Month: February 2013

When a flat tracker attempts the banked track

Even athletes get sore to the point of not being able to move. Even athletes training within their sport are able to change it up enough to make even the strongest parts of their body hurt in ways that they haven’t experienced for years.

Enter the banked track.

It will be your friend and your enemy
It will be your friend and your enemy

Love City Roller Derby has a banked track on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia, and their league has decided to take on a huge venture by organizing the Derby Ink Invitational in Harrisburg, PA on April 19-21. Most of the teams that have entered into the Invitational tournament are not banked track leagues that play by M.A.D.E. rules – they are teams made up of flat track skaters that do tournaments as super teams for fun or they’re giving it a go for the first time.

Enter me.

Skating backwards on this thing is tough
Skating backwards on this thing is tough

I had tried pulling some friends together to put a team in, but I couldn’t get enough girls to commit and I didn’t know that there was a second team pulling at the same skaters. So, I let go of trying to put together my own team and (luckily) the team now calling themselves “Team Rogue” absorbed me into it as well. Well.. I mean we’ll see if I make the roster.

I felt like a complete newbie again this weekend. We had a two hour practice yesterday and then a two hour practice/one hour scrimmage today. With the sheer talent on this team, I would not be surprised if I got the boot on the final day. I am not as strong or as fast or as naturally talented as ANYONE else on this team. I am not being negative: I am being wholly honest with myself.

I am the weakest link. Goodbye?

Warming up with agility ladders. Somehow I could do it...
Warming up with agility ladders. Somehow I could do it…

If I want to survive, I have a lot of work to do and I plan on doing it. I will not be seen as the weak link 30 days from now. Now I just need to figure out the best way to train between now and then.

On a banked track, I am feeling more pressure on my right leg through the process of skating as opposed to my left leg (which takes all the force in flat track). Why? You’re fighting the slope of the track, and it’s that right leg that has to do most of the work. Also, the game play is at about 3x the speed of a flat track game. I’ve played some fast flat track; I would put this up there with Gotham & Philly speed of play.

With the different rules that I’m not used to, it means that I am not responding quick enough physically OR mentally. Luckily, I am not the only one that let a pivot by them or wasn’t able to follow through on a hip check to the inside.

Today was exceptionally hard because my legs were all wobbly from two hours learning drills and fighting the uphill slope for the first time. When we began our cardio/paceline drills I was waiting for my muscles to tear in half, to be honest. I couldn’t dig, I’d slide when I would crossover in the corners and (in general) I feel like I made a complete ass out of myself. I was the slowest person on the team, far and away. It would have been fine if I felt strong enough in drills to take people to the rail.

I couldn’t.

You want us to do what?
You want us to do what?

Ok, so enter the awesome part about being on a team like Team Rogue. We’re all there to have fun. We don’t have an official coach. There is no real pressure. Sure there are prizes in the tournament, but other than wanting to be able to compete against skaters on Team USA, Team Canada and Team France… we just want to have fun!

The encouragement I got from my team mates as I slugged my ass around the track was amazing. These are all skaters that I admire and feel like I am not even in the same league as and they cheered and pushed me. (Thank goodness my legs warmed up and I got the hang of things a little better later.)

Sunday Practice!
Sunday Practice!

Wow, this is how you know my brain is mush! I don’t ramble in a free write style often! I TRY to keep my writing reigned in!!

So, yesterday we had a bunch of people (and not all of them are necessarily on the team for April – I honestly don’t know what the roster situation is so don’t assume that any of these people are or aren’t skating then… this is just who I skated WITH). I got to skate with Nash Villain, Renegade Raven, Russian Bayou, Jocelyn Bassler, Treasure Chest, Miss USA-Hole, Pixie Bust, Damage Dahl, Antidote, Spry Icicle and Grim D Mise. Today, Raven, Nash, Bayou, Spry and Grim came again and we added Eileen U Scream and Buster Skull! It was awesome. I had so much fun. I felt so challenged.

