Checking In

Oh hey there. I’ve been missing you all. I took a short break from blogging, not intentionally but because life has been busy in all the right ways recently. But I am back, and figured that a good place to start would be to check in on how I am doing with my 2017 Goals. We’re one quarter of the way through the year. Here’s my progress and the completely ambiguous score that I’ve given myself.

The Ones Who Matter

  • Current Status: In just three months, I have already made some amazing memories. I also had my first Galentine’s Day trip with two of the most beautiful souls I know.
  • What I’m Looking Forward To: A few friends are getting married this year and I hope to be able to celebrate with them! I’ve also got a killer 4th of July road trip planned.
  • Score: 7. I can do better, particularly with the long-distance friends.

My Best Friend is a Pit Bull

  • Current Status: I remain painfully aware that Annie won’t live forever, and it’s almost debilitating. I’m super fortunate to have people in my life who understand how important Annie is and include her whenever possible. We have spent very few nights apart this year, aside from some travel. And my saint of a mom came up from South Carolina to dog-sit while I was in Ghana!
  • What I’m Looking Forward To: Annie is coming on the epic 4th of July road trip. I am also excited to continue a fun tradition that we started last summer. We skateboard to a nearby park where I work out. Then we skateboard home. It’s a great way for us to both get exercise and spend quality time together.
  • Score: 8. I still think I could do more. I specifically should hire a dog walker, as my work days are long.

Selfie

  • Current Status: Feeling good. In a steady workout routine, eating pretty well at home. But most importantly, I am not letting the stress of life hold me back from doing adventurous and exciting things. Like my recent, spontaneous, trip to Ghana. I’m surrounding myself with beautiful people who raise me up and bring out the best in me.
  • What I’m Looking Forward To: Continuing this trajectory of happiness, knowing good and well that I will encounter a few potholes, but feeling confident that I’m armed with everything I need to get past them.
  • Score: 9. Nobody should ever get a 10 when it comes to self-improvement.

I am still becoming who I’ll be. And if you ask me in a year, I’ll tell you the same thing. If you ask me when I am 100, I’ll repeat myself once again.

loveB

 

 

 

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Why I March

I have never been political on this blog, for fear of being impolite. But this week, I’ve been constantly reminded of just how lucky we’ve all been the past eight years, and I find myself saying “Rebecca (I call myself by my full name), YES YOU CAN.”

It’s a fitness blog, yes. But my end goal is to empower those reading along while staying true to my voice, my opinions and my character.

I am proud to be joining upwards of 200,000 people, on January 21, to descend upon D.C. with a singular voice and one key demand of our new President: EQUALITY. The Women’s March on Washington has a focus on the rights of women, but the broader message is one of human rights. If you live in the area, I encourage you to join us. If you do not, look for the Women’s March in your city here.

I will not stand on this soap box and pretend the discrimination I’ve felt, as a woman, is greater than what you’ve been through. Who can say, and does it matter? I march because sitting quietly will get me nowhere and I have two important messages that I want everybody to consider:

  • Pride and Self-Worth – I could never say it as eloquently as the most inspiring and gracious First Lady in history, so in the words of Michelle Obama, “I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid—you hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.”
  • Talk it Out – Don’t be afraid to start conversations with friends, family, those you agree with and even more importantly, those you disagree with. Do not use the arguments around equality as a platform to be hateful or angry toward others. Find out where their opinions come from. Share with them stories of who you are, and introduce them to things that matter to you. Perhaps the only thing more terrifying than inequality is realizing that hate stems from a lack of education and a fear of the unknown. One cannot make a friend if they do not open up, but prejudice is a tricky vine that grows without boundaries and must constantly be cut back.

These two asks are no small thing. They both involve a leap of faith, and likely a great amount of introspection that may uncover some nasty truths. But please, I beg that you try to love yourself and to love your neighbor. Remember that their struggle is as real as yours, whatever it may be.

Lastly, I just wanted to give a little bit of public love back to the people who have shaped me. I feel blessed to have a family who sees beyond skin color, sexual orientation, or religion. Thank you all for teaching love in place of hate…

Mom, You’re the definition of kindness. From your lengthy conversations with total strangers to the way you have always welcomed friends and family into our home, you have been a constant reminder that there’s no limit to love. I love you to the end of the numbers.

Dad, I am so proud of your journey. You’ve taught me to feel important without feeling entitled. You’ve shown me that leadership is about loyalty, and that you cannot get ahead by climbing on the backs of others. Your generosity is without bounds, and I hope you know I do not take for granted the life that you’ve allowed me. I love you.

Ashley, There just aren’t words. I’ve learned, and continue to learn, so much from you. You’re beautiful and forgiving, you’re selfless and strong. I hope to be every bit as amazing of a mom as you are, and I’ll be coming to you for advice at every step along the way. You’re my best friend and a true confidant. I love you.

Peace and love, y’all!

loveB

 

 

 

#HikeVA

Hey D.C.-area friends! Who has some free time this week + needs to burn off some Christmas cookies? Me! Me! Me! Here’s a quick guide to some of my favorite hikes around the District.

Not Much Time?:

  • Theodore Roosevelt Island – It’s not so much of a hike as it is a great trail run (or walk). It’s about a 1.3 mile loop and has a lot of shade for those hot summer months. The parking lot for the island is located off of George Washington Parkway, but you can run there via the Mount Vernon Trail or the Potomac Heritage Trail.
  • Turkey Run – Also located off of GW Parkway, this secret spot is never crowded and is just about a 5-minute drive from D.C.. There are multiple routes, including about a 4 mile loop that I love. Most of the trail runs parallel to the Potomac, so it’s a great place to bring your four-legged friend for a quick swim.

Don’t Mind Crowds?

