DIY Newbie…

n80200404_30861665_2812

So my BFFs and I have been doing “craft night” for a couple months. The first two nights, we made nothing, just ate dinner, drank wine, and talked for hours. The last one we did, Amanda and Bonna (her real name is Briana) made cute things for our friends with babies, and I finished work I had to do on my laptop… but I passed the scissors, and held fabric occasionally, so that counted. Tonight is our next craft night and they’ve got big projects on the agenda. I could actually participate, but I really don’t have a crafty bone in my body.

The lack of creativity is an issue as well. I don’t look at a sack of burlap and think, “Oh the possibilities for wreaths!” I don’t own a hot glue gun. I don’t have a “craft” room or even a craft drawer in my house. I wish I were more crafty, because I see the crazy cool stuff all over Pinterest (when I’m on it) and I love the things my friends create, but I’m just not drawn to do it myself. If I’ve got free time, DIY things aren’t really my top priority. If I see something super cute that I like, I buy it on Etsy. I see at more as “supporting small businesses.” And we should stick to what we’re good at, right? Because I’d rather not end up with something like this:

42c07c07a145cdbcf973d03a7a345ebe

These things look awesome, but they either require a bunch of  time or items I don’t have (for tonight). Maybe for future craft nights?

Where did I put that electric drill?

36298aa8456bc5222ab7a62376f93fae

I mean… I guess I could go hunt down some sticks from the yard?

6068c3576a0b0ec3bc58e205580cc06b

 Maybe this? 

df23806122404a9604a8d15116494095

So… I need a project. Who’s got one that’s easy, quick, and that I could do in one night?

I’ll take any links you got!

My “DIY Projects I’ll Probably Never Do” board here.

Share Button

Travel: Kalymnos, Greece

A little travel flashback today…

securedownload

My man-friend and I traveled to the Greek island of Kalymnos in the fall of 2012. As far as travel to Greece goes: Athens is where you go for the history, Santorini is the tourist island, Kalymnos is the party island, (we started there) but Kalymnos is the adventure/climbing island! This island is a climbing mecca! The island itself is small, but with TONS of climbing areas. I hear you can go scuba diving and participate in other fun activities, but we were there just for the climbing. We stayed at a small hotel  for 5 days (our total bill was 145 euros!) and rented a scooter to get around on (for 50 euros total). There were hotels closer to the crags, but they were the normal hotel prices. Ours was about a 15 minute scooter ride away, which was cheaper and more exciting to commute to each day!

Thank goodness everybody rides scooters there and goes about 20 mph… because people were either not wearing helmets or wearing their climbing helmets, like us.

IMG_1459

As far as the climbing goes, there’s no shortage of routes for every ability level. Every route is well marked, on the rock, with the name of the climb and rating. It’s painted right on the rock, but you can’t see it unless you’re looking for it, so it doesn’t seem too harsh. Since the climbing scene there has just recently exploded (in the last decade) all the routes are very well bolted, so huge run outs anywhere. The week we were here, North Face was having its annual climbing competition so it was awesome to see so many people around having an amazing time.

Note the goat…

IMG_1479

IMG_1507

IMG_1509

We took the scooter for a ride around the entire island (which took about an hour) and found this little inlet. There was a lone church on the hill and this boat, but nobody else around.

IMG_1515

So we did a little making out… naturally.

IMG_1914

And spent the rest of the time climbing all over the place and eating the most delicious, fresh food you can imagine.

Very fresh.

IMG_1762

IMG_1755

IMG_1756

IMG_1761

IMG_1902

IMG_1904

IMG_1736

IMG_1891

We went to the a few different places for lunch during the week, but we went to the same restaurant nearly every night. It was this little place a few minutes down the road from our hotel. We could walk there and the owner was the nicest man in the world. We had a blast each night… Including when this happened. Definitely the most “Greek” thing we did:

If you’re looking for an adventure trip I recommend this island for sure!

