Category Archives: Strength

The making of a pearl

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The formation of a pearl begins when an intruder such as a grain of sand or grit enters between the two shell layers of the oyster and the protective layer that covers the oysters organs. The mollusk quickly begins to coat the irritant with a mineral layer called nacre or mother of pearl. Layer after layer of the nacre produces the iridescent beauty of the pearl.

Pearls have always been my gem of choice.

I love their simplicity.

I love their rawness.

I love their durability.

I love their timelessness.

I love their understated beauty.

At the time I was setting this blog up and selecting a name, I realized that I had a strong tendency to gravitate to one pair of earrings in my overflowing jewelry box. Just before stepping out of my bedroom door each morning,  I pilfered through my collection, holding up one pair and then another to find just the right compliment for that days wardrobe selection. As if without thought, I would lay down all of the colorful dangling beauties and slip on my simple, understated, classic, lovely, durable pearl studs, grab my gym bag and run out the door.

I also very much love a good running skirt and the feminity it brings to a good schweaty run. Hence the name Run Skirts and Pearls.

An irritant in my life is what started it all, this love affair with running. Running has become my protective layer that turns the unwanted intruder in my life into a the understated beauty of a life lesson.

But then there are days, where running is the grit and I the pearl. I thrive from the simple, raw, durable, timeless strength and beauty that I see in myself when it’s all over. And you can bet your bottom dollar on that raw part…makeup-less, sweaty, stinky, flushed, and downright disgusting.

So here is how it went down yesterday. A double whammy day that included an irritant begging for a protective covering to sooth the soul.

hill run

And nothing less than merciless grit to get me up and down that half mile climb. Pure, true grit.  When it was over I emerged raw but durable, and simple yet timeless. Plus I had a pretty good shimmer going on from the sweat pouring off of my brow.

 

 

 

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We are all Superstars!

At Girls On the Run we give away Energy Awards to help reinforce and reward positive behaviors. Superstar is one of my favorites. This could possibly be because I watched way too much SNL during the 90’s and in so many ways identified with the awkwardly, spastic and nutty Mary Katherine. But, I am getting off track…big shout out to all of you SUPERSTARS out there that kicked off this fundraising effort with me! I could not be more grateful for each and every one of YOU!

This Sunday wraps up week 4 of the 17 week training plan with a 7-miler.  I am feeling stronger than I have in quite sometime and I really attribute this to the  yoga I’ve added into my workout routine. Yoga has been not only a place where I have found some happiness on my mat, but good golly, Miss Molly…my hips are seeing some flexibility they haven’t seen in almost 18 years. Bring on the Sun Salutations.

Last week training was briefly interrupted. I squeezed in a quick end-of-summer get away in which I sat on the beach, watched a cross-fit group work out all day in some sort of crazy beach workout, while I sipped on an ice-cold shandy, stared at the ocean, and read a mindless book. It was the best. Especially the part where I watched the cross-fit group work their fannies off. I wanted to jump right up and give them each a big Superstar shout out!

beach

Due in great part to you Superstars, fundraising is moving right along. If you haven’t made a donation yet, you too can be a Superstar  by clicking this link. Read up more about my fundraising efforts on prior posts and learn why I love this organization and how it is impacting the lives of so many little Superstars! Pay close attention to the part where you CAN make a difference.

fundraising dashboard

 

In honor of the late Don Pardo, let’s talk SNL a little more today… do you have any favorite characters, sketches, years, writers? Or do you all have an affinity for Mary Katherine and Superstar like I do?

 

 

Quad-dominant, Quad-dominant, Quad-dominant

“Shut your mouths and listen to me now,”  when spoken by a particular spin instructor at the local Lifetime  can be interpreted as “welcome to spin class everyone!”

No kidding.

The dude is hard-core serious about his class.

Over a year ago I happily bounced into this guys class knowing none the different, hopped my happy butt on a bike and got moving. Until he spoke. It was THE most intimidating experience in a spin class I have ever had and I never went back. Until last night.

My workout schedules for the week are planned around when this guy doesn’t teach, so when I realized I screwed up and managed to end up in his class last night, I decided it was time to buck up and get it done. I dragged myself to a bike in the back of the room. Lolly-gagged around with the settings and climbed up for an easy warm-up. 

As others trickled in, the back of the room quickly began to fill up around me. Everyone seems to like the back of the room in this class…could this be a direct correlation with the  instructors style? Hmmm… I was suddenly surrounded and feeling a bit claustrophobic.  I am not a fan of a crowd when I’m working out.

