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Shedding Weight Before Summer

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Welcome summer. We’ve been patiently waiting for you. You bring with you a reminder…in case we needed one…it is time to shed. Shed all that is dead and does not serve us.

Our planet seems to know how to do this inherently and execute the process flawlessly. Quite seamlessly actually and often without much notice. We see it in nature with the turn of the seasons. Leaves fall, rains wash, and waves roll.

Leading up to Summer… this particular time of change… my body has been preparing. Uncertain yet promising future opportunities float through my mind restlessly bringing butterflies in my belly and sleepless nights. Somehow this summer I feel lighter and warmer. Qualities of nature take their shape in my spirit. The process is natural as seasons change around the planet and in our own life.

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Today is the first day of summer. The first day of a new season. It is also the Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day. Perhaps another reminder. A reminder to be gentle with your spirit. A reminder to give gratitude to your surroundings and even to Mother Earth herself. A reminder to breath. We breath automatically but the need for deep, clean, calm breathes is something we must make an effort to do. Our bodies need oxygen as a nutrient. When we make an attempt to breath first, we remember to take care of ourselves. We remember to settle down. We remember to prioritize our health, starting from the inside. This will set the tone for the outside…be prepared for that results that will follow. It will rock your world.  Inhale deeply and take all that you need from the air, exhale everything that doesn’t serve you.

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The pictures that Heidi captured last week, physically show what I have shed. Weight. The weight in my chest, the weight of the past, and because I spent time dealing with the weight of those things first…even a little weight from my psychical body was lost as well. Bringing me back to a healthy, strong self that I and my tribe recognize. Lighter in every sense of the word.

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Fitness Photo Session: Heidi Calma Photography

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It has been three years since my last photo session for the blog…besides my regular Instagram and Facebook posts. Since then, my fitness philosophy has evolved, developed, and matured. When it comes to my brand, it is time for my graphics to match my content and mission.

Owning a business isn’t just about knowing your industry. It is very much about how you present yourself, how you work with your clients, and how you deliver your product.  For me I am surrounded by many talented women in the entrepreneurship community. My client and now friend Heidi Calma owns her own photography business and I knew immediately she was the one that I could trust to do the session. Heidi has a special gift for working with families and newborn babies, so I knew she could handle me.

From the moment we scheduled the shoot, she put my fears at ease and honored every request. Fitness photos can be tricky. They can borderline on the too sexy or too showy. I wanted more of al lifestyle shoot that reflected my personality, what I like to do, and where I like to do it.  A time to be a little playful and a little sporty!

We opted for sunset at The Brock Environmental Center, a place I run often and feel completely comfortable.

She brought out so much of my personality organically with her fun comments, stories, and suggestions. When I first saw the proofs I had no words. She had exceeded my expectations and captured everything I wanted and more. Here are a few sneak peeks from the night.

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To book a session with Heidi for yourself or your family, click HERE.

 

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Global Sports Bra Day

Running in a sports bra, I do it often and not for reasons you may think. In fact, my decision to go topless required little decision from me at all.

During high school cross country it was something that we always did. Summer running in Hampton Roads brings high levels of humidity and we took every precaution necessary to beat the heat, including tossing our tops and finding every sprinkler along our running routes through Great Bridge.

Over the past few years I have worked with many different body types and many different body issues, including my own. As a champion for fitness and female bodies everywhere, I am joining the cause in support of Blogger|Runner|Fitness Influencer Kelly Roberts. Global Sports Bra Day is June 24 and you better believe I will be celebrating. I am encouraging women everywhere to take back their own body insecurities and take a toss…of those tops! Imagine what we could do for our own generation or better yet the next one if we could start to break down the wall and misunderstanding of what running in your sports bra should be like and what it should look like. Currently it is scary, it is vulnerable, it is also liberating…and on many days, physically, it is more comfortable.

I will be hitting the boardwalk next Thursday evening to celebrate with woman of all speeds, sizes, shapes, and fitness philosophies. But the common goal will be to throw our own ideals out along with our tops and grab hold of championing our own bodies based on ability instead of appearance.

Not feeling the sports bra squad look, no worries…just get out and run in whatever makes you feel confident! It is not about feeling perfect, but rather feeling proud.

Follow and use #SportsBraSquadVB to participate

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MORE ON GLOBAL SPORTS BRA DAY

Run Washington – Sports Bra Squad Day

Run, Selfie, repeat – Global Sports Bra Day

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Low Rent 5K: Race Recap

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At any given moment your running will absolutely parallel your real life. That could not have been more true than on Saturday as I tackled my second race of 2017 at the Low Rent 5K. Staying routined, relaxed, and remembering to run happy is the goal this year as I strategically rebuild my strength. I have run long enough to know that if I focus on those things first, the speed will come.