If you’re not a climber, Kalymnos also works out as just an amazing trip for you and your babe, or the whole family! You’ve got water all around, amazing people and food, and an energy that can’t be beat.

Other posts about the TRX Summit and the rest of that trip here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Share Button

Workout Playlist!

largevia

I worked out to this playlist on Thursday afternoon.

Then I danced (while getting ready to go out w/ Aleah in Chicago) to this playlist on Saturday night.

603647_10106879756255204_374914299415339955_n

It’s a dual purpose playlist really…  #win

What are you working out to this week?

Get after it. Be a BEAST!

Share Button

Workout Blate: Babbling Brookelyn is in the ‘ville!

Blate = Blogger Date

securedownload 2

I love meeting other bloggers in person. It’s so fun to become friends with somebody, have so much in common with them, and then finally seal your friendship with a real encounter. You kind of get nervous, like you’re going on a blind date, but it’s awesome when you meet up and chat like you’ve been friends for years. I’ve met Ashley, Ashley C, Chelsea, Ahnika (who no longer blogs but totally should), and another Ashley and it’s always been fun.

When Brooke emailed me saying she was going to be in Louisville for a week, I was PUMPED. I’ve been reading her blog for about a year I guess and she’s hilarious. Her man-friend is from a town about 30 minutes from here so they’re in town visiting his family. She told me they wanted to come take my 6am TRX Bootcamp class. I was really excited, but also prepared myself for them not to actually show up. So many people say they’re going to take class while on vacation and rarely does it happen. I mean… I don’t wake up at 5am to go workout on vacay… But I showed up at 5:45am this morning and they beat me to the studio! Both her and her man-friend were there and ready to go.

Let me just tell you that they WORKED it this morning! Brad comes from a soccer background and Brooke played every sport under the sun. She also has just launched a career in fitness so we had lots to talk about there. I wished I’d grabbed a couple photos during class, but I was busy teaching and they were busy being beasts… so I didn’t. After class though we headed to Heine Brother’s (a Louisville coffee chain) to grab some joe and actually chat. We had an awesome morning and I can’t wait to get to do the same thing out in Portland where they live.

If you don’t follow Brooke already, you should. Her blog is my jam and so is she. And now that we’ve met in person, we’re Facebook friends too… which means we’re legit friends now. Blates are awesome.

securedownload-1

Share Button

Reebok Spartan Race: Discounts and Giveaway!

2014_Generic_Promo-Card2_SRM Photos via Spartan Race Media

I’ve got the best deal today!

I’ve been given 1 Free Race Registration to give away and a discount code that everybody can use! Both are good for any Reebok Spartan Race in the continental U.S.

I love the idea of obstacle races and have participated in them myself. I’m not super into running a race just to run, but if I’m running toward something fun, count me in. If you’re going to run a set number of miles, why do it on a boring road? Do it while jumping over fire! Jump over things, climb up things, crawl through things! This sounds way more exciting to me. Plus, you get the added benefits balance, agility, coordination and strength benefits of using your entire body, not just your legs and cardiovascular system (<— the trainer in me can’t help it).

Reebok Spartan Race has 3 different types of races to choose from:

img-1

Sprint: 3+ Miles & 15+ Obstacles

Super: 8+ Miles & 20+ Obstacles

BEAST: 12+ Miles & 25+ Obstacles

Races are happening all over the country! Check it.

You have the opportunity to race one or all of them on October 4th in Ohio.

Sprint-160x600Super-160x600Beast-160x600

If you’d like to go ahead and sign up for any of the races, head over to Spartan.com to register. You can use the code SPARTANBLOGGER to receive %10 off your entry fee! This code is good for any race in the continental U.S.

~ GIVEAWAY WINNER CHOSEN!!! Congrats, Kate! ~

email-headers-updated

Giveaway ends at 11:59 Sunday, July 27.

Winner will be announced Monday, July 28!

Good luck! AROO!