It’s rare that you can have a practice that makes you feel so useless and yet at the same time, makes you feel so amazing. I feel stronger and faster than ever before. I feel focused and determined to build a routine that will change me by April. Today though, the hot shower was amazing and my hip flexors, hamstrings and abductors are sore to the touch. Even little movements cause a ripple of pain through my legs. Flat track practice should be interesting tomorrow night.

Practice! Agility ladders and friends and laughing!

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And as a side note, in scrimmage against a couple of the Love City All Stars … I did take a jammer to the rail. 😉
Today, my food has looked like this:

8am Formula 1 chocolate shake with personalized protein powder.

16 oz of water before leaving, had half of my peach tea/aloe on my way there.

9:30a Soy Nuts and a bite of Cookies n Cream meal replacement bar

10a Practice started, 24 Hydrate happening! 32 oz of water during practice plus some nibbles of meal bar.

Noon: Beverage Mix w/ H3O before the hour long scrimmage. Then another 16 ounces of water

Rebuild Strength for recovery, end of the Cookies N Cream bar; another half of the peach tea and aloe on the way home

Got home, had some grapes, 2 boiled eggs and spring mix with fresh salsa. Another 64 oz of water.

Confidence

Feelings are cyclical, I understand. It is insane to believe that we will not undergo some fluctuating feelings and emotions throughout our journeys – no matter how positive and upbeat we are. It is understandable to feel down sometimes, or have to pick yourself up after a bad day. To really, honestly change your mindset takes years of practice and discipline.

Even then, even the pros of positivity find situations in which negative thoughts creep in. Ask them – they’ll admit it! The difference between those who are truly positive and the rest of us is that the truly positive folk have little alarm systems that go off when negativity happens and they’re able to divert, re-route or re-assess to turn the energy around.

So why am I talking about this with a title on the post called “Confidence”?

Because it is amazing how sometimes you just wake up. When you set off on a journey like I have – one of self-improvement, fitness and coaching – it is a path wrought with AH HA moments. (Just like in roller derby, actually)

Today I realized that I’ve never allowed myself to be really confident and positive about my appearance.

I have always been the chubby girl. The ugly one. The dork. Kids can be cruel, and I’d be lying if I said that being bullied in third grade didn’t stick with me. If I told you that being embarrassed in front of my whole elementary school in 5th grade didn’t leave some scars. I’d be lying if I told you that I have never blamed my looks on why I’m not engaged (or more) yet.

Today I really looked at a picture I took of myself at the Sweat-a-Fit. It was after my final class of the day. I had done 5 total. I had just done back to back Zumba classes, and the final teachers were not only fresh and ready but they were HOPPY and TWITCHY. It was the 2nd most intense class of the day. It was awesome, but I was a sweaty mess. I figured it would be good proof that I had been there!

I really looked at that photo today and realized that I am a silly fool. The photo isn’t just of some girl who’s sweaty. It’s of a beautiful woman who is making a new life for herself. A woman who has dropped 15 pounds off in the last 6 months. A woman who is happy and healthy and wants to help others. A woman who overcame barriers during the event; physical, mental and spiritual. The photo is me: a girl who is more timid than you would think, but who found the guts to go and talk to every person she could before the event ended. I saw the picture and realized: The confidence was always in me, I just had to find it. For me it took 4 hours of intense cardio…

And on top of that, I don’t even look sweaty. I just look like I’ve had the time of my life. Which I did! I even got to drink some Peach Tea Concentrate and reward myself with a chocolate banana cupcake.

So tomorrow is a new week. I have had a rough month for my business so far, but tomorrow is different and tomorrow is new. Tomorrow I will help more people start their own journey to find their own confidence. I will help as many people as I can to live healthier, more active lifestyles. I will find more coaches to work with me on these goals. I will.

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Sweat-A-Fit = My Brain is MUSH

What is a Sweat-A-Fit? It is a fundraiser by LETSMOVE and the only thing they do is organize this event and it’s nine hours of working out. This year, at Millersville University there was a Zumba room, a Yoga room and a Spin room.

There was a moment today where I thought to myself, “I am so weak. I skipped four classes.”