  • Scott’s Run – This is probably my favorite hike in the immediate D.C. area, although it’s generally crowded on weekends. There are multiple trails, so you can make your hike anywhere from 3 miles to 6 or 7 miles. It has steep grades to work those glutes and also has a few picturesque views of the Potomac.
  • Seneca Falls – I don’t even know if this is the name of this hike. It’s located out in Great Falls just a few miles off of Rt. 7. It isn’t always crowded, but you sometimes get horse traffic out that way. The trail is wide, and includes wooded areas and more open fields, as well as long stretches along the river. If you do the loop, it’s just about 3 miles.
  • Difficult Run – This one is very short, and mostly flat. It’s about a mile out and a mile back. But it runs along Difficult Run, which is a pretty beautiful area with a few small falls. There are places to stop for a quick dip during those hot summer months. (Side note: Back in high school, we used to go rock jumping here. Apparently we had a death wish.)

Want to Get Outta Town?

  • White Oak Canyon – I’ve only been here once, but it was awesome. The trail is fairly steep, so it feels like a great workout. Toward the top is an incredible natural rock slide. WARNING: The water is FREEEEEEEZING.
  • Old Rag – Surely I am not the first to tell you about this one. I’m admittedly a bit of a hiking snob because I’ve been lucky enough to live most of my life in Colorado where hiking can sometimes mean mountain climbing. Old Rag is the most like a Colorado hike. It has a nearly 3,000 foot vertical climb and features a rock scramble at the top. The views are to die for and it’s well worth the 2-hour drive from D.C.. WARNING: No dogs allowed on Old Rag. The terrain is too tough.
  • Falling Springs Falls – This one is not a true hike, but has a lot of wooded trails for exploring AND two fun rope swings! Falling Springs Falls is home to the tallest waterfall in Virginia. There are campsites nearby as well! TIP: Stand under the waterfall for a VERY loud and incredible natural massage.

What are some of your favorite hikes?

loveB

I Know I’m Annoying; It’s Because I Love You

I hear myself. I know I’m annoying. It’s because I love you (even if I don’t yet know you).
Over-zealouness really bothers people when it comes to health.

I was recently watching Last Comic Standing, and one New York-based comedian said that he turned Vegan for a bit. There is a certain negative connotation with Vegans. The comedian continued by saying something like, “Yup, I decided to be a Vegan. So, you know, I gave up meat, and dairy and friendship.”

MTO Kombucha, sold at TRUE Health and Wholeness
MTO Kombucha, sold at TRUE Health and Wholeness

I can sense my family’s annoyance with me, though my persistence seems to be paying off a bit, as I now have both my oldest brother and father drinking Kombucha daily and my brother sent me a picture of something with “Ancient Grains” in the title. So, yay!

On a recent family trip, I tried to sneak in some organic options of typical foods we eat, like peanut butter and salad dressings. I tried to convince them to use regular butter instead of substitutes like margarine. I tried to have sourdough and flax seed bread available as an option along with their whole wheat loaf.

Now, I know most of you read that last sentence and thought, soooo you want your family to be fat. I’m pretty sure that’s what they think.

Note: I am a certified personal trainer, but I am NOT a nutritionist; I listen to and I am surrounded by some pretty smart people at work (TRUE Health and Wholeness) and I read a lot. I have also been turned into a believer by following certain food rules myself.

6 am TRUE Fit Boot Camp!
6 am TRUE Fit Boot Camp!

Food, though, is just one part of health. There’s exercise for the body and mind, and there’s wellness, again, of body and mind. No one has all the answers, but we have to talk about the possible solutions, the successes and the failures in order to weed out the stupid ones, right?

My family, being health conscious, focuses mostly on calories. As a female who used to struggle terribly, and still struggles daily, with her body image, as most women do, I understand subscribing to this calories in vs. calories out method. Again, I don’t have  all the answers, but here is what I do know.

  • I feel better when I avoid processed foods to the best of my ability. Now, I don’t have the budget nor the time to cut processed food from my diet all-together, but when I make a conscious effort to cook my own food from real, whole ingredients, my body thanks me,
  • I feel better when I spend the extra $ on antibiotic-and hormone-free meat. I choose organic and grass-fed as well. When it comes to eggs, I always choose free range. I do this for two reasons.
    • In this day and age, we take enough shit to combat illness, stress and genetics that we don’t need whatever that cow was given on a farm you’ve never heard of.
    • We need to be kinder to the animals we share this planet with.
  • I feel better when I combat aches, pains and illnesses naturally. As an athlete, you’re body is your livelihood. If you’re hurting, you take something to make it feel better so you can play. Being hurt, as a competitive athlete, is a reason to keep you sidelined, not a warning sign from your body to slow down. These days, if I can take something naturally occurring in nature to help with something as simple as inflammation, I will try that first.
  •  I feel my best, my most beautiful, my most feminine, my most boss, my most accomplished, my most whatever you would like to fill in that blank with when I leave the gym. Lifting weights, lifting heavy weights helps you lose weight by increasing your muscle mass, speeding up your metabolism and dropping your body fat.

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Now, back to the beginning. I know I’m most likely annoying you with my talk of holistic this, whole foods that, heavy weights whatever, but here’s why I keep telling you this.

I love you very much and would like you to be in my life at your healthiest and happiest, for as long as possible. The goal of this post is NOT to have you say, ‘okay, Molly makes sense, she must be right and now, I am ONLY eating organic from and am going to spend 3 hours a day at the gym.’ I want you to Google, to research, to ask questions, to explore, to try and fail, to try and succeed and figure it out. I want you to wrap the people you care about up in huge hugs of knowledge and love in order to help them be the happiest and healthiest them they can be, and maybe, together, we can slowly create a healthier society.

Over and Out

-MB