Mental Game Set To An 11

Hello, and happy belated new year! I totally started this post like two weeks ago and never finished it. Nevertheless, I am so so happy that we have a brand shiny new year in front of us. Not that 2016 was terrible, but given the chance to live it again, I will reply with a polite “No, thank you.” So let’s raise a LaCroix flavor of your choice to 2017, may it only kick our collective butts a little bit. Enough to foster positive change, but not so much that we decide to hibernate for the rest of the year.

Speaking of kicking butt, my butt is so sore. The other day our workout was a series of tabada intervals that seemed pretty mild when I read them, but quickly found how in CrossFit, looks can be deceiving:

Strength:

  • 3×10 dumbbell rows (I worked up to 25 lbs)

Workout:

Tabada intervals for each exercise (8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest)

  • Sit-ups
  • Ring rows
  • Shoulder press (weight your choice, I used 12lbs)
  • Jumping lunges

I feel like I’ve started coming down with a cold, so I went into class thinking I’ll just take it easy and scale down as needed. But once I got warmed up, I realized it was one of those rare days where my mental game totally exceeded my physical ability. Which is always super, super awesome and fun! I still checked in with my body and form to prevent injury, but during the intervals I was obsessed with getting one more rep than last round. Yeah, that didn’t happen. But you know you gotta have goals. During the shoulder press and jumping lunges, my muscles all out failed. My brain was trying to hard to nudge me into another rep, and my body was frozen.

I ended up with 280 reps total. I have no idea what that score means exactly. I guess the next time we do this workout I’ll get to compare results?

Meanwhile, I’m still plugging away on my Whole30. 15 days down, and halfway there! I’m focusing on just taking it one day/one meal at a time. I prep tomorrow’s food the night before while I’m making dinner, and that routine seems to be working well. Except when I forget and I end up bringing a grocery bag of random cans and containers to work for lunch/pre-workout snack.


Note the can of my beloved puréed sweet potatoes. Not puréed pumpkin. The other morning I forgot to check the label on the can I grabbed from the pantry on my way whisking out the door. It was pumpkin. Not sweet potatoes. I ended up eating straight-up pumpkin purée on the way to yoga. I only buy cans of pumpkin to make pumpkin pie, which in my opinion is the only edible form of pumpkin. But I never got around to making the pie over the holidays, and the can of pumpkin got mixed in with my stash of sweet potatoes. So I found myself in a position where I have yoga in an hour, I’m driving there straight from work, and I am legit steamed-fish-and-broccoli hungry. So one can of pumpkin puree, down the hatch. It was reminiscent of that time when I was a kid and I hated green beans, but my mom made me eat them anyway. So much gagging. And now I’m an adult, and am willingly putting food I don’t like down. Still gagging. I have matured so much.

Go make it a great day!

 

Dreams of Festivus

We are t-minus two weeks left for the year, and over at my house we have our sights set on a January Whole30. That’s right, this time around everyone in the family is on board!

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I am also simultaneously planning out what Christmas cookies we’re going to make. Because, duh, January Whole30. (In case you’re curious, it’s snowballs, those peanut butter cookies with the chocolate kisses, homemade fudge, and a glorious family recipe called “Swedish Jam Shortbread” which is basically crack.)

I’m half-serious about extending my Whole30 out to a Whole60 or Whole90. One thing that I noticed after my last round in September is that my sugar cravings still aren’t really in check, and I still am struggling with putting together easy go-to foods for crazy mornings and busy days. Planning and preparation just aren’t second-nature to me yet, and although I am an ace at the rules and knowing what foods are in and out, I just go to convenience foods because I never think ahead about what I need for tomorrow/that busy Saturday full of errands/that offsite work meeting. I think having my family on board this time will help, since all of the shopping and cooking won’t be solely on me. But I do think I could use a little extra time to develop the good habits for batch cooking and planning ahead for meals that I haven’t been really able to lock down yet.