Then I realized that it meant that I did five classes. According to iChange, the four 45 minute classes of Zumba and the 40 minute Spin class I did burned 1900+ calories. 1900 calories. NINETEEN HUNDRED CALORIES.

My body, on a typical day, only burns about 1400! At a really awesome derby practice I’ll burn 900 calories. I am just absolutely floored at this achievement! Those classes were hard. Even the one Zumba class that was a little less bouncy had a lot of super precise movements, so I was still working really small muscles. My team mates from Dutchland Rollers were there too, and that was pretty awesome. (Kudos to Acute Toxicity and White Wing Shove who did five hours of Zumba today. Lots of gyrating)

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I also started with the Spin class. Which was probably not the best choice. Especially since I’ve never done one before. Our instructor was awesome (10 am class – Frankfurter? Hm. Can’t remember his name but he definitely called out the roller girls in the crowd). What was awesome about the class was that it wasn’t just: “Now pedal! Listen to the techno!”

We had techno, but it was Florence and the Machine. We pedaled, but there was ab work and other interesting workouts. Also, he was into the personal development side of things so he kept talking about the spiritual connection to working out. It helped me push through the burning of my quads (still not recovered from rock climbing – WHICH WAS AMAZING) and the general underdevelopment of my biking muscles.

PS I’m sorry if this blog hops around a little bit. I don’t know who I even am right now I’m so spent!! 1900 CALORIES. ON 5 HOURS OF SLEEP.

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Ok, so thank goodness I also had an Herbalife table set up at the event, because wow did I need the supplements today. The ‘empty’ Prepare canister ended up having a scoop and a half of powder in it, so post-Spin, pre-Zumba THAT happened. It was a 2 Hydrate day (I probably should have taken a 3rd honestly). I had some beverage mix with H3O after lunch (which involved micro-greens from The Seed Café in Lancaster and a CARROT SLAW mmmm).I also had some Peach Tea Concentrate and my tabs. PLUS I’ve drank 150 ounces of water today.  I had a Formula 1 to start my day, a Formula 1 to end my day, and then Rebuild Strength when I got home! (PS I’m still in negative calories here at 10pm. Intense. Dinner is being made though. I am excited.)

So … The point of this blog is that … you can push through it. I don’t know how I did. The mental part of working out can be so much harder than the physical. The physical was tough, don’t get me wrong! It burned. My knee kept buckling. My arms were tight from climbing. I found that my synapses weren’t firing and I’d have to refocus to get the most out of each class. Zumba was crazy fun! Very intimidating at first, but AMAZING when you shut off your inhibitions and just DO IT.

SPENT! But I have my tea.
SPENT! But I have my tea.

So turn off your fear. Turn off the pain. Pain is something that you brain creates to fool you into stopping. Don’t be fooled. Prove your mind wrong. Show that you are stronger than your situation.

You can rest later. Later you can sit in your comfy chair with your chamomile tea with a happy tummy full of kale and broccoli and fish knowing that you left it all on the floor. You can rest later; happy that when the last beat dropped, you had nothing left to give – and if you had anything left to give, you went to another class.

I would not recommend doing three hours and forty-five minutes of working out all the time. Once a week? Sure! I think that would be a great thing for me to start doing. I imagine this is what people feel like post-marathon. And since I’m running a half in April – I may want to start training for it!

PS I didn’t get a chance to write about my climbing adventure, but know that it was amazing. I cannot wait to go back. And I will be. Often.

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Choice

I’m getting all amped up thinking about being on a rock wall tonight.

Last weekend I got to attend the Frostbite Competition at Climbnasium in the no man’s land between Mechanicsburg and Carlisle, PA. Right after high school, I had discovered my love of climbing and for a while I was going 3 – 5 times a week.

I fell away from climbing when I let my life overwhelm me. I became more concerned with unhealthy pieces of life than the healthy ones. I made excuses: I cannot find the money, I cannot find the time, I don’t want to drive that far.

Honestly the reason was: I did not believe I was good enough to deserve having something in my life that I love.

