One Day at a Time: Finding The Balance Between Peace and Productivity in Quarantine

This smile is fleeting. I’m stressed AF too.

We’ve all had our worlds turned upside down and those of us that aren’t sick with or treating somebody with COVID-19 are struggling to figure out how to cope. It’s hard because we’re not allowed to do most of the things we used to do to cope with stress… which makes things stress-ier.

I closed my fitness studio on March 16th and have been holding classes and TRX workshops online since then, but my workload has dropped drastically. While my first month of quarantine was filled with chaos (and lots of evening cocktails) just trying to adapt and pivot my business, my second month is mellowing out and I’m starting to find my groove. I’ve gotten around to accepting the “new normal” (already tired of hearing that phrase) and am figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t.

Since this is looking like how things will be for a while, I can’t realistically live like I did in March and still be able to function at a high an acceptable level. Last week, week 6 of quarantine for me, I implemented some new things that are resulting in better daily habits for me. It’s bringing me a little bit more peace and helping to get me through the days a little easier. If you’re looking for ways to feel slightly better right now, here’s what’s working for me:

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Things That Are My Jam: Quarantine Edition

Whew. Quarantine, y’all. There’s a lot to cover:

First: Shoutout to my friend, Claudia for fixing my blog today. It’s been messed up after a hosting change and she hooked me up with some much-needed site maintenance today. THANK YOU, GIRL.

Second: So pandemics are the worst. Along with all the death, devastation, and economic loss, it’s hard just feeling like you can’t help if you’re not an essential worker. We’re all coping in different ways.

The first month for me was full of cocktails, baking, movies, shock on a daily basis at the news, and pivoting my entire business to run workouts online (and figuring out all the tech that type of move requires).

The second month (now) is me feeling like I can get back to some semblance of a routine, which feels better. I’ve cut back on the drinking (so my pants stay fitting), I’m getting better sleep, I’m spending as much time as possible outside – way far from other people – and I’m back to making to-do lists and crushing them… including getting back to this little blog.

I don’t feel like I have to write here. I feel like I want to. Blogs have been rendered almost obsolete thanks to Instagram and youtube, but I still like this space and sometimes prefer writing more than just a short caption on a photo. Anyway…

Without further ado, here are the

Things That Are My Jam Right Now: Quarantine Edition

  • Netflix (obviously). I binged The Haunting of Hill House, and loved Contagion, the Pandemic series, and am making my way through Ken Burns’ Vietnam documentary.
  • Movie rentals. Thank goodness for iTunes. I watched a bunch of things I’d never seen before: Mean Girls, Steel Magnolias, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, Onward. Good times.
  • Frederick Joseph raising money and giving it away in $200 to anybody that needs money for rent/food/bills. They’ve given away over $80k so far. Check it out on twitter.
  • Warm weather. I for one am grateful that all this shit is happening during the spring months. At least I can sit outside in the sun if I have to dodge contagion from the public.
  • A healthy foot. My foot feels better after the last 10 months of pain. I’ve started running again this week (just a mile and some change to start out with).
  • Earth Day. Shoutout to this gorgeous place we call home. At least Mother Nature is getting a little TLC right now with all of us staying in place. Trying to do my best not to create more waste though.
  • Zoom. As much as I’m hating doing all these video calls, this app has allowed me to stay in business, stay connected with friends, and keep teaching TRX courses to hundreds of out-of-work trainers and instructors all over the world. It’s not much, but it feels like I’m at least able to offer some workouts and continuing education during all this. It’s not saving lives or developing a vaccine, but maybe it makes some days better for others here and there?

I’ve been able to read a bunch of great articles lately too! I can finally get through a bunch of the newsletters I usually just skim and then delete. Here are the ones that have stuck out the most lately.

