Find Your Team

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One recent Sunday afternoon, I spent laid out in the sunshine with my eyes scrolling through yet another book. This one spoke about the power and value of a team. A group. A collective. Specifically, it spoke to the necessity of each member.

The winter was both healing and harsh. It was also a happy season that brought a full doss of solo adventure for the single girl…pushing me to brave the world and leave my team behind.  In business it came in the form of a successful launch of my own marketing 1 woman operation. The rewards from fitness came in large part from a running trip to Albuquerque where little did I know, would mold me and help me grow the wings I would need for spring.

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By the time this summer started, I was in full flight. June brought sunshine and mile after mile alongside people who pulled out my inner Jess after months of hibernation. I have a couple of handfuls of great teammates and they each play their own pivotal roll in my day to day grind. They are honest. They show and share strength. They push or pull me without hesitation based on the need. One thing they all do is love me for me and I in turn them.  My strengths are attractive to them and my weaknesses are overlooked. We grow and accomplish much together. Each making the other stronger. Each member as important as the next. We may not share the same goals, but we do support them all. My team. My tribe. My squad. They were there with the clouds. They are still here now in the sun. In fact, they are the ones holding the sunscreen.

As part of my latest adventure, I find myself on a new team. With that, I had the opportunity to visit the ODU stadium and tour the facilities. As I made my way from the team locker room to the tunnel, I thought about the concept of team. A football team needs a QB, a kicker, and a tackle. All have set rolls and responsibilities. The success of one is dependent on how well the other does their job.

 Do you have a team? Picture those people now.

How do they make you feel? What is their purpose? Do you smile when you think of them ?

 Things to consider when you are fostering relationships among your own team:

 1. Check in. Texts, calls, emails for no reason seem like little things but bring big bonds. These gestures are ways for YOU to show YOUR commitment to communication.

2. Take down your own walls in an attempt to get in theirs. Being vulnerable and in turn being yourself is the basis for a great relationship. It’s true trust.

3. Talk up team mates when they aren’t around. This is another way of saying don’t talk bad about them behind their back. But really think what is does to show your conviction, belief, pride, and loyalty to them when you praise them in the absence of their presence. My team mates are strong and accomplished individuals in their own right, so they give me plenty of material to brag on them about. It fosters their brand and yours by doing this.

4. Recognize and acknowledge their life challenges. Work, family, relationships pull us all in many directions. By understanding those demands from your team, you are more capable to support and receive support in turn when you are challenged.

 I am learning to settle into my roll..on this new team. But the support from my personal one lives close to my heart. I will grab onto my own advice and foster these new relationships, making me and in turn the mission better for it.

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From The Workday To A Workout

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Can I juggle my existing workout schedule while managing the work day…that was the big question floating around like a cloud above me Sunday morning. Truth be told I was scared. Would I be able to hang on to this little life I had fought so hard to carve out? Would I slip back into the exhaustion or over exertion I clawed my way out of in December? Instead of being afraid of it, I decided to take a step back and opted to search for what I could learn from it.

As I prepped and readied myself for a return to the world of a more structured routine, I couldn’t help but wonder how I would balance it all. The setting of a more formal workday paired with my new desire for easy, slower living…

After much thought, I finally realized sometime Sunday afternoon that the only thing I needed to ready was my mind. Food prep and workout schedules didn’t matter. Coming to terms with being off of my routine for a few days did. By letting go of expectation, I immediately got lighter. A little less afraid. The pressure to cram it all in was no longer a problem. I had removed it as an option.

I must be stronger because I don’t feel the need to justify my health and fitness choices to myself or to others. My fall race schedule light this season is a deliberate decision. Shorter races and more races fueled by fun. In a year from now I won’t remember the time I ran Saturday’s 5k in. I will remember this season of change and how instead of fighting the clock I embraced it and I never put my running shoes away. Lighter, less intense workouts are on deck for the next few weeks. Keeping it simple and relaxed keeps me in love with it. Another re-route on my journey doesn’t mean the trip is canceled. It means I am simply getting there a different way.

Ending my first day back early left enough time for a workout. But I am realizing that sometimes the idea of doing absolutely nothing except savoring the sweetness in the slow down is the best option. Learning from the past and remembering the value in rest for both the physical body and spirit.

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Product Review: TREKZ TITANIUM WIRELESS HEADPHONES

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Headphones are a staple in my gym of work bag. I absolutely love cranking up my latest playlist and dropping into the zone for a blog binge or a sweat session outside. But let’s face it, sometimes those pesky cords get in the way when striding.

I was thrilled to start my TREKZ TITANIUM Sweat Pink product test. They seemed to pair nicely with my lululemon Pace Perfect Bra, holding my phone securely so I can walk, run, and sweat hands free.

CHARGE – It took no time to plug the cord in and let them juice up. I let them charge first thing in the morning while I did chores, knowing I wanted to use the headphones in just a couple hours for a run.

PAIR & CONNECT – Easy as 1,2, 3 ! A simple hold of a button combined with accepting the paired device in my phone settings. I was ready to roll!