Fast forward six years. I am a Health Coach. I’m 3.5 years deep into roller derby. I am in a relationship with a wonderful man that I’m hoping will let me stick around. I have a nice car. I have a great relationship with my family again. I am almost done school. I am allowing myself to be happy. I have come to realize that there is no such thing as “I don’t deserve”.

We are all worthy of happiness. We are all good enough. We tell ourselves otherwise because maybe we’re afraid of being happy on our own. Maybe we are embarrassed of where we are in our life. Maybe we had failed at something and we feel that we should be punished for it.

A punishment, simply for punishment’s sake, is unnecessary. All it does is make you feel more down about yourself. A punishment that furthers your goals – that can be beneficial. (For example, “I didn’t do my morning workout.” Don’t punish yourself by skipping a meal. Do a punishment of completing an evening workout and stay on the elliptical an extra 10 minutes.)

Know that you control your strength and your future. If you don’t believe you do, or if you just scoffed and said “Yea right. Nothing is in my control.” I completely understand. It’s very easy to be a victim to our circumstances. Don’t allow it. Change your mindset. Know that you are stronger than your situation. Decide to rise above it.

Does that mean taking a good, hard, honest look at yourself? Yes. Self-discovery is part of the long, hard road to success and changing your life. Step 1 is being able to say that you really want to change; that you’re really willing to commit to happiness and a positive mindset. You have to be ready to believe that you deserve that hobby. That love of another person. That cup of coffee.

You have to believe in yourself as much as the rest of us believe in you. On this Valentine’s Day, it’s not just romantic love that can be celebrated. Let’s celebrate our love of who we are. If you don’t love who you are, this is your chance to change it.

A belief is only something we keep telling ourselves. A belief is only something you made up in your head. It is your choice to make up something positive or negative. It your move to make.

For me, I choose the positive. I choose water with aloe and feeding my body what it needs. I choose enjoying my hobbies and pushing my body and my mind past the limits I had previously set for myself. I choose success. I choose health. I choose love.

I have chosen to look at the bad things I have done in the past and to forgive myself for them. I have chosen to take responsibility of the things I have or have not done, and the hurt I may have caused others and myself. I have chosen to accept certain idiosyncrasies about myself that are not negative as I thought. I chose to change my situation, to change my outlook. I choose better.

Tonight .. I choose rock climbing! (You can keep your wine and roses)

What do you choose?

Joy and friends. By NUVO Photography
Joy and friends. By NUVO Photography

I just signed up for an Instagram! You should follow me at KristieGrey

I love the thoughts that this lady puts out all the time. She is my inspiration to be a better person!

Hotter In Your Hot Pants

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how our iterations with people really shape their experience of life and their experience of who we are. Like have you ever met someone and just not gotten along with them and thought “wow she was such a bitch” and then someone else was like “really? she is like my favorite person ever.” Our experience of people have so much to do whats going on that day, minute, year all mixed together with our thoughts about ourselves, other people, the world. But, what if in a moment you could stop and completely change who you are for someone? This is something the I have really taken away from the Landmark Forum and the Landmark Senior Seminar I am taking right now. Did you know we have the capacity to do this? To be ANYONE we want to be in any given moment.

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7 Ways to Cleanse the Negative Vibes

We can all get down. It happens, it’s life, right? But how many times do we succumb to the negativity and just let it consume us? Here are some ways I’ve been employing to just … let it go!

Oh and before all of it there’s something I have to say – you have to WANT to improve. Smile. Right now. Do it. I don’t care if you think it’s silly. Smile. Now laugh. Big belly laugh. That’s ok if the guy at the table next to you thinks you’re weird, do it anyway. Now shimmy a little in your seat… more…. more shimmy! Even a little fist pump if you want! Yea, that’s right!

Awesome. You are awesome. Now grin huge because you are awesome. Ok, you can read on now.

Clean Up Your Space

Our feelings often reflect our environment. If our space is dirty, than we will feel even worse than we already do. So stop whining and do your chores! Not only will your space feel fresher and easier to be in, but you can feel good about all the things you just checked off your To Do list.