Share Button

Workout Playlist! (Random)

largevia

I’ll be the first to say this playlist is all over the place.

Pick over it, take what you like. Be a BEAST. ; )

Share Button

Mondays…

Somebody’s totally having a case of the Mondays… #itsme

large via

There’s nothing horrible about today so I guess I shouldn’t complain… but I’m going to anyway. You can exit out of this post now if you want… I won’t be offended. My Mondays are usually very productive. There’s always a lot to get done on Monday so I hit the ground running. I’m usually getting home from my weekend travel, getting rolling for the week ahead, and just feeling energized. Today is not that Monday. Today is the stereotypical Monday that everybody loves to complain about. I’m tired. I’m not being productive, I don’t want to do a workout, I can’t even take the nap I just tried to take. I was too drained to go to the ballet class that I’d planned on taking this morning as well. I’m just feeling… blah.

LAME!

So I’m just going to focus on getting through the work I have to get done, then take the dogs for a long walk and hope that reenergizes me. I’m working on lots of things for this week, so stay tuned for a playlist, a giveaway, and some pretty photos. In the meantime, I think it’s time for a little James Taylor Pandora station action and a deep breath.

Happy Monday, everybody. Let’s get through this bitch.

; )

Share Button

How I Deal With My Fear of Flying… Constantly

large-5via

I LOVE traveling. I hate flying. As somebody who has a fear of flying, having to get on an airplane almost weekly presents a bit of a conundrum. Resulting from a really scary flight in 2006, I’ve been freaked the hell out about flying for years. I guess the real fear isn’t so much in flying as it is crashing… For a while there it got so bad that tears and shaking were a part of almost every flight I took.

Quotation-Billy-Bob-Thornton-fear-Meetville-Quotes-29068via

A couple years ago I was able to get a prescription for a very light dose of an anti-anxiety drug, which definitely helped, but I hated having to take something in order to get through a flight. Plus, even though it was an extremely light dose, it made me incredibly drowsy so that wasn’t optimal either, as usually I’m getting off a plane and into a rental car. I needed a solution. I didn’t really have one, other than “just keep flying.” And that actually helped…

The more flights I’ve taken, the more I’ve learned. After a couple hundred or so flights over the past few years, I’ve gotten better. I hardly use my pills anymore, but I still keep them in my travel bag. Although I’m still freaked out by flying, I’ve picked up a few key practices that have helped me get through it, partly because I have to for my job, more so because I want to… because there’s still a lot of this world I haven’t seen yet.

So I’m gonna to pass those along now…

In no particular order, here are my top 7 tips for getting through a fear of flying:

1. Learn about how planes work.

crop380w_istock_000002193842xsmall-booksvia

I read a book by Michael Chricton called, “Airframe.” It was a novel, yes, but all his books are based on scientific facts and are cited up one side and down the other. This book was  about a plane accident and all the issues surrounding it. It explained a lot about the science/physics about aviation and how planes actually work, why they’re built the way they are, etc. It really opened my eyes up about how durable airplanes are. Plus, it was an entertaining read, so it’s worth a go.

I’ve also talked to a few pilots here and there. I’ve sat next to them occasionally on flights and talk to them in the airport while waiting for flights. Once, I had drinks with a couple in the bar one night after we all took the shuttle from the airport to the same hotel. I asked them tons of questions about various scenarios where I can see how the plane would either spontaneously combust, be flipped over by an insane wind gust, or simply fall out of the sky. They assured me that nearly every one of those scenarios was impossible and explained why. They may have thought I was crazy, but they humored me and answered every question I asked.

No matter what the subject, most of our fear comes simply from the unknown. Learning more of the science of flying has helped.

 

2. Fly more often. Seriously.

large-1via

 

I know our initial reaction is to avoid the things we’re scared of, but the best thing to do is face it… unfortunately.