Meanwhile, I’ve had to scale back my appearances at the gym lately. For some reason, my whole body has decided to rebel against any type of comfortable locomotion. It started about a month ago when I came down with the “Winter Crud.” You know, it’s when that sniffly/crummy/run-down-itis bug makes its rounds. As soon as I was coming out of that, I twisted my ankle pretty hard. So there was another week off from the gym. Then I started coming back from that, but it’s been rather hit-or-miss. Thanks to the shorter days, I’ve been having a difficult time motivating myself to make the 6am classes, and if I put off the workouts to the evening classes there always seems to be some unforeseen circumstance that gets in my way. Rather than beat myself up, I’m just acknowledging that it’s winter, it’s the holidays, and if I want to hermit down for a few weeks and chill, that’s fine. The gym will still be there tomorrow. So will my stretchy pants, so it’s all good.

Speaking of the upcoming Festivus, who else has got their merry jingle elf hat on?

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My holiday goals include watching “Elf” at least 11 times, and any night I don’t have something going on we spend it in front of the tree in the living room, fire ablaze in the fireplace (preferably), and “nice toddies” all around. “Nice toddies” are what we call hot toddies without the booze. Which is basically just lemon tea with honey.

Maybe I should order the new Whole30 Cookbook. Does anyone have that yet, is it any good? I still haven’t made it through all of the recipes in the original Whole30 book, so I have been holding off on getting the Cookbook for now.

Okay, that’s all my rambles for now. Go make it a great day!

Monday Mindfulness: Be Here Now

Back in 2010, when I was still racing bicycles competitively, I attended a cycling workshop hosted by professional cyclist Giana Roberge. During one of the clinics, we were working on some pretty intense drills to work on building our stamina during power moves such as time trials and climbing, where you need to be throttling it at your absolute max for a long time. To red-line your power output like that is just as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one. The entire time you are fighting with your brain to keep mashing the pedals, while your whole body seems to be screaming that you need to stop. One of the things Giana suggested to help keep us motivated during this time was to identify a manta or phrase that we could repeat to ourselves during the effort that was inspiring and could distract us and keep us focused to push our limits. Her suggested phrase was, “be here now.” All that exists in this moment, right now, is for the pedal to get one more powerful turn, for my lungs to get in one more good suck of air, for me to pull myself out of the saddle just one more time. Do not think about the discomfort, about how I could be just sitting at home watching Netflix right now, or what I plan on doing when I get home, or anything that could distract me from giving it my all right now. Be here now, in this moment, giving it everything, because that is all that matters.

Six years later, and I am still repeating that phrase to myself, although it’s morphed to take on new meanings and manifestations since being on the bike. I say it to myself before I go into an important meeting, to focus on the content I have prepared and to not guess or predict what my client’s reactions will be. I say it to myself in between reading my toddler bedtime stories and tucking her into bed, so I can savor the short moment of one of the “good parts” of parenthood and not rush off to continue my own activities for the evening. Most recently, I say it to myself when I start planning to-do lists and big, overachieving projects I know I don’t really have the time or energy to initiate let alone actually complete.

Often I have felt in a goal-achieving funk. In the past couple years I’ve had to deal with a lot of Life Stuff that has taken up a good chunk of my time I used to spend working on my hobbies and goals. I feel like I haven’t had the focus or energy to put into the big, hairy goals I want to make happen next in my life. The other day I was looking for a book when I stumbled across some of my old planners from several years ago. Out of curiosity, I opened a couple to see what my long-term goals were back in the day. Out of habit, I always jot down my current 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals in the back pages of my planner, just for inspiration and visualization on days when I feel a little demotivated. Imagine my surprise when I realized that almost every 1- or 5- year goal I had written down – run a marathon, complete my family (2 kids!), work as a professional consultant, live in a big city, buy a “forever” home – I’ve done. These things just seemed to happen in my life at the time that seemed right, there was no “project plan” or obvious hard work or muscling it up that occurred to manifest these things. At some point I realized it was something I wanted to do, I wrote it down, and just kept working hard on the stuff I knew how to do. And magic happened, and I didn’t even realize it, because I was so focused on my plans for the future; I almost missed the “now.”

