!!!  Even tho, I am not a fan of having my picture taken.
We check out some of the vendors and cruise by the DJ booth, where some Queens are on the mic, chatting about some raffle of which we know nothing and are wondering how we get in on it.  As we head around the corner to the rest of the booths, we pass that same photographer.  It is at this time he asks me, "Are you a fitness model?"  I look at him, stunned, smile and say, "Model?!?  No.  A fitness instructor."  He then asks if I want to be one (a model) and gives me his card! 
WOW!!!  That makes me feel pretty damn good, I must say! 
All the hard work & effort I put into my exercise commitment is visible to others!
Now, I have no idea what, if any, connection this guy might have to REAL fitness modeling!  And I don't even know if I will contact him.  But just the knowledge that he saw me and thought "fitness model" is a proud moment for this gal! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Heather's Chicken Pot Pie

In anticipation of my mom's first Colorado visit next week, I am prepping some foods, so the three of us can have homemade dinners (& leftovers for lunch).  One of my favorite indulgences is a chicken pot pie recipe from my high school friend, Heather Beall. 
Because it is so scrumptious, I simply cannot keep the secret to myself. my faithful readers, here is the recipe:
4  9-inch deep dish pie crusts (or 2  10-inch)
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
Veloute sauce
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour*
1 cup milk*
1 1/2 cups broth
salt, pepper & garlic to taste
In a saucepan, melt butter, blend in flour to make a paste.  Slowly add milk, stirring constantly.  Add broth, salt, pepper and garlic.  Bring to boil, then simmer 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine veggies, chicken and veloute sauce.
Pour equally into two crusts.  Top with second crusts.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
{I wrapped my unbaked pies in plastic wrap & aluminum foil and will adjust my baking time, as they will be cooked from frozen.}

*I used unsweetened almond milk, made flour by grinding up some rolled oats and did not use salt because I made my broth with a bouillon cube. 
Bon Appetit!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chocolate Cupcake Muffins

Yeah...they taste as good as they sound!!!
I used this recipe from Sprouts Farmers Market, but made a couple changes.  Of course!!!
I subbed Greek yogurt for sour cream and added a generous amount of cinnamon. 
These are so decadent!  But I can feel kind of good about eating them (like 2 per sitting!!!) since they have Greek yogurt protein.  Right?  Right!?!
Next time, I am going to use my unsweetened applesauce in place of butter and I would like to use less than the 1 cup sugar.  I believe the applesauce will add a hint of sweetness, so half a cup of sugar should suffice. 
I'll let you know how further tweaking pans out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Oh, hell to the yeah!  Saturday morning (before heading to Denver Pride for the day) I taught my first Kickboxing class at Fit Chick Express!
Unlike my first boot camp class, I was not nervous or anxious.  I KNOW kickboxing!  I ADORE boxing & kickboxing!  Back in Indiana, at LAB/UFC Gym, I LIVED for boxing and kickboxing!  They are now in my blood!!! 
I found my groove! 
It was awesome!  I was energized!  The Chicks were rockstars! 
My teaching style is pretty different from the other instructor, with whom they are all familiar.  Didn't know if they would love or hate me!  But, I would happily accept either!
I worked out alongside the ladies, while also going around to each to make sure they got the combination and were using proper form. 
On Friday, I wrote the workout on the gym chalkboard, to save me a little time Saturday morning.  When I arrived about 6:40A, I had to get the heavy bags into position, set the timers (I was using 3!!), start the fans, open the garage door and have my iPod blasting!!
Here is what we did:
Warm-up (30 sec X 2)
Jumping Jacks
Butt Kickers
High Hands High Knees
Fast Hands Fast Feet
Squat Side Kick
Reverse Lunges
Plank Twist
Workout (6 or 7 3-minute rounds with 1-minute active rest)
Jump Rope
Jog Shoulder Press
Abs (1 minute each)
S/S Ankle Touch
Up Downs
Sumo Touchdown
It is structured just how I learned back at LAB from all of the AMAZING instructors who motivated, encouraged, pushed and challenged me for four years!
I cannot wait to teach it again!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Denver Comic Con

