Saturday, September 21, 2019

My last workout



So I just realized I had my last workout at the gym I have been going to for the last 8 years.

That's kind of sad.        Actually, It's really sad.

You probably know if you read this blog that when the family moved here to North Carolina 9 years ago I was UNHEALTHY. I was working a regular 9-5 job and I was going out to lunch a lot and eating quick food because time was at a premium. I had 2 small kids and a husband that traveled. These aren't excuses. Looking back now I know I just didn't make my health a priority.

Certainly, busy people make time to get to the gym. I wasn't special. Just lazy.

So I got big.

For a while I ignored it. Used my usual excuses "big boned" and the like.

All that changed when we moved though because suddenly I was a stay at home mom with one kid in full-time school and another in preschool.

I had LOTS of free time.

It's hard to say you don't have time to get to the gym when all you have is time.

Or maybe I just hated laundry so much I was willing to start working out again just to not have to fold one more load?

Either way, I joined the gym and started with 20 minutes on the treadmill.

Seriously. I was walking for 20 minutes and I would leave sweaty and gross and I HATED IT. I hated every step because it was hard and it made me angry at myself for getting so damn out of shape.

You see it doesn't happen overnight. It's a thousand bad choices made over and over again.

The crazy part is that is the same way you fix it.

A thousand good choices made over and over again.

My first was the gym. Over and over again, day after day I went from 20 minutes on the treadmill to cardio classes to the weights.

I got faster and stronger and HEALTHIER.

There was the other side too where I stopped sneaking ice cream when the dog would wake me up at 3 am. Yes, a thing I did most nights. Or cookies. Or some other junk.

I starting doing all the things we all know we are supposed to do but don't want to because it's easier to make excuses.

Time passed.

Progress happened, as it does when you put your head down and grind.

Thursday morning I walked into my usually 930 class and for whatever reason, I was the only one.

Just me and the weights and so much sweat.

I was having a hard time with a plate pinch carry. Basically, I was holding two ten-pound weights in each hand pinched between my thumb and four fingers. I was supposed to walk 50 m with them then move on to the next step.

My hands kept slipping. I was getting frustrated. That's when coach said he liked it when I came in first to "test" the workout.

Because I was having a hard time the workout was changed.

I'm the gold standard.


Okay, that's a little ridiculous but remember just a few sentences ago I told you 20 minutes on the treadmill was horrible. Now workouts are being altered base on MY ability to do them.

Sadly though my progress is not what the blog is about.

Remember, I'm leaving my gym.

They have instituted a "no bag" policy like stadiums and concert halls.  While I understand the world we live requires businesses to make changes that they think will keep their customers safe I don't agree this is the way to go. At least not for this business.

What matters is that I can't tell you all about how you should be a sheepdog and how important training is then be in a facility that has ensured that I don't have anything to keep myself safe.

So it's new gym time.

Got to walk the walk. Not just talk the talk.

Lead by example.

At least that is the kind of person I would like to be. Those are certainly the people I look up to.

So I tried out a new gym this morning.

Although "new" Isn't really accurate. I tried it out about a year ago but I wasn't ready to leave the nest. Wasn't ready to start something new, despite the fact that it's like this gym was made for me.

There are punching bags and training guns and heavy weights.




Yes, you read that right.

Did I mention the signs on the walls say things like "hope is not a plan"?

Oh and last but not least membership at this gym gets me access to a private outdoor range where I can practice moving and shooting.

I know. I'm confused as to why I took so long when I knew this was an option.

2 things.

Number 1 is that I LOVE MY PEOPLE. They make the worst workouts better just by their mutual suffering.

Number 2 is that there are no classes. Everything is self-motivated and I seriously questioned whether, when it was up to me, I would actually work hard.

I realize that is insane.

I'm not going to start skipping the gym because I'm going by myself.

Did I forget who I am?

I should know I'm awesome.

So GOODBYE old gym.

GOODBYE awesome workout buddies.

GOODBYE the comfort of things that are KNOWN.









Friday, August 16, 2019

Functional Training

Right now some of you are yelling that you are not going to drink the Koolaid.

I get it. Seriously, I was you. I was actually tricked into joining. Bamboozled even!

For everyone else who is confused by my ranting here is what I'm talking about.

Functional Training is a tern for Crossfit.

But hold on one minute before you totally ignore me or start ranting about how you don't want to be the best at exercising.

There is a reason Crossfit is called Functional Training.

I'm talking to you moms!

You know that battle to only make one trip with the groceries?