I think I may be in the minority in that I actually love the thrill of a 5K. There is something dramatic about trying to set a pace and hold on as long as possible that satisfies my need for a physical challenge. It is completely opposite in every way to those long, slow distance runs. They both serve my spirit well and look forward to a summer filled with both.

THE GOAL: To run better than I did at the ODU Big Blue. That being my first race in over a year, it simply was practice. Getting the feeling of racing again. Going through the motions and no expectations, which left no pressure on my performance. Saturday’s plan was to not necessarily run faster, but stronger, more seamless, and more comfortable. For reference I finished ODU feeling good at 26:13, walked once for water, and am pretty sure I had resting race face the entire time. When asked what I thought I would run this past Saturday, I knew the window would be from 24-26 minutes.

June is proving to be a month of intoxicating adventure and uncertainty…and one that is testing my patience. And the thrill of new opportunities coming my way came to a head Saturday morning. I woke with shaky palms and a butterfly filled belly. With not much race experience recently, the feeling of pre race nerves hit me harder than it has in a while. While my friends were gathering pre-race, all I wanted to do was stay with them, but I knew the best thing for me was to send myself off on my own for a pre race warm up.  Let go of some of that extra unnecessary energy in my legs. The mile and warm up drills I managed to get in moments before the start proved to be extremely beneficial.

THE RESULT:

Mile 1 I was literally talking to myself. Remembering to get out quick, establish a sustainable pace and relax. Hold, hang. Be patient.

Mile 2 Stay patient I told myself after a quick glance at my watch. I was pacing plenty ahead of schedule from ODU and I knew I had enough for a little pick up in the final mile.

Mile 3 Grateful for the shaded neighborhood streets, it made it more achievable to slightly speed up. I did not look at my watch, but I knew I was approximately 1/2 out from the finish and was moving steady.

The Kick There is something about seeing coach Ryan Conrad and friends (Renee, Josh) cheering in the final 400 meters. When your sole sister yells out ”Drop your arms and turn on your glutes!” You do it and drop the pace to 7:00. Thank you Kristy Maute for that. You always know what I need to hear.

A successful 5K with what physically felt like a more seamless, steady stride. No walk breaks and even managed a few cheers and some waves along the way. 25:22. Shedding significant time like that validated my plan, my workouts, and my patience. The training is working. My commitment to staying faithful to routine is paying off.

This was not just the case for me either. Many other friends had significant days as well. Making their way back from injury, from life, from time away. Proof that good things come to those who wait, train, and run happy!

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Imagine: Your Fitness Potential and Your Future

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Ever have those times where you know your life is about to change?

Sometimes the only thing to do in moments of change is to simply IMAGINEIMAGINE everything good. IMAGINE everything that you have ever wanted… and IMAGINE nothing but that.

 Tuesday I cracked open a new book and right there in the foreword was the word IMAGINATION. Minutes before reading, I had finished an IMAGINATION meditation sequence and built an IMAGINATION vision board. Hello!

We find ourselves here in fitness a lot. We have made a choice for change and now we wait. Athletes of all levels face this mental battle. What we allow to occupy the upstairs is often times what will be. IMAGINING will make or break you. IMAGINING ourselves crossing the line, chasing the dream, attaining the goal.

Isn’t imagination much like trust? You picture it. You create it. You believe it…without any proof?! I remember the first time I broke two hours in the half marathon. I spent time imagining it. I imagined the pain that would come and how I would handle it with such authority pushing through to the end. I even imagined myself celebrating that sub 2 victory post race. When it finally happened I remember being completely, utterly, and blissfully overwhelmed.  Moved to tears. To my surprise, it was bigger and better than I had ever IMAGINED.

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In the book I’m currently reading, Pro Surfer and all around impressive athlete Laird Hamilton states:

“Your mind has 100 percent power over your reality. Whatever you believe, that’s what you are cultivating.”

That’s IMAGINATION.

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In the rebuilding process of my fitness foundation this year, I deliberately only made room in my routine for powerful & positive mantras. IMAGINE is standing out as the latest one. This Saturday will be my second race of the year. I imagine it going well. I imagine myself running hard. I imagine celebrating at the end.

What are you imagining for your future…in terms of fitness and beyond?

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