Last weekend, we attended & volunteered at our first comic convention!!!
On Friday afternoon, we picked up our badges and tshirts for our Saturday morning shifts.  We stuck around the convention center to people watch....some awesome cosplay was happening!  The place was a hive of activity ~~ there was, literally, a buzz in the air! 
We were up & out the door early Saturday morning b/c my shift started at 7:30 (and we have a 45 minute to 1 hour drive from Longmont to Denver).  Chris didn't begin until 8:30, so he dropped me off and left to find some free street parking many blocks east. 
I was assigned Information Booth, of which there were two, one on the first floor and one on the second, just outside of an entry to the Exhibitors' Hall.  I was stationed on the second floor.  The Con didn't open until 10, so we had time to peruse the Hall to orient ourselves and be prepared to give directions.  We also made several trips to the Volunteer Break room (im)patiently awaiting some coffee!!! 
I have one complaint:  when you require arrivals as early as 7:30AM, you need to have the coffee brewing!  We are volunteering our time and without us, the Con could not exist as the cost of paying all of the people would make it a financial disaster!  Apparently, the Staff, who are paid employees, had coffee (maybe snacks) in their private break room!  The Volunteers had no water, no coffee, no snacks until about 9:45!!!  TWO HOURS after we had arrived!!!!  And 15 minutes before the doors open and the flood of people waiting in line, inside and out, come pouring in!!!  I was actually told by a Crew member that this was not a priority!  Um, Wow, really?!?  That's a piss-poor attitude!!
I also have one suggestion: stagger the volunteer schedules.  We had 6 volunteers on the second floor all scheduled the same....and we all hung out for 2 hours!  Other than the odd question from an exhibitor, there wasn't anyone to seek out our help until 10AM!  I say, bring in two at 8, two more at 9 and another couple at 9:30.  That way, you have better coverage later in the day, with staggered schedules for the later arrivals. 
I did have a good time!  It was cool to see the costumes!  I met some fun people!  It was awesome to have the chance to roam around before the throngs of people descended!  And.....I had my own geek freak out moment:  on one of my unsuccessful coffee runs, as I was returning to the Info Booth, from across the way, I see Rashad, the most recent winner of Syfy's Face Off!!!  He was headed into the Exhibitors' Hall and was on the phone, but he saw that I recognized him and graciously waited for me to approach and hug him!!!  Totally awesome!!
Chris was stationed as a line attendant for one of the "celebrities".  He was a bit bored b/c she didn't get many visitors!  However, Lou Ferrigno (THE Incredible Hulk) was at the Con and Chris got the chance to speak with him prior to his shift!! 
We walked around the Hall after our shifts ended.  We watched three of the Face Off contestants provide a demo and Q&A session.  We didn't, however, attend any panels, but we should have.  (Next year!!) 
We headed out of the convention center about 4 or 4:30 (ahhhh....fresh air) to walk the 16th Street Mall, grab a coffee, eat the rest of our snacks from home.  We then headed to the outdoor area where the costume contest was to be held.  We didn't stay long, tho.  It had turned rather cold, which was completely off from the weather report, and didn't have any jackets. 
We arrived home about 7 ~ A long day of walking and standing.  We are ready to do it again next year, maybe seek out different assignments to see something new, something different. 
Perhaps I should find a simple Con-worthy costume for a quick change!!!  It's like a 2nd Halloween!!! 
On tap this weekend, Pride Fest!!!!  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jitters? What jitters?!?

Last week, I got the chance to co-teach a Boot Camp class at Fit Chick Express!  For the days leading up to, I was rather anxious!  The anticipation was nerve-wrecking!  I don't know many of these ladies and they sure as hell don't know where I came from!  I sort of appeared on the scene!  For all they know, I crawled out from under a rock just to cause them some trouble!  HA!  Would they just dismiss me?  Would they embrace my style?  Would I feel confident?  Would I reach them with the passion I feel for fitness?
That first class was okay.  Not great, but I will take okay!  By the second class, I felt so much different.  I need to work on projecting my voice throughout the gym because the fans and music just bounce off the concrete walls and I can barely be heard!  (Yes, for those who know me...MY voice isn't loud enough!!!  I will have to literally holler, like a drill sergeant or cheerleader!!!)
Today's class was more improvement (except for my voice...grrr!).  I joked more, cajoled more, encouraged more, instructed more...connected more.  One of the Chicks actually thought I had previously taught elsewhere!  How awesome is that?!?
It was elating! 
I have several more this week, various times to get to know more of the Chicks. 
And....on Saturday, I teach my first Kickboxing class!  This deal is SOLO!  I am looking forward to it!  I get to workout with the gals and I always enjoy hitting the heavy bag!! 
It's so great to be part of this community of women!  I am blessed to have been so readily accepted! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Feeling a Bit Restless