On the front row I spotted a couple of empty bikes and found myself in a real bind. Do I dare move and put myself front and center for the militant spin instructor or hang out leisurely with the rat pack in the back feeling like I was crammed in a sardine can??

What the heck?! If I’m in for this torture, I might as well be all in.

Front and center, music blaring, and all I could think was “Jesus help me.”

And guess what? He did. Jesus, that is but if I have to be honest so did the instructor. I survived and even left there with a whole new appreciation for this guy.

It is true, he plays no games.

He loves his spinning and has no mercy.

But he loves his pupils.

And like Schmidt from New Girl in the video below, I’m pretty sure he wants us all to leave there better than when we walked in…

P.S. Do you not just love Schmidt?! I’d sit next to him in a spin class any day.

Weekly workout change up…Prancercise?!

I’m considering incorporating a little Pracercise into this weeks workout plan. You know…just to change things up a bit.

Only thing is I may have to run by the store and grab a pair of ankle weights, white stir-up pants, and a can of Rave hairspray to get the full effect!

What’s on your workout plan this week?

PS. “Better to be punching into space, than in your face!” 

Flailing arms and round booty’s

Post edit: Update made to the squat challenge.

“We can risk love or settle for the safety fear provides.”

My fear of swimming has kept me on the sidelines for a long time. I’m not even sure where this fear comes from considering I was a lifeguard during one late teenage summer. I can swim, enjoy the water, and love to be in and around water…but, when it comes to athletic swimming, my knees get weak.

Saturday, I took one small step toward my fear. And guess what? It wasn’t so bad. Not sure if I’m quite at the point of love, but at least I am not letting my fear hold me back from trying something new.

pool

I even got pointers from a guy in the lane next to me. With the exception of a few technical things, he said I had a “nice stroke.” Then he went on to explain a few of the “technical” things including this wild arm thing I do every third stroke. What? Huh?! Oh well. Me and my flailing arm made it 40 minutes in the pool which came out to just a little more than a quarter mile swim. Sllloooooowwww goes it.

Tomorrow, me and my flailing arm will try again.

Wanna talk about round booty’s now? My sisters sent me a message this week that she was doing a 30 day Squat Challenge that was issued at her local gym. I may be 300 miles away, but I took up  her challenge.  This is super exciting because my booty is prone to wander from its youthful round state.  Here are the details:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
  Day 1/20 Day 2/25 Day 3/30 Day 4/35 Day 5/40 Day 6/45
Day 7/50 Day 8/55 Day 9/60 Day 10/REST Day 11/65 Day 12/70 Day 13/75
Day 14/80 Day 15/85 Day 16/90 Day 17/95 Day 18/100 Day 19/100 Day 20/50
Day 21/55 Day 22/60 Day 23/100 Day 24/65 Day 25/70 Day 26/100 Day 27/REST
Day 28/80 Day 29/85 Day 30/90 Day 31/100       

There may or may not be before and after pictures at the end.  You’ll just have to stick around to see.

Want to join me on the squat challenge? We can make it a round booty party!

Second day soreness…

…seriously set in today. The after effects of Wednesday’s strength workout have me wincing with almost every move I make. Eek.

On top of that, my core got an extra
hit last night at the driving range. Friends took me out for my first official lesson. Between the hour long session on stance and twisting at my core in a bent over position and the laughter, I should have a full blown six pack now. Ha!

Honestly though, I had no idea there was so much work involved in a golf swing.

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My favorite take-aways…

1. Be efficient, otherwise you have to make unnecessary “gyrations” to get back to where you should have been to start with.
2. Although all 10 fingers are on the club, you only grip with 5. Huh?
3. Stay bent over, twist at the core, turn your back to your target, but keep your eye on the ball and don’t drop your shoulder. Try this now. Contortionist can’t do this, y’all.
4. Chicken wing! Chicken wing! Chicken wing!
5. Golf is a full force body sport. You can’t be dainty. Ladies are often dainty. Michelle Obama is the exception.
6. My favorite- Don’t think!!! Yea right.

Before the night was over, I actually started to hit the ball. I have a little practice to do…especially on the not thinking part.

As instructed, I have rested these weary legs today. However, I am starting to get ancy. I would love to get a good run in tomorrow, but yoga is on the agenda instead. How about you?