If you have a moment to address the smells around you I highly recommend you do so. Living in a tight spot with many animals, I am always looking to improve the scents around me. I have found citrus and mint to be invigorating, lavender and eucalyptus to be calming and sandalwood, rose and saffron to be great for intellectual work.

Candles, incense or even creating perfumes out of essential oils are beautiful for making your space more luxurious. All your senses should be happy. Especially your nose.

heavenandnaturestore.comThat's where I get my favorite scents!
heavenandnaturestore.com
That’s where I get my favorite scents!

Make the To Do List

Maybe you don’t know what you need to do because you don’t HAVE a To Do list! BAH! Do it! At the start of each day, sit down for 10 minutes. No computer. No TV. Just write down all the things you need to do (today, tomorrow, in five years, whatever comes to your mind – just get it out of your head!)

Then go through and set your priorities: What should you do first, second, third? What can wait til tomorrow? What needs to be done now so that you can complete the other tasks? What is easy enough that it will only take a half hour of your time now?

Now that you have a list, you can start knocking things off of it. BAM. Productivity!

Read, Watch or Listen to Some Personal Development

Some people will poo poo the ‘self help’ industry, but I embrace it. The authors and speakers that put out pieces for me to listen to or read are heroes to me. They get pumped up and excited about life and business and being a better person! How can you be down on that? There seems to be a correlation between my negative moods and the amount of personal development I do. These books always have some AWESOME declarations to add into your repertoire, as an added bonus!

So here’s to picking up a good book or downloading an MP3 or watching some motivation on YouTube. People to look for: Jim Rohn, Mark Hughes, T Harv Eker, David Novak, Spencer Johnson MD and Stephen C Lundin. If you have a favorite author (or know of great women motivational writers) please comment on this blog with them!

“Who Moved My Cheese?” was the first piece of personal development that I ever read and it’s still a favorite of mine

Drink Some Water, Take a Vitamin, Eat some Fresh Veggies/Lean Protein

I’ve said it time and time again: If you feel yucky, look at what your diet is like. I had noticed a lot of processed carbs had crept back into my diet the last 10 days just because of life circumstances. I had not gotten to the store to buy my yogurt so I relied on the “Smart Sense Pretzel Rods” that are gloriously crunchy and salty and in abundance in the house’s kitchen.

Getting back on my Herbalife program with complete vitamins and supplements, 2 shakes a day, recovery programs and my herbal tea and aloe has really helped me to perk up and be ready to go. Plus, my water had slipped a bit. I’m back to my 120 ounces a day, and I feel so much better for it!

It's all so wonderful
It’s all so wonderful

Reconnect with a Hobby

I am busy. Everyone knows that. I am told all the time that people are unsure where I come up with the energy or time to do it all. I had to make time for myself recently though, and finding rock climbing again has really lifted my spirits. I can’t wait to cling onto a rock wall on Thursday night.

Rediscovering a hobby that you’ve been neglecting, or been pushing off because “Oh I just don’t have the _______ for that” (could be time, money, energy, etc) is a great way to get the blood pumping again; even if that hobby isn’t a sport. I’ve known some very passionate knitters in my time. Stop pushing it off – go do it!

Dance. And Sing.

I used to dance all the time. I have gotten away from it because my space is a bit claustrophobic. I am discovering you always have room to dance. And sing. Always sing. Here’s the thing: when we’re sad we have a tendency to pick negative or self-deprecating songs to sing or dance to.

DON’T! Find a song of empowerment. Of strength. Of pure ridiculous happiness. Yes, some of them are silly. Boys… sorry most of my song choices tend to be female oriented, but maybe some of them will strike a chord:

Glee  – “Survivor/I Will Survive”, “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You”, “Rio/Hungry Like the Wolf”
Estero – “Wicked Little Girls”
Wicked – “Defying Gravity”
La Roux – “Bulletproof”
OK Go – “This Too Shall Pass”, “Here It Goes Again”
Christina Aguilera (or Glee) – “Fighter”
Lady Gaga – “Edge of Glory”
Florence & the Machine – “Dog Days are Over”
Madonna – “Ray of Light”, “Hung Up”
A Great Big World – “This is the New Year”
Spice Girls – “Spice Up Your Life”, “Wannabe”
No Doubt – “Just a Girl”
Rent – “La Vie Boheme”, “Out Tonight”

Guess what? You also improved your cardio while singing and dancing AND burned some calories as you improved your mood. You’re welcome.