Functional Fitness

You know how your toddler wants to ride on your back for an hour?

Functional Fitness

You know that balancing act you perform while you read one more bedtime story on the edge of the bed packed with a small child and every stuffed animal ever made?

Functional Fitness

You know when you run along the sidelines of your kid's soccer game trying to get the perfect "action shot"?

Functional Fitness

You know when you bend down to tie your little one's shoe for the 100th time?

Functional Fitness

Basically what I'm saying is that Crossfit is for you.

So this is my plea to you ladies to join me at the YMCA and try out a class.

Is it hard? YES

Is it worth it? YES

Will you be able to "keep up"? YES



Monday, July 22, 2019

Women and Guns

I posted this on my Facebook page. What followed was a back and forth mired in misunderstanding.

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This is what I posted for clarification, it is about as clear as I can be about why I think women and guns are a good thing. 

I don't need you to agree but I'd like it if you understood.

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The main reason I love teaching women to shoot is that guns are the great equalizers.
Especially for women.

I can train every day. (Something I do) but men are inherently stronger and faster. That's genetics.

Don't get me wrong most men don't stand a chance against me but for the ones that do, they might be faster or stronger than me but they are not stronger or faster than a bullet.

I teach that talking and running are always your first options to get out of a bad situation. Before that is NOT being there at all.

But sometimes bad shit happens no matter what steps you take to avoid it and some people can't be reasoned with.

So should the police be by my side when this happens I will let them do their job but as it is more likely that I will be alone (or worse, with my kids) know that I won't hesitate to make sure I am the one that gets to go home tonight.

I don't think like this because I live in a "bad part of town" or because I'm looking for a fight.

I think like this because the world has changed and I can't sit in an ivory tower and pretend it's 1985. Bad people hate me without ever having met me.

If they knock on my door know that I am ready and I am going to help as many people as I can be ready too.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

I am a Superhero




Sunday is Funday.

I spend most of Sunday's at open mat because that is fun to me.

What's "open mat"?

Good question.

It's a time when your BJJ (Brazilian Jui Jitsu) school lets everyone train but there is no lesson. Just people rolling together trying to get better at a sport they love.

When you work really hard the mats are covered in sweat. I mean covered!

Obviously, that is GROSS and it needs to be cleaned up.

Enter the cleanup crew. Or as it is less formally known the student and instructors.

I had a mop in my hand because I was in the Navy so I can out mop most people. 😜

Natalie was there too and as is the natural state of a 12-year-old girl she was being sassy.

One of the other members of the cleanup crew commented that she was past the age where she thought her parents were perfect superheroes.

I laughed for a moment before replying.

"Fuck that. I am a Superhero."

Related image
Or as close as you are going to get without any magical powers and Natalie agreed.


Side note. This is not about mommy shamming. You can be a great mom without being a secret ninja.

So sure she questions everything I say and revels in telling me I'm wrong but she doesn't question my superhero status.

And neither should you.




Sunday, June 30, 2019

Flex Friday

Did a little bathing suit shopping today because this is the summer the bikini returns.

The time to worry about some imaginary beauty standard is over.

In the last ten years I have become so much stronger and faster and healthier. I am in the best shape of my life and I'm not stopping. I want to improve every day.


But none of that is what I'm talking about today.

Today is about the fact that while I was trying on bathing suits I noticed some super awesome back and shoulder muscles.

Then I spent 3 to 5 minutes flexing in the changing room. (it might have been longer I don't have a watch.) the mirrors were at the perfect angle and the lighting was magical.


Never have I wanted to be a professional fitness model more. I'm guessing they would have been able to flex much better than me but even with my amateur status, I was still awesome.

There are so many muscles back there. I mean all the muscles. ALL the muscles.

At home photo isn't as magical but still. I WILL SQUEEZE THE LIFE OUT OF YOU!

Who wants a HUG?



I have a wedding to go to in October. I'm thinking strapless. Other people should enjoy the view. It would be selfish of me to keep it from them.


side note: Someone at Jui Jit Sui said my legs were strong. You guys know that makes me giddy. I'll take that over "you're pretty" any day of the week.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Fear's enemy is preparation

We have the Ring Doorbell. It's cool and I can see who is at the door so I can decide if I actually want to answer it. Also I'm about to have a teenage driver in my house and if he thinks he can sneak out that is NOT going to happen. Or maybe he wants to sneak someone in? Either way, not on my watch.