Every flight I took I reminded myself that it would be ok and I would get better at it… And then that damn Alanis Morissette line would go through my head: “He waited his whole damn life, to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought, well isn’t this nice.” And then I’d go back to thinking I was going to die… THANKS, Alanis!

The more I flew though, the more familiar things felt. The more I learned that the sound immediately after take-off wasn’t the engine falling out of the plane,(like I was certain it was), it was merely the sound the landing gear makes as it retracts back up into the plane. The scary sound as you start to descend for landing isn’t the wing about to rip apart from the body of the plane, it’s just the struts extending out to allow the plane to ascend or descend. The other sound that I always thought meant we were going to crash, as it caused an immediate drop in speed, ended up being the landing gear coming down to prep for our arrival. Knowing that these horrific sounds of impending doom were actually just sounds the plane makes as it goes through normal operations makes everything a little easier to endure.

3. Sit towards the front!

large-2via

 

I read an article once about how to survive a plane crash and it said most survivors were ones seated in the back of the plane. So obviously, I sat in the farthest seat I could get (but before the very back row… you only make that mistake once), but it always seemed as though the turbulence was horrid and it was always super loud. I can’t sleep on planes as it is, and the noise back there made it even more unlikely to happen.

Then I learned, from the lovely pilots I chatted up, that the turbulence is felt more the farther back you sit. The closer you are to the front, the easier it feels. Viola! I don’t know if that’s true or if it’s just the placebo effect, but either way, sitting at the front feels better. Plus, you get to exit the plane sooner. Double whammy!

4. Close the window!

large-3via

If the plane is making a turn and I look out the window and am staring at the ground, I’m thinking the plane is effing SIDEWAYS! There is no way on God’s green earth that we’re not going to crash. How can the plane take that much force?! The wings are gonna snap! The engine’s going to die! “Stop making such a sharp turn, you irresponsible pilot!” Sooooo now I just keep the window shades down. I do this by always booking a window seat, so then I’m in control of it. Out of sight, out of mind, my friends! Most people want an aisle seat anyway, so it works out for everybody: I don’t see anything that makes me freak out, the person next to me doesn’t have to hold my hand. Win win!

5. Distractions, distractions, distractions.

Virgin-Americas-Red-entertainment-systemvia

The more ish I have to distract me, the less I think about the plane crashing and all of us dying a horrific death. I always check the types of planes I’ll be flying in when I book my ticket, since you can do that these days on the website, or on the airline’s phone app. Depending on the airline, sometimes there are rad TVs with shows, movies and music. Sometimes though, there’s absolutely no in-flight entertainment. In those cases, I bring my own distractions: Since I’m self-employed, there’s usually always some work I could be doing, so that can take up a huge portion of my attention. I always have my computer with me, as well as my Kindle. I get a subscription of my favorite magazine, Outside, as well as my fitness publication, IDEA Fitness Journal. I take the mags when they arrive in the mail and immediately place them in my carryon backpack, saved especially for reading while flying. And since they now allow you to have your electronics on during the entire flight (namely takeoff and landing, which are the scariest parts of the flight) I’m totally set up to use my phone or Kindle to think about as many other things as possible!

6. Alcohol.

large-4via

I mean, don’t get wasted or anything, but if I don’t have to drive after landing, sometimes I’ll have a drink or two (or three, depending on the length of the flight) and I’m out like a light. Or a little more numb to the turbulence, one of the two.

Keep it classy though! Belligerent people get kicked off planes and put on the no-fly list… And don’t drink alcohol if you’re taking any medication!

7. Think about the statistics.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are an average of 87,000 flights per day, in the United States alone. Multiply that by 365 days in a year and you get just under 32 Million… just in the states! How often do we hear of a major airline crash? Not often. And the most recent ones have been in other countries where the regulations are likely not as strict as they are here. Every time a flight is delayed for a mechanical reason, passengers always complain because they’ll be late. I always silently rejoice that the pilots have caught something that could have just saved our lives. Compared to driving, many more safe flights are happening every day.