So many life things have changed since our move last fall.  I knew they would, but I am still a bit out-of-sorts, not myself, working it out.
I left a full-time job, that I had worked for over 11 years.  For most of the past year, I have not worked and when I did it was part-time.  While I can usually find things to fill all those hours between Chris leaving for work and coming home, I will have the "stale" times.  It is during these times that I feel....wasteful, lazy, unproductive (just to name a few). 
Sure, I spent about a month studying for my Fitness Instructor certification.  I am also now studying most everyday for the Longevity Wellness Specialist certification. 
I spend time online:  Facebook, searching for our next rental in Denver, reading and sending emails, working on this blog, reading other blogs.
I am lucky to have access to a great gym full of fantastic women, where I have been spending more & more time recently.
I can even lay by the pool at our complex (only having done that once this summer).
I have the "professional wife" responsibilities, as well.  I certainly don't mind doing all of these things for us ~ I believe it is the way I should contribute to our family at this time.
Tho, there are days or moments where I feel like I'm a bit caged up.  I don't want to drive around aimlessly and waste gas.  I don't want to shop (because I just don't really feel like it AND I don't want to waste money).  I don't always want to sit at a coffee house.  Therefore, I try to stay home to "conduct my business".
Then, by the time Chris, who has been out of the house all day, to include an hour's commute each way, gets home, I am a bit squirrely!  I want to get out, but I don't want to make him feel like he can't just relax and has to always be on the go. 
I will make it through and I know that things are going to pick up, as I would like to finish my studies & test before my mom arrives.  For the next two weekends, we have volunteer events (Comic Con and Pride Fest).  Soon, my mom will be here for her long weekend visit (and I need to make & freeze a couple dinners beforehand).  I will fly back with her and spend the following week visiting my Florida family.  Next, I will have a one-day Kettlebell certification workshop.  Before I know it, it will be August ~~ and we really need to have secured our Denver place!
Thanx for letting me ramble.
I know I am very lucky to be living my life, exactly how it is unfolding.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Big Reveal

If you are friend with me on Facebook, then you know I vaguely mentioned that I will be entering the fitness field.  I have accepted a barter deal to work at Fit Chick Express for the summer, in exchange for free class access (12 boot camp classes each month, plus 5 Zumba, 5 yoga and 10 kickboxing).
Tomorrow morning, I will meet with the owner, Angie, to "observe" while she teaches three classes.  Then, some other time during the week, she will observe me for three.  If we both feel confident, then I will start teaching solo!  I might take a couple of Angie's class times and then I am available to sub for the other trainers, if needed.
I have already started working on a strength plan and I will get a cardio one done, too (I think I found a really great one to springboard off).  One week M/W/F are strength with T/R cardio and then it flips the following week.  I sure hope the Chicks like my style! 
This barter works great for me & for Angie!  The timing is perfect!!
I have been getting to know several of the Chicks during our twice weekly Cardio Meetups.  It will be fun getting to know more of them and getting to know them better.  However, it will be sad to leave at the end of August, when we move to Denver, after developing some great friendships.  But, Longmont isn't THAT far from Denver, so I can always swing back up now & again!  
I am going to enjoy myself for the next 2 1/2 months!  That's what life's all about! 
Sometimes you know what's around the next corner and other times, you are simply excitedly anticipating the Big Reveal!

Update:  I found out that Angie puts together the workout plans, so all I will have to do is the warm-up and stretching!  If there is time, I can throw in some burpees or an ab/core exercise or two!  Not too shabby!  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Since scoring the 10 kickboxing classes deal at Tran's Martial Arts, I have been logging my fitness activities.  I would write on multiple calendars which days I planned to attend and then I checkmarked after I returned home from class.  For the 2-week free trial at Fit Chick Express, I did the same.  Each type of class I scheduled online was also written on our fridge calendar and was then checked off.  I keep a handwritten To Do list of all the activities I need to handle for the current week, which includes workouts.  As a non-member, I am fortunate to have a Cardio Meetup group with the Fit Chicks on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:45 and, yes, that is logged on my calendar and list (and we sign-up online). 
Clearly, I am a list person.  I like to write things down and then cross them off as they are completed.  It keeps me accountable and gives me a sense of accomplishment (which I need even more right now sans a job!).  Once most things on my To Do list are completed, I usually start a fresh one, transferring the things yet to be handled and, of course, adding new items!!!  I also have a personal calendar where I keep everything, too, tho I don't refer to it as often. 
I feel that by creating my personal workouts in advance, I am holding myself accountable.  Being physically fit is my LIFE....and soon it will also be my job!  {Yay!!}
Now that I am on my own again, I am creating my exercise plan for the week, (I am documenting the exercises I performed in a small notebook, to use as a reference tool when I lead classes). 
Today, I had my refreshing early morning 5+K run and I followed it up at home with a Flat Belly Workout, as follows:
Flat Belly
60 Jumping Jacks
60 Flutterkicks
40 Jackknifes
40 Sumo squats (20 per side)
50 Jumping Jacks
30 Boat Pose Twist with 10 lb weight (each side)
30 Double Leg Lifts
30 Russian Twists with 10 lb weight (each side)
30 Bicycle Crunches (each side)
40 Mountain Climbers (each side)
25 Reverse Crunches
25 Ab Roller*
*If you don't have an ab roller, do 25 full situps.
If you want to use this as a sort of warmup, follow it with a run (at least one mile) or a 4-5 minute plank or this Crossfit @ Home routine:
25 Pushups
5 Squats
20 Pushups
10 Squats
15 Pushups
15 Squats
10 Pushups
20 Squats
5 Pushups
25 Squats
Make sure you practice proper form.  Be slow & controlled, especially on the squats.  Feel the burn!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Longevity & Wellness