That’s not to say I didn’t work or plan for these things. But from the moment I dreamed up a goal, I had absolutely no plan or idea how I would make it work. It’s just something I knew I wanted. Then when time was right and opportunities presented themselves, I figured it out. But all the while, I was still planning and organizing the future, without stopping to look at the current. I forgot to “be here now.” And it stressed me out, making me feel like I cannot get it together and I did not have enough focus to make things happen. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I just was too focused on making it happen rather than allowing it to happen, trusting that if I continued to work and act in a way that made me the person I wanted to be, the things I wanted to experience would come along shortly. Time and again, things have worked out for me when I least expected them to, and I can trust in that pattern.

Life has taken me on some really crazy detours, but they have always brought me around to the place I’m meant to be in the end. I’m starting to let go of my control-freak nature and just allow and trust things to go where they need to go as long as I’m doing what I feel like I need to do. Some would say this is sort of “let go and let God sort it out” sort of thinking. I see it as reducing the amount of crap I keep thinking about that I can’t control anyway, which frees up some brain space for just the crap that is in this moment. To “be here now” and let go of all of the stress, worries, and fears that Later might bring. Letting go of that control is sort of scary at first, like I’m just going to tailspin into the Land of No Forward Progress and Complacency, as if that’s a real thing. But the opposite is true. When I can truly let go and enjoy the moment, I feel as if the possibilities are endless. I have the capacity to do anything, without all of the weight of worry and control on my back. To “be here now” is such a feeling of freedom in this moment.

Day 1 of Food Freedom

#allthepeanutbutter. That is all.

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So today I’m reintroducing some foods from the forbidden Legume group, in particular peanuts and hummus. I’ve never been a big bean eater, so I’m not worrying about the magical fruit for now, sticking with things I do enjoy eating to check and see how the fit in with my newfound awesomeness.

I’m also really, really trying hard to eat breakfast even on early mornings. My latest find is “stuff in a jar,” where I dump frozen veggies, olive oil, and whatever cooked meat I have left in the fridge in a mason jar and eat it in the car on my commute. The mason jar is way more manageable for car-eating than a plastic container since it fits in my cup holder! #winning

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Yesterday it was California Blend and pulled pork. This morning it was carrots, guacamole, and sliced chicken apple sausage. Breakfast power!

Side note, we did NOT share a bottle of wine last night. By the time the kids were in bed and house prepped for tomorrow, I was perfectly content to celebrate my success by breaking out a new-to-me flavor of La Croix (orange!) and hanging out with Hulk on the couch while watching the aquarium and catching up on our days. Maybe this weekend? The beauty is that the decision can always be made again tomorrow!

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

Whole30 Day 27 and My Reintro Plan

It’s Friday, or Fri-yay! as some of my social media counterparts prefer to claim.

Today is Day 27 of my Whole3036 and I’m hitting the “holy Oprah it’s almost done” phase. And I just finished my copy of “Food Freedom Forever,” so I’m super pumped to actually do this reset right.

I’ve been a Whole30 yo-yo’er, and that’s always been the part that I’ve struggled with.  I do my 30 days, feel amazing, then I don’t really do the reintro. So it’s a quick slide back in to Crappysville, population = me, and I have to restart all over, beating my head against the same issues again and again.

Not this time (hopefully!) because now, I have a PLAN!

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Written in my handy-dandy Commit30 planner (which is amazing; you should get one) is my day-by-day reintro plan of exactly what I will introduce when. And a doodle of a bike, because I will “ride my own bike” with my own diet from now on, and I apparently doodle bikes really well.

So the reintro process is I keep eating like I’m on a Whole30, but on the specified reintro days I can experiment with off-plan foods to see how they affect my digestion, sleep, energy, mood, and any other noticeable factors that have improved over the last 30 days. Why I’ve never done the proper reintro before is because by Day 30, I was DONE with the plan and could not WAIT to dive head-first into all the stuff I was missing. Now I know better, and I do not want to waste the last 30 days of hard work figuring out how foods affect me if I don’t reintro properly. Lesson learned.