Image result for ring app images

I mean that's what I use it for but I think other people use it too keep an eye on their property and discourage thieves. If the Ring app is anything to go by it is also used to locate lost dogs, garbage thieves and random ding dong ditch perpetrators.
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My daughter likes to scroll through the alerts. She hopes the pups find their owners and laughs at kids running from porches.

We had a quick conversation about why so many people post about cars turning around in driveways and people walking by on the sidewalk.

I explained that people see danger around every corner when they don't know what real danger looks like. So every person that walks by might be a robber casing their house and every car in their driveway might be a team of burglars ready to steal their awesome DVD collection.

It might also be someone who made a wrong turn on their way to a dinner party.

When you aren't prepared you can see darkness in every corner. Danger in every stranger.

The best way to conquer fear is to be prepared.


Are you prepared?


I might know a good place to start if you need help.

Sheepdog Response

Sheepdog Response

Saturday, June 8, 2019

I'm Broken Again or My Legend Only Grows

So you may remember a few years ago I broke my wrist.

I did get an awesome metal plate. So it was kind of a win. But more than the fact that I broke it was the stuff I did after the break.

I finished the race.
Didn't miss a day of "work".
Did a half MURPH within a month.
And was back training ninja stuff in a week.

Basically, I proved I'm a superhero.
Or insane. Sometimes it's a fine line.

I've tried to tell people I don't feel pain but it always sounds like I'm exaggerating or bragging.

I'm not. It's gotten me into trouble before.

Not feeling pain isn't a good thing.

But since I can't change it I will use it to my advantage to help my legend GROW.

So I'm broken again. The 2nd metatarsal in my right foot.



We are going to use the Ranger Up Grappling Classic as a timeline for my injury.

2 weeks till the tournament
Let's start with the how.

I mean that's what everyone asks.

What I say is "big guy fell on it." And while that is true it's a bit of a simplification.

What happened was I was training HARD and because I'm still a blue belt and do stupid stuff I had an active toe during a takedown and the person doing the takedown (the takedowner?) landed on it.

The noise it made was so scary everyone in class stopped. I of course laughed it off.

"I'm sure it's fine."-me

Everyone else seemed concerned.

Ice was procured. A chair was moved.

I was told to chill.

So because it did hurt and I was tired I agreed.

"It's just your tendons" -coach

Sure. Let's hope you stayed at a holiday inn express last night because you're not a doctor.
it's swollen but it doesn't look too bad right?


12 days out
For a few days I hobbled around but then it was feeling better and I don't have time for injuries.

Thank goodness for tape. Surely it will fix anything.
Please notice my foot has tape on it.


Back to training.

Does my foot hurt? Yes. Do I care? No.

So training hard is the only option.

7 days out
I'm concerned about the fact that my foot still isn't "better". But the swelling is down and the bruises are gone.
toes aren't supposed to be purple

I'm sure it's fine.

4 days out. Last hard roll. Last real training session. When I stepped off the mats I was pretty sure my foot was broken.

3 days out.
I call the orthopedist and make an appointment for the Tuesday after the long Memorial Day weekend.

Could they have squeezed me in tomorrow? I'm not sure. I didn't ask. I didn't want them to confirm what I suspected. As long as there was room for doubt I could compete.

"You're not going to tape your foot at the tournament are you?" -coach

I mean I was but I guess not now. Pretty sure the tape was only a placebo anyway.

Tournament day
10 matches! 10 matches. Some wins some losses. Not a bad day. I made some stupid mistakes but again, blue belt. That's pretty much a guarantee.
on the podium. 


Either way the foot felt pretty good. I was starting to think I overreacted by calling the doctor.

1 day after
"Whose coming to open mat?" -training partner

This chick is. Foot feels better and I want to try and work on the dumb stuff and hey, what else am I going to do on a Sunday?

2 days after
"Mom we're doing the MURPH right?"-Nat

 Of course we are peanut. Who says no to a kid wanting to honor a true hero and exercise?
squats squats squats


Please note I rowed instead of running because while my foot felt better running still wasn't an option.

3 days post Tournament
"Oh hey Doc."-me

That is for sure a broken foot so its a good thing I have a boot waiting in my car. I'll just slip into this sexy accessory.

"See you in 3 weeks."-me

boot at the pool. 





So to sum up I am a real-life superhero.



One last thing. If this sounds like one big brag it's this guys fault:



When you reinforce my bad choices with compliments it only feeds the beast. He did temper it with a dig about my mouth but whatever. Doesn't change the fact that you said something nice first. 


My last workout

So I just realized I had my last workout at the gym I have been going to for the last 8 years. That's kind of sad.        Actually...