 Before I began my Group Fitness Instructor studies, I had been reading about anti-aging: hormones, diet, exercise, rest.  So, in addition to my fitness career, I am also pursuing a Longevity Wellness specialty certification. 
I am slowly going thru a folder that is chock full of magazine tear-outs of exercises.  Eventually, I will have it somewhat organized...maybe!  I am going to use it as a reference tool for making workouts for myself (and, hopefully very soon, others)! 
I have some other health-related things thrown in there, too.  One half piece of paper is handwritten notes that I copied from one of Dr. Andrew Weil's books so many years ago.  So completely apropos!!
Twelve Steps to Healthy Aging
2) Use a dietary supplement wisely (vitamin-mineral)
3) Use preventive medicine wisely
4) Get regular physical activity (aerobic, strength, flexibility)
5) Get adequate rest & sleep
6) Practice some form of stress management
7) Exercise your mind
8) Stay connected socially and intellectually
9) Remain flexible in mind & body
10) Discover benefits of aging (wisdom, experience)
11) Do not try to deny aging
12) Think about your legacy
Pretty simple, right? 
Like wine, whiskey and antiques ~ all get better with age!!!

 "Many people think that as we age, we tend to slow down and do less; that physical decline is an inevitable consequence of aging. For the most part, this is not true. Much of the physical frailty attributed to aging is actually the result of inactivity, disease or poor nutrition."
(Understanding Mid-Life Transition)

Sample Workouts

Now that I am not currently involved in a structured exercise program, I am back to creating my own workouts.  Also, since I am now a certified fitness instructor, I want to create several training options that I will do myself and that I can share when I get my own class!!!  At-home, I have a set of 10 lb dumbbells, a free resistance band from Shape magazine, an ab roller, a jump rope and a heavy bag.  At our condo complex, we have access to a fitness room with a treadmill, an elliptical and machines for 13 different exercises. 
Here are three I have done recently:
1) Resistance Training ~ Strength
Warm-up - 30 seconds, 2 or 3 sets
Butt kickers with high hands
Frog crunches
Jump lunges
Workout - 6 reps, 3 sets (1 minute break btwn sets)
8-12 machines, working all muscles
Abs - 30 seconds, 2 sets
Reverse crunches
Side-to-side ankle touch
Plank twist
1 fast mile on treadmill
2) Cardio
Warm-up - 30 seconds, 3 sets
Jumping jacks
High hands/high knees
Mountain climbers
Squat-side kick
Workout - Boxing 20 minutes
5 X 3 minute rounds
1 min jump rope btwn rounds
Abs - 30 seconds, 2 sets
Left side plank lift
Right side plank lift
Full situp
Side-to-side ankle touch
3) Boot Camp
Warm-up - 30 seconds, 3 sets
Jog in place
Fast hands/fast feet
Sumo squats
Workout - 45 seconds, 4 sets (45 second break btwn sets)
Renegade rows with twist
Lateral raises with resistance band
Lunge/reverse lunge bicep curl
Squat upright row
Abs - 4 minutes
Left side plank
Right side plank
(Because I ate half of a Sampler platter from Bdubs last nite, I also ran 2 miles on the treadmill!!)
End each workout with static stretches for your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, core.
Additionally, two or three times a week, walk/interval/run for 30 minutes or more. 
That is 5 or 6 days of workouts and one day of rest! 
Remember to get outdoors and be active!  Move, move, move ~ everything counts!

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