So here’s the plan:

  • Day 31: Celebrate a successful Whole30 with a glass of wine! I’m thinking a fancy one from our stash, I’m sure I can twist Hulk’s arm to celebrate with me.
  • Day 32: Legumes –
    • ALL THE PEANUT BUTTER. Totally slathering my apple in PB with my snack or breakfast.
    • Beans – I’ll have a burrito bowl and include beans (but no cheese or rice just yet)
  • Days 33 – 34: Whole30 food, see how I feel
  • Day 35: Non-gluten grains –
    • POPCORN!! With ghee instead of butter, because not Dairy Day yet.
    • Maybe rice with dinner. I don’t eat much rice, but my family does, and it would be helpful if I knew how often I can indulge with them. I’m undecided if this is necessary quite yet.
  • Days 36-37: Whole30 food, see how it goes
  • Day 38: Dairy (okay, now it gets fun)-
    • Creamer in the coffee!
    • Cheese on my eggs!
    • Butter on my veggies!
  • Days 39-40: Whole30 food, maybe find out it’s not so fun?
  • Day 41: Gluten Day. At last, this is the day.
    • BEER. OMG, all the beer. Like, a pint. Not literally all of the beer. That would likely kill me. But I am so eager to have a beer again.
    • I am going to search high and low for the best pumpkin muffin in the East Bay. I know I really like the Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffins, but I can’t do one of those for reintro because cream cheese. And the Flying Goat coffee shop has hands-down the best pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in the universe, but I don’t want to do one of those for reintro because chocolate chips. Anyone have a good recommendation for an only-pumpkin muffin? Maybe I’ll have to make my own.
    • Maybe a sandwich. Because I do like to have a sandwich for lunch from a deli if I’m crunched for time.

Then I Whole30 it for two more days and see how my energy, digestion, mood, sleep, exercise, and all of the other good stuff change with my new diet tweaks.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

Life is Pain, Your Highness

Some days, I feel so on top of the world, that there is nothing I can’t do or figure out. This is not one of those days. Why does technology have to go and make me feel like such an idiot? My only comfort is knowing that I am totally not alone in this sentiment. I’m confident of this, since I work support in the tech industry. It’s okay people; your support engineer has those days where they can’t get their computer to start only to find it’s not plugged in, too. Or something like that.

I want to start a new blog. With the new fall season and all of my blog-worthy interests evolving the past few months, and the fact that I love to start new projects, I thought a blog that was more CrossFit and fitness-focused would be fun. Not that I can’t talk about CrossFit and fitness here, but I’m a bit OCD when it comes to content and I prefer to keep things organized. ERTR started out as a running blog, but then I stopped running. And then I had another baby. And then I started putting myself back together after baby. Now I feel like I’m ready to start a new chapter with blogging, and I felt that a shiny, new blog would  be the right way to do it.

But could that be easy? No. Mostly because I’m an idiot and I don’t know how the World Wide Web works, apparently. Because who wants to research and read about registrar domains and stuff? Can’t I just fire up a new WordPress site and go?

I had a feeling I was jumping into it too quickly. Because once I get an idea in my head, I have to do it NOW RIGHT NOW. So when I thought, “Hey, I know! Let’s start a new blog!” I have to pick out a name, set up a site, and GO! I wanted my new space to be focused on CrossFit, self-love, and holistic wellness. I thought “Eat, Lift, Love” would be a perfect name. So, while on my phone waiting for BART, I googled and didn’t find any hits so I figured the domain was up for grabs. Which is weird, because I thought that was a pretty good domain name. I jumped on GoDaddy and purchase the domain no problem. I set up a new WordPress site and mapped the domain.

Then I actually googled eatliftlove.com from my computer (not my phone). And someone already has a website at that url. WTH.

Turns out, registrars (the sites that sell and manage domains) can sell you domains already registered with another service. I should have looked up in the WHOIS database to check if the domain was already taken by another service. But I didn’t, because I didn’t know. Now I have to figure out a new domain name. Or I can forget about it and let this little blog evolve with me. That might not be a horrible idea, either. Actually, that requires a lot less effort on my part. And I’m lazy, so let’s do that instead.

False alarm! I don’t have a new website after all. Whew, that was a close one!

Go make it a great day!

Life Lately: Some Updates

My planner reminded me of a depressing point last week.


Ugh. You’re right, Nancy. My planner’s name is Nancy. Nancy is a name that sounds like someone who has her sh*t so together, she can help me with mine.

