on fitness. and joining a gym. and finding my passion. and being strong.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

So I joined a gym. I've been avoiding doing this for quite awhile and even built myself my own little makeshift home gym in my garage. The hard thing about having a gym in your garage though, especially when you're a stay at home mom who is living in an area where I have very few in-real-life friends is that I very rarely ever interact with other adults. It's sad. 

When we moved to this house I joined the 24 Hour Fitness about a mile from our house and really enjoyed it for about a minute. Then realized how freaking packed it is virtually at all hours. Now, I'm an outgoing person but I don't do well in crowded places. I get claustrophobic. I like small groups. I like my space. It was nearly impossible to ever even find a parking space at this gym and I stopped going. Months later I finally decided to set up a little gym in my garage.

The garage gym has been great, it's a little escape for me when I can't leave the house. We only have one car so on days my husband takes the car to work, I don't have an excuse to not pop in a work out video or do some resistance training in my garage. This has worked pretty well for me for a few months until I recently decided to step it up with my fitness and life goals. I want to finally get my personal trainer certification. 

So I joined a gym. And the funny thing is, it's a women's gym. It's called Total Woman Gym (and Spa, although this location doesn't have a spa...boo!). It's brand new and super clean and nice inside. As expected there's a TON of cardio machines because you know, most women are afraid of lifting weights. It hasn't been super busy, there's usually only a hand full of people lifting so I have that much needed space. There are tons of classes, child care and it's just overall at good gym. 

Now, I was a little apprehensive my first day working out because let's be honest, there were a lot of older ladies there just walking away on the treadmills and haphazardly pumping away on the weight machines. Was this going to be a good place for me? 

Today I learned a very important lesson about being on your own fitness journey and to not judge a book by it's cover. I had a pretty small window to get a good work out in and wanted to get some lifting and cardio in. There was a spin class at 9 and I wasn't sure if I'd be done with weights in time and contemplated just roughing it on the treadmill (I freaking hate the treadmill). I opted to not waste a second on the weights and pumped out as much as I could by the time the spin class started. When I walked in the room I immediately thought it was going to be a mistake because the woman leading the class was about 65 and a tiny little thing. "How on earth is this going to be a challenge?" I thought. 

Sister proved me wrong, and quickly. And I learned that spin, and fitness is a lot about pushing yourself to your own personal limit, not to what everyone else is doing. She set the pace and told us what to do and it was my job to push myself the rest of the way. I burned almost 700 calories in that hour. (I thought the lady on the bike uncomfortably close to me was about to die. She was moaning and gasping from the start and I really wanted to tell her to slow down.)

What was interesting about the class was that 4-5 people quit. They just straight up left the class. And in those moments, as they were walking out I was reminded of WHY I want to be a personal trainer. I want women to know they're strong. I don't want them to give up when their brain is telling them it's too hard. We can birth children out of our privates for shit's sake, for sure we can survive a 45 minute spin class. 

I want to help women realize how strong they truly are. That their bodies can do amazing things when they believe they can and concentrate. I want women to lift weights, to lift heavy weights and not be afraid they're going to get manly. Because they won't. I'm tired of hearing words like "tone" and "long, lean muscles". No. You're building muscle or you're not. Your body will determine the shape of those muscles. I want to teach women that just being small isn't important but being healthy and strong is. I know I'm still finding my own way with my body after changing so much in 9 months and it's taken me awhile to get in my groove but I'm hoping with my experiences I can connect with others going through similar struggles. 

I don't know where I'm going with this. I just wanted you to know I joined a gym. And I'm excited about where life is taking me right now. And that I'm glad this passion has started to bubble to the surface again. It feels so good to have found this drive. 

they don't have to be perfect to be perfect

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The past couple of weeks I've been trying to make more of an effort to pick up my camera and just shoot. I don't care if it's perfectly composed or the right lighting or even in focus. As I look back on old photos I've come to realize I don't care about any of those things, and really the only reason I take photos at all is so I can look back often. I'm a little bit nostalgic. Ok, a lot. 

The late afternoon sun that comes in the kitchen windows is the best. Well, the worst for seeing dust on everything I own but it makes for the most beautiful lighting. 

These were from when we went to the circus. I wanted at least one photo on my camera with at least the one kid who was up for taking photos. Selfies with DSLR's are really difficult. 

Isaiah loves having his picture taken. He said, "Mommy take my picture, I say cheese!" This stage will probably be short lived so I'll steal as many photos as I can.

It's so amazing watching your children see the wonder in the simplest things. Julian found this little pile of goose down from all of the geese frequenting the park by our house. He sat there for a few minutes holding them up, watching how it turned and moved in breeze and then watched intently as they flew away.

Isaiah hates being dirty. Even a wet spot on the cement had him pulling up his clearly already too short pants.

Julian loves to run. This kid. He always has to be first, ahead of all of us when we're walking together. His brother could care less, always 10 feet behind the pack, stopping to look at everything that catches his eye. But Julian has this deep internal need to be first. He was born first, I'm guessing that has something to do with it.

Wherever they go, it's together. I didn't have any siblings until I was 11 and even then, they weren't playmates. Getting to watch these boys have exactly what I never did (and always wanted) is seriously the biggest and best thing I could ever imagine. 

Hawkeye flashback!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hawkeye football starts tomorrow! I love it, I love it, I love it. And in honor of that love, here's a little flashback for you from the first time we took the boys to the football complex and got a tour from Uncle Chic. The boys are so darn cute, and if we can brainwash them enough, they'll be Hawkeyes one day themselves. (Just kidding. Maybe.) Go Hawks!

 With grandma and the Orange Bowl trophy.

 In the weight room. Working on some guns.  Julian is more like, "Why is there a giant rock in the middle of this walkway?".

 Julian in his 3 point stance in the Hawkeye stadium locker rooms. This photo is EPIC. 

 Isaiah not impressed by being in the press box with Uncle Chic.

Isaiah judging the locker room.

Isaiah practicing sprints on the field. 

 Isaiah imagining himself in his helmet one day.

 Becoming best friends with Herky. 

Doing some leg work in the bubble.

Weighing-in in the practice locker rooms. 30 pounds! 

 Julian learning how to tackle. 

 Getting everyone pumped before they run down the tunnel.

THE SWARM! Running out of the tunnel lol. 

pretty things to look at.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Since the boys have been going to preschool 5 mornings a week, I've set some big goals for myself and my etsy shop. I want to be able to use this time to work. Working at home is so hard for me. There are distractions literally everywhere. That pile of clothes that needs put away. Last night's dishes still on the counter (and table, whoops). These and about elevnety hundred other things and a silent, kid free house, just call to me to get it done while I can. And then I end up not having enough time to really do what I want to with my business.

I've been asked so many times what I'm going to do when the boys start school full time. My etsy shop? I really want it to be what I do full time. I want to keep creating, pushing myself and my skills. I've never been happier in a job than when I'm working for myself. Right now I'm pushing myself to expand my skills and to put myself out there with new products. 

I've been working more on quilts the past few weeks and scouring the all-might Pinterest for some inspiration. I thought I'd share with you all what I've been loving on.

This perfectly simple and neutral quilt. 

This fun herringbone pattern.

This AMAZING Vintage Modern quilt. The colors! 

Yes on every level to this.

And of course, I love me a good colorful quilt

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