 

When in Doubt – EXERCISE!

Go for a walk. Go for a run. Do 20 lunges and 10 pushups. Stretch at your desk. Get your blood moving! Feeling sluggish is a huge factor in depression and Sir Isaac Newtown had it right when he said “A body at rest stays at rest”.

It’s awesome to develop a routine so that way you know what you’re doing each day. In an effort to redefine my life, for example, I have decided that each day (regardless of derby practice the night before) I am going to make a workout my first priority in the morning. I have begun the 24Fit DVD set, and have had a hard time fitting it in. I get attached to this laptop and then BOOM. Lethargic.

NO MORE I SAY! I am deciding that I want to be stronger and healthier. I am deciding to make working out a bigger priority in my day to day adventures.

Make a Commitment to Do a Gratitude Journal Every Night

Before bed, write down three things you’re grateful for. Reflect on your day, the people in your life and what is going really well for you. It’s so easy to dwell on the negative. It’s so easy to lack the confidence to see past yourself. Push through and be thankful for the things you have, and more positive things will come to you!

I take the opportunity when I do my gratitude to also write down the five things I need to do the next day, so that way I can clear my head and sleep better. Sleep is just as important as water, protein, working out and dancing.

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BAD VIBES OUT. POSITIVE ENERGY IN. I know that there are a ton of other things that I could talk about as far as replacing the negative thoughts, but this is a great start. If you do all of this daily – just think of how much happier you could be.

That’s a great thing to note actually. Stop thinking that you don’t deserve to be happy. You do. We all do; Even if we only have 50 cents to our name. If you think positively and we work hard and don’t give up, the universe will reward our efforts. I believe that, sincerely. I believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself and I wish I could write a love letter to each of you for Valentine’s Day to let you know that the darkness passes and reveals the first day of Spring.

Reach out for your own happiness.

Do you have other sadness-busting routines or ideas? Songs that get you ready to kick butt at life? Please leave them as comments!!

Being Human

Suzy Hotrod motivation

As part of my development as a coach and an athlete, I have decided that I need to be brutally honest with myself and to everyone else (not WITH everyone else … I already have a hard time reigning it in sometimes, I certainly don’t need to up my intensity).

That being said, I have had a round two weeks. January I was doing amazing in all aspects of my life. I was super positive, I was sharing my rainbows and enthusiasm with everyone. It felt amazing and I was doing amazing. Then I started hitting some bumps in the road.

And it was ok! I can handle this!! Be positive! Don’t complain. Chin up, moving forward! I totally got this! February is going to be the best month EVAR.

And then Abbey got sick. And then things with school got out of hand. Then I started to lose control of my eating. And that is what really did it. Everything else felt like it spiraled out of my control as soon as my nutrition did.

I can honestly say that I have found a direct correlation (for me) between slumps in mood and energy being related to my consumption of carbohydrates.

I will not get into the gritty details but I will say this: I have been on steady decline into this mudhole of a slump for the last 10 days. Yesterday I decided I wanted to start clawing my way out but it is not easy. Especially when you feel like you’re getting sick, when you feel tired all the time, when it’s grey and rainy out and when you feel like you cannot take care of yourself or the ones you love.

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So why am I posting this?

To let you know that I am human. I do my best. I try hard, but I also go through my struggles. It will make me a better coach in the end because I know what it’s like to be knocked off of a high. I know what it’s like to climb back out of the despair and the depression. I know that a workout plan or a nutrition plan can easily derail, but I’m here to tell you that it can be set easily back on the tracks.

Instead of pushing away how I feel I am trying to really feel it and understand it. In order to get myself out of it I am declaring to the whole of the interwebs that I will not be held back by this. I am getting back on my strict nutrition and resetting my goals. I will not fail this time. I will be stronger for me so that I can be stronger for you.

#MakeItGreat #GET2013