Anyway. We embarked on a Whole30 for June. I’m a little timid in taking about it, because historically whenever I talk a lot about my Whole30 on the blog, it jinxed it and I end up face first in a Safeway vanilla sheet cake. So far it’s going really well, because Hulk is doing it with me! You may now all pick your jaws up on the floor. Yes, my beer-brewing, “elimination diets are pointless”-viewed husband is doing a Whole30 with me for support. It’s been great trading off meals and having someone else volunteer ideas for “what’s for dinner.” And breaking out our matching LaCroix on the back patio Friday nights instead of the usual beer has a good vein of solidarity to it that keeps me from caving to certain hoppy brewed temptations.

One good note is that our Home Chef dinners are pretty simple to modify.


I just check all of the spices and sauces and replace the sugar and dairy for stuff we have on hand. For example, the Cole slaw last night called for sugar, so I used the juice of a clementine instead. Gave it a great citrus-y kick!

Also for June, my goal is to get outside more. So Squish and I had a little beach date Saturday morning. 


We went to Half Moon Bay. It was chilly, but clearly comfortable enough to to roll around repeatedly in the sand. He even got me to help him play “Construction” with his trucks, pushing them up and down the dunes. We left sandy and satisfied.

I’m still taking CrossFit easy. I had an amazing therapeutic massage on my hamstrings Tuesday, but I’m still feeling a bit off. I did the WOD yesterday and it took me a good 10 minutes into the workout to really feel warmed up and ready to go. I think I just need to take more time to warm up, to come to the gym early and get the process started sooner. Ugh, it’s terrible to get old, I tell ya.

That’s the update for now. Go make it a great day!

So Long, San Francisco!

It’s been a year since my family and I moved from our downtown SF apartment to our “forever home” in the East Bay. I had started this post last year but never published it because, well, we moved and I was totally swamped with moving-related activities. The past few moves we’ve added a child each time, and it’s amazing how exponentially harder it is to move with the addition of each small human. I normally like to move, but after this last one, I’m happy to stay camped out for a while! Anyway, here is a little tribute to our happy little cosmopolitan nest perched on the 31st floor that we enjoyed for 2 1/2 years.

That time is finally upon us. After months of searching and weeks of planning, we are moving out of our little SF apartment to our new home in the East Bay. We’ve had quite the adventures over the past couple of years.

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Moving day view from the living room, 11/25/2012

We came to SF from Sonoma County because I found a job downtown mere blocks from our apartment. It was a dream to have a commute I could walk.

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Then I took another job on the peninsula where I could bike commute to the commuter train. Still pretty awesome.

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Our little Squishy-man celebrated three birthdays in our apartment, growing from a baby to a toddler to a preschooler in a blink.

And let’s not forget that Miss Buttercup made her debut. Followed by Olive’s introduction to the family.

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And we said goodbye to our furry friend, Duke. I still miss you, buddy.

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We had tons of fun in SF events that were in our own backyard.

And had our fair share of good times with our city crew! Plus that New Years Eve 2013 party we hosted on the roof was epic. Just sayin’.

It was also fun to watch Squish become a “city kid.” He had a very different experience than Hulk and I did, growing up in the suburban midwest! That kid will never have a fear of heights, that’s for sure.

And then there was the pool. I’ll miss the pool.

 

And now it’s time to pack it in, and say our goodbyes. It’s been an incredible stop in the proverbial journey of life, but now it’s time for a new chapter. And I do not care that I am mixing metaphors.

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Farewell, San Francisco! We’ve had a wonderful time. And you’ll only be a BART ride away for future adventures and shenanigans!

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A Fun Day

Okay, I think I’m done with CrossFit for a bit; my traps sort of hurt to the touch. And by “a bit” I mean I’ll take a rest day tomorrow. But I scored a new 1 rep max today, so that was fun!

1 Rep Max of the following combination:

  • 1 Shoulder press
  • 2 Push press
  • 3 Push jerks

Before the max, we also warmed up with a “mini Annie” doing 20 reps, 10 reps, and 5 reps of double unders and sit-ups. Funny how that used to be a “work out” and now it’s warm up! Okay, it felt like a work out. I was the last one to peel myself off of the floor. And then we did one minute AMRAP of pull-ups. Even with the big ol’ band, I still barely scored 8, and some of them were questionable as my arms barely made a 90 degree angle, let alone my head passing the bar. Then we did dumbbell rows and dumbbell rollbacks, and THEN we maxed the sequence.