If nothing else… close your eyes and focus on your breath. 

large-6

So these are all the little things I think about that have helped me over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “cured” by any means. I still freak out a little when there’s turbulence for more than 10 seconds. I still track all my man-friend’s flights so I know he’s arrived safely. I still re-think decisions to switch flights or fly standby in case I’m putting myself on a flight that’s going to crash, or switching flights that will inherently save me from one the one going to crash… but at least I’m not crying anymore, nor am I all drugged up. Glad game!

I know I can’t control the planes I’m flying on. I can’t control the pilots and their actions either. I also can’t stay on the ground and not travel, so I suck it up and fly. And these things help me out.

Do any of you have a fear of flying? What do you do to curb it?

Share Button

100 Happy Days: Days 15-21

The following things made me happy last week!

Day 15: Climbing in the most beautiful places on earth.

In this case: Lake Louise

IMG_9743

Day 16: The rainbow on the way up to Castle Mountain

IMG_9748

Day 17: Waking up early enough to see the sunrise (with my man-friend).

IMG_9756

Day 18: Finishing my first long multi-pitch climb.

IMG_9764

Day 19: Resting… with a view.

IMG_9872

Day 20: From the mountains of Canada to the city streets of Chicago.

IMG_9876

Day 21: The genius that invented THIS.

10363901_10100960535820793_2118457591051134007_n

Don’t know how long these have been around, but I sure wish they’d existed when I was a kid. Everybody knows the best flavor of any popsicle (or sucker for that matter) is RED.

What’s making you happy these days?

Follow my 100 Happy Days on Instagram: FitwithFlash

Share Button

Ha Ling: My first long climb!

photo

I’ve been climbing since college, but mostly single pitch sport climbing. I’ve done a few multi-pitch climbs with my man-friend, since those are his favorite types of climbs. We’ve done some 2, 4, and 6 pitch climbs, but nothing over that. We didn’t get to climb Brewer’s Buttress Monday, then I got a stomach bug on Tuesday. Wednesday was our last day to climb (as we were going to have his two sons with us for the remainder of the trip). I still felt like ass, but we decided to climb Ha Ling anyway. Ha Ling Peak is an 11 pitch climb that’s fairly easy. It’s rated 5.4 – 5.6 (if you know the Yosemite Decimal climbing System) so it was nice to know I could handle that level since we’d be climbing for a long period of time.

My stomach bug was still hanging around, but I really wanted to do the climb, especially since it was the last chance we could go. The hike up and the first couple pitches were less than enjoyable. Stopping and sitting several times, to keep from puking, was far from my ideal morning… but at least the view was ok.

IMG_2222

photo 1

Me… not as happy climbing as I usually am:

After doing the first 4 pitches very quickly, and wearing myself out, I wanted to go back down. The thought of doing 7 more pitches feeling like ass was not appealing to me and all I wanted to do was lie down. The thought of quitting though felt much worse… so we kept going, but with the attempt to sit and rest for about 5 minutes after each pitch.

GOPR0044

The great thing about this climb was that all the belay stations were on huge ledges so I could sit and rest. We were stuck behind a couple other teams of people, so it was actually perfect. With a view like this, and some pretty awesome company, breaks don’t suck:

GOPR0053

I started feeling better around pitch 8 so my man-friend decided to capture the moment (me happy):

His fingers in the shot cracked me up. Those GoPros can be tricky…

GOPR0058

photo 2

Making my way up…

GOPR0062

and up…

GOPR0065

and to the top!

GOPR0068

I’m really glad I finished!

We had an awesome day together, the weather was perfect, and it felt sooo nice to nap afterwards.

Yeeeeeah, bitches!

photo 3

And this is just another photo from the Castle Mountain trip two days before. It was on the GoPro with these photos, so I had to throw it in here. Love seats made out of stacked rocks on the mountain ridge are my jam:

GOPR0038

So long, Canada and man-friend! Until next time… xoxo

Share Button