Links That Are My Jam

“Guide to Raised Garden Beds: Plans, Timing, Tending.” Gardener’s Supply

“She got married. I’ve never seen her writing again.” Longreads

“Women Turning their 40th Birthdays into Wedding-Level Extravaganzas.” Glamour

“How Your Personality Changes as You Age.” BBC

“America’s Richest Mountain Town (Jackson Hole) Is Its Most Unequal.” Outside Magazine

“Virtual Tours of the U.S. National Parks.” Google

“Love & Lhotse – Drive by loss, 2 of the world’s best ski mountaineers set out to make history – and find answers – on Mount Everest.” Sports Illustrated

“They Ignored the Warning Signs – An Interview with a NYC E.R. Doctor.” Vogue

“First 45 U.S. Volunteers Get Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine.” Entreprenuer

How are you guys hanging in there? Laying low? Being “productive?” Staying distracted? I’m here for all of it. Tell me things that I might like.

I hope you’re all safe and healthy. Miss you.

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Taking Stock in the New Year

It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come sometimes. Just like how you won’t notice subtle changes in your child’s height until you measure them, we don’t notice our own improvements until we track them and pay attention. This year I’m taking stock of a bunch of different metrics in my life.

From my finances, to my business and relationships, I wanted to take a moment and look at exactly where I was at the start of this year. A year from now, I’d like to look back at it all to see what’s working, what’s not, and how to assess for my year ahead.

Whether you want to create a spreadsheet or simply a list in your phone’s notepad, here’s what I am tracking if you’d like to do the same:

Finances: Assets

  • Checking Account Balance
  • Savings Account Balance
  • Tax Savings Account Balance
  • Money Market Account Balance
  • Roth IRA Balance
  • Business Account Balance

Finances: Debts

  • Personal Credit Card Balance
  • Business Credit Card Balance
  • Car Loan Balance
  • iPhone Balance (I hate that I even had to write that)

Business: Contract Work

  • Previous Year’s Workshop total
  • Previous Year’s workshop attendee total
  • Previous Year’s Conferences & Preferences (and this year’s goals)
  • Previous Year’s Online Business Numbers: Profit/Loss

Business: Studio

  • Current Number of Classes & Schedule
  • Class Attendance Averages
  • Current Member Number
  • Current Staff/Instructor List
  • Monthly Average Profit/Loss

Personal: Body

My studio members and personal training clients are all getting their assessments done and so I’m doing the same work they are and am with them every step of the way.

  • Weight as of January 2nd
  • Body Measurements in Inches
  • Body Fat Percentage and BMI
  • Strength Test Measurements
  • Current Injuries / Tweaks (and what I’m recovering from)
  • 2020 Goals from a movement hobby perspective (dance class and climbing goals)

Personal: Other

  • Relationship status
  • Status of relationships with family members
  • Status of relationships with close friends
  • What I’d like to do differently in 2020
  • Previous Year’s Travel
  • This Year’s Travel Dreams/Goals
  • Previous Year’s Proudest Moments
  • This Year’s Dreams/Goals

If I think back at where I was this time last year, I know some areas have improved while others have declined. I don’t have exact stats on those like I will this time next year, but I can remember certain figures. This has helped me shape how I’d like to focus and prioritize the upcoming year. If you were to do the same thing, what sorts of things would you want to take stock of in your life currently?

Happy New Year, everybody!

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10 Years with Tango!

In 2009, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I’d been looking for a dog when one showed up behind the front desk at Barry’s Bootcamp – a studio I taught bootcamp classes at in San Diego. Over the months prior several dogs had been rescued from a kill shelter in L.A. by my boss, Joey Gonzalez, and placed at the desk waiting for somebody to get done with their workouts, fall in love with them, and adopt them. Several dogs had come and gone, all ridiculously cute. Tango was the one I fell in love with immediately. [Read more…]

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Giveaway! 5 TRX Classes at Studio Hustle

TRX Class Giveaway at Studio Hustle

Want to try some TRX classes at Studio Hustle? We’ve got a new 4 week session starting September 3rd for TRX Bootcamp & TRX Lite and we’re giving away a starter pack of 5 classes to one lucky person. Enter your email below to be registered for the giveaway and then you can get up to 4 extra entries by following the instructions below.