It was such a fun day. And I tapped out at 38 kg, which I was stoked. On my first try, I couldn’t do it. So I gave it a few minutes rest and tried again. The coffee must’ve finally kicked in or something.

Then I flew home and slammed my breakfast of homemade yogurt and frozen blueberries while trying to take a shower at the same time.

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I would like to joke that bathroom food tastes better, but let’s be honest: if you’re eating in the bathroom, it’s because you’re running late anyway and are hoovering food in your face with complete abandon to your tastebuds. But I do love homemade yogurt. We got a Yogourmet yogurt maker off of Amazon a while back, and I will never buy yogurt in the store again. It’s super easy, and tastes way better. Pro tip: I like to add a pack of gelatin to the milk before I mix in the culture to get it a bit extra thick. Extra thick, and extra good for the gut! 🙂

That’s all for now. Go make it a great day!

Pick Three

I’ve been a big baby lately about getting to the gym. I love CrossFit, but I’ve been a whiner about getting up so early in the morning. I always feel fantastic after I go, and throughout the day I never regret getting my workout in first thing. But when that alarm goes off … Ugh.

And I only go to CrossFit twice a week, so I am completely capable of sleeping in the other five days! But after having kids and going through those seriously messed up sleep deprivation days, I am a total crazed dictator about getting sufficient sleep. I do not function without enough solid rest time, and after a few short nights in a row I’m guaranteed to come down with a cold or something. Of course the solution is to go to bed earlier, which is great until you do the math and find out your bedtime is before your preschooler’s (for real).

But you know what? Life isn’t perfect. I am not going to get the perfect 9 hours every single night that my body seems to gravitate to when left to its own devices and schedule. There will be short nights, there will be those blissful weekend sleep marathons with the kids are visiting the grandparents. The important thing is I’m mindful of what I need and I’m doing the best I can to make it happen.

There was an Instagram post recently from @melissa_hartwig that totally hit home, and spoke to something I have been struggling with for years: fitting it all in. Out of all the major priorities in life – sleep, exercise, work, family, friends – on any given day you can only reasonably pick three. Some days you sleep in, skip the workout, and go for happy hour with your work wives. Other days you get up when the alarm clock is displaying an outrageously small number so you can get in your workout before hitting the office before everyone else. But every day you choose what the priority is, and it’s all fluid. That’s “balance.”

I wasn’t doing this. I was literally filling out spreadsheets with proposed schedules to figure out how I could do everything, every day. Hence my request for a 30 hour day. But if I pick three, that’s totally reasonable. I can do three in 24 hours.

There will be days (like many of mine recently) that a project, event, or life circumstances will require one area gets all the attention. That’s cool, just focus on the thing that needs attention and let stuff elsewhere slide. The beauty of life is that (usually) tomorrow is another day, and you can pick the other things up again later. Maybe you lost some fitness, or maybe some relationships sort of faded. But if it’s something you truly care about, it will come back to you. Maybe in a different form than before, but it will come back.

I’m 33 years old, and I always put on myself that once I’m 30, I’ll have everything figured out. I’ll be athlete in my prime, I’ll have that corner office and big fancy title, balance career and family effortlessly, and I could just coast and enjoy the ride from there. I know, right? Then I had kids, and quickly realized (aduh)  that “having it all” is a myth … When you want it all at once. Who says I will never be an elite athlete, or have the big, fancy corner office? Maybe this is not my year. Maybe this is not my decade. Someday that goal will move to the top of my list, but today I’m in “mommy survival mode,” keeping my family moving forward.

And so today I chose workout over sleep, hit the alarm off instead of snooze, and went and did “Dirty Girls” scaled (10:47!). I’m probably going to work late, and spend the weekend catching up with my kids. Tomorrow it might be different, but this is what I need for today. “Letting ‘good enough’ be good enough.”

As always, go make it a great day … of your choice!