THE SWEAT TEST – Playlist made, volume up, and run on! Running never sounded or felt so good. The comfortable open ear design doesn’t cover your ears, allowing you to remain mindful when hitting the pavement solo. The headphones loop gently over the ear and do not interfere with sunnies or hats. Being petie, I opted for the mini design. The smaller size works perfect on little female ears. While the sound is phenomenal, my favorite feature has to be the wireless design. How many times have you been on a run outside or on the treadmill and that arm swing whips the cord leaving the most unattractive panic and fumble!? You know what I am talking about. No more!

Want to be part of the #ShokzSquad yourself? Exclusive to Fit Petite Readers… you will receive a FREE AfterShokz waterbottle with your Trekz Titanium purchase. Check out order dets here.

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By Releasing We Gain Strength

O Canada! O Canada!

How Do We Release One Thing Only To Gain Another?

When you start the day with sweat, salt, or prayer…you know it will be a great day. Monday I stacked the deck and went full throttle on all three.

Last spring I attended the Wanderlust festival and as mentioned here, it completely cracked me open. Always strong in my faith, but I left there somehow more clear of exactly how to channel it. I knew exactly what I really wanted to remain faithful for. Knowing the how and knowing the what are answers to two very different questions. Thus began my year log quest of weekly yoga practice. It was a conscious effort to strengthen my spirit. I gained that strength in myself and I didn’t realize just how much I would need it for that upcoming year. I had a new found appreciation for what I held dear. Even things I didn’t have yet.

During that festival I had the privilege to experience a meditation Guided by Biet. It was spiritual to say the least. It was physical at times too. It’s hard to put that day into words. Only my dear friend Janet can fully appreciate it, as we experienced it together side by side. The 90 minute session brought us completely to tears. It was joy. It was a release.

Monday morning I began to close out my most recent chapter of life. I was on the boardwalk early. Opting for a workout before catching the release of some rescued sea turtles. This is something I have always wanted to see. As I set one foot in front of the other, my body craved speed, sweat, and strength. The circuit manifested itself organically without a plan. It went something like this.

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Post workout I grabbed a coffee and headed for the sand. I found an untouched spot by the coast and as I often do, I wrote my prayers in the shoreline. This prayer ritual helps me turn it over to God. I have been fortunate enough to share this expericne with several friends this summer. It is truly a release from fear, judgements, worry. As I turned around to talk to God about what I had just written, a fleet of dolphins swam by and music by Biet came through my headphones. It was a sign. And without warning, just like the meditation from the year before, I was moved completely to tears. It was peace. It was joy. It was God. It was release.

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The joke was on me. I thought I was making my self stronger with the boardwalk circuit I had just completed minutes before. But instead, my strength had indeed been developed on the inside.  I have completed the most rigorous of training cycles over the past 52 weeks.

 It’s a skewed view when you judge someone from how big their physical muscles are. It’s their prayers muscles that are most important and the most accurate indicator of how strong they truly are.

As I watched those turtles, I noticed how they just go…forward…even if they don’t understand how they got there or recognize their new strength. They trust and they know they are in the right place upon release. They are now strong enough to face whatever the waves bring.

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Proactive Verses Reactive: Plant Based Living

When it comes to our health, what if we stopped being reactive to chronic illness and disease and instead became proactive in preventing such conditions in the first place? I believe the medical community is trained to treat verses prevent chronic disease and conditions. The CURE for cancer. The CURE for heart disease. The CURE for fatigue. What about prevention...

Friday night I nestled in early and cozied up to see what I could find on Netflix. I’m a sucker for a documentary, especially when it comes to healthily living, fitness, or food. What The Health did not disappoint and provided answers to my concerns on the concepts of CURE mentioned above. I know I am being moved by a message when I start taking notes before it is over. I was moved in particular by the story of a woman who was slated for a double hip replacement at age 61. She could barely walk and was ridden with pills and depression.  Just after two weeks of plant based eating, she tossed her walker and pills to the side and reversed her condition. She made a complete recovery and was able to extend and increase her quality of life.

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As the documentary progressed, I was intrigued once again with the benefits of plant based living. I couldn’t help but feel completely disgusted by the images in the film of meat production: fish, chicken, and beef. I found myself toying with the vegetarian lifestyle. Could I do it? I opted out of red meat several years back after watching Fork Over Knives and participating in a Meatless Monday challenge from my local Whole Foods Market. More on that in some old posts here, here, and here. I’ve since added red meat back into my diet with the idea of being more mindful of the source, the way it is killed, and how it is prepared. Coming from a family of hunters, this is a more sustainable way of eating at family functions. I will say… nothing is more organic than venison straight from the wild. This practice of mindfulness falls right in line with The Daniel Plan as well. A philosophy I recommitted to this summer.

Being just weeks away from a new fall training cycle, nutrition (protein in particular) will be crucial in keeping energy up and recovery in check as I add mileage.  I am not giving up meat. But over the next couple of months of meal planning and prep, there are a few things I will consider when crafting a new recipe and monitoring nutrients.

1. Does eating this support my beliefs?

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2. Plants are a sufficient source of protein. More often than not, animals get protein from the plants they are eating…in turn transferring those proteins to us when consumed. Consider cutting out the middle man.

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3. Become animal like, by eating less animals. Some of the strongest, most muscular creatures on the planet eat a plant based diet.  

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4. The vegetarian lifestyle is extremely affordable and more environmentally sound. 

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For more on what I am eating, check out my Pinterest Board here.

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