Hurry though! You’ve got until Thursday night (August 29) at midnight to enter.

Winner will be announced on Friday, August 30th and notified by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Photo by Georgi Silckerodt

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Five Summer Workout Playlists

5 Summer Workout Playlists

Whether you’re in need of a workout playlist to get the blood pumping, a yoga playlist to chill out to, or tunes to start the mood for a night out, I’ve got five of my latest compilations to share this summer. All playlists are approximately an hour long with cool-down music at the end. You can find all others at my Spotify account. Enjoy!

 

We’ll start with my favorite:
Hot Girl Summer

*I got as many clean versions as I could find, but maybe not appropriate for sensitive ears.

 

Then to chill:
Summer Yoga

Rock Workout:
Rock It Out 2

Throwback Workout #1:
Spring Break 2005

Throwback Workout #2:
Britney, Bitches

Honestly, I’d forgotten how many superb workout bops this girl had. This one’s longer.

 

Any new songs you’re loving to move to lately?

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Life Currently: New Opportunities (& Netflix Shows)!

Life Currently

Since it’s been months since I’ve written anything longer than an Instagram caption (other than weekly newsletters for my clients) it feels nice to write on this blog again. And since everybody’s been asking what’s going on lately, I thought I’d write a quick update on life, and toss it in with fun links and entertainment recommendations.

Long story short: A lot has been going on lately.

  1. I dyed my hair back to my natural dark blonde color and chopped a lot of it off. I feel summer-y and fresh and less annoyed with hiding grays. Yay!
  2. I opened a TRX-based fitness studio back in my hometown, Louisville, KY.
  3. The hubs and I are launching the next phase of life with us cruising back and forth between Kentucky and the Canadian Rockies.

After trying (and failing) for the last two years to make work happen from our tiny, remote, expensive town in Canada, I decided to jump on an opportunity to get my old studio space in Louisville back and get a new business going. Check out Studio Hustle!

Yes, this situation is hectic. No, it’s not convenient… But we are figuring it out. Situations change, things evolve, and you have to respond by figuring out what works best.There’s a lot involved in this decision (too much to type out now- maybe another time), but in the end, that’s life for ya.

So that’s the short version of what’s been going on the past six months! Here’s some more fun stuff:

Current Affairs

I’m Making: Bourbon Slush for these summer nights on the patio.

I’m Wanting: Mexican food. I might be hitting up El Mundo tonight…

I’m Moving: In and out of the hot tub in the back yard of the house I’m renting. It’s my new jam for about 10 minutes in the morning.

I’m Reading: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. I haven’t been able to finish a book for the past few months since the business has been so busy, but I’m easing my way through this one and really liking it so far (“so far” means I’ve made it to chapter 4, which is a huge accomplishment lately).

I’m Writing: On this blog for the first time in months. I’m sad that blogs have been almost completely replaced by Instagram (and the sad fact that most of my favorite bloggers are growing up and not writing much anymore due to families and priorities… damn not being in our 20s anymore), but it’s nice to be back at it today. It’s also nice to write more than just a couple sentences in a social media caption.

I’m Watching: NETFLIX. They’re killing it right now. Over the past few months, I’ve watched a few things: Always Be My Maybe, The Package, & Someone Great were all hilarious. About Time was about the sweetest movie I’ve ever seen and I’m wanting to watch it 5 more times this week. I can’t believe it came out in 2013 and I’ve never heard of it. It’s DELIGHTFUL. You should put it on your queue right now if you’ve never seen it. (And be ready with the tissues for some happy tears.) I’m working my way through Sex Education & Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, but it’s been a pleasant go lately. I’m also enjoying the fact that all these shows are only 8 episodes per season. WAY better.

I’m Listening To: These series podcasts: The Dream (about the MLM industry), Over My Dead Body (a true crime case), The Drop Out (about Elizabeth Holmes & the Theranos scheme) & NPR’s Embedded Podcast is doing a small series on Mitch McConnell’s backstory and how he came to power. Here in Kentucky, people either love him or hate him (I loathe him), so it’s interesting. Here is Episode 1 of that. I just listened to The 2 Princes from Gimlet. It’s for kids, but it’s a super fun 7 episode show that highlights some serious diversity in this adventure story and I loved it.

I’m Drinking: Water, sweet tea, and bourbon. It’s summer in Kentucky…

I’m Eating: Nothing at the moment, which reminds me it’s time for El Mundo soon!

I’m Enjoying: Summer. Lightning bugs. The lake. Bare feet in the grass. Not having to prepare to go outside. Working & making money. Teaching fitness on a regular basis. Feeling productive again.

I’m Hoping: This nice 70 degree weather continues. It’s not been sweltering the past couple weeks and it’s really nice for June in this part of the country!

I’m Needing: to finish getting prepped for the IDEA World Conference next week! I’m presenting 2 sessions there and am almost ready. I’m stoked to see everybody there.

I’m Feeling: Excited to have just had 6 really fun days with the family here. It was awesome to show the boys my hometown. They’ve never been to Kentucky before so I got to take them to so many fun places. The visit wasn’t long enough, but it’ll be nice to see Fras again next week in California.

I’m Wearing: Tanks and shorts are pretty much the uniform here once May hits.

I’m Noticing: How much of a regional/cultural thing it is to go out to eat to visit with friends. When I first got back to town I was meeting friends out nearly every night to catch up. I’ve had to mandate walks, workouts, or cooking meals at home as ways to socialize so I don’t throw away money every night of the week eating out… or gain a ton of weight.

I’m Smelling: Grass being cut nearby.

I’m Pinning: This Flat Iron Wave tutorial from the Kristin Ess Instagram page. I’m having to find new ways to style my really short hair (because I can’t get it into a ponytail anymore).

I’m Loving: My people.

 

What’s up with you guys out there? Any book or Netflix recommendations? Any good recipes for meals or summer cocktails? Let me know!

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3 Ways to Simplify Everyday Life

3 Ways to Simply Everyday Family Life | Fit with Flash

Everybody’s stressed all the time. I get stressed too, but I’m ruthlessly efficient with what I take on (and what I don’t) in order to keep life as simple as possible.

I don’t have all the answers & I also don’t have small babies/toddlers around, so that makes my situation easier than others, but I refuse to let societal pressures drive my decision-making. The following are things that work for me individually & for me with my family.

Here are 3 ways to simplify everyday life: [Read more…]

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Workout Playlist: Spring Break 2000

Spring Break Workout Playlist by Ami McMullen | Fit with Flash

My latest workout playlist is from one of my favorite music years: 2000. It was hard to narrow it down to just these 15 songs. It’s also hard to believe that these came out nearly 20 years ago. WHAT? I’d forgotten how explicit some of these songs were, so I’m sharing the clean versions of all them here, just in case there are sensitive ears around…

Anyway. Here’s the link if you can’t see the widget below.

 

As always, playlists are an hour long, with cool-down music at the end so you don’t forget to stretch. Be careful though… this last song might set the mood for something other than a cool-down. ; )

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Book Buzz: The Romance Series That’s WAY Better (& Hotter) Than 50 Shades

I don’t know about you guys, but I loved romance novels for a while, but eventually they all kinda felt the same: a demure damsel, a hunky stable boy, badda bing badda boom, steamy scenes, happily ever after, the end. They were fine, then I got over it and stopped reading them.

My BFF – who was also into romance novels and felt the same way I did about the Shades series – not our fave – told me she’d recently been so overwhelmed by the state of the world that she just wanted something FUN to read to relax. She’d gotten back into romances and found the BEST series. She told me I had to at least read the first book. [Read more…]

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