fitness idols and why it’s okay to be your own motivation.

What an epic week it’s been, ladies and gentlemen.  After hopping over to Dallas for a bit for work, I landed in Chicago for a little more work and then some play time with 13 of my best friends from college.  If you haven’t had a chance to go to Chicago, you are missing out.  I was lucky enough to be born and raised there, so it will always have a special place in my heart and I love showing it off to anyone who wants a good tour. 

My mini-vacation was very active involving at least 26,000 steps a day (you’re the real MVP, Jawbone Up), two soulcycle classes, yoga in Millennium Park and a 5 mile run.  So, my fitness definitely didn’t take a backseat.  I did have deep dish for every dinner possible, so, you know, balance.

I am very aware that I was the only one on the trip to make a concerted effort to get up at 7:30 am to get a workout in after some of our later nights, but that’s just something that I do.  It comes with the territory of knowing me.  I don’t lack in the motivation department that’s for sure, but I’m also hyper aware I’m in the vast minority over here. Most people I know turn to other sources for motivation.

My dad is very intrinsically motivated too, but when I got him a Jawbone Up for Christmas one year, he put the pedal to the metal and 10,000 steps minimum was not just a daily goal but a daily requirement.  One of my other friends is motivated by signing up for classes instead of hitting the gym on her own time. Others I know find motivation through social media and following those who post about their own journeys.


I, personally, love learning about what other people have done and are doing in terms of their fitness when I need that extra oomph.  Nothing motivates me quite like scrolling through Instagram and reading about other people crushing their workouts when I really don’t want to go.  But, I always take it with a grain of salt.  Remember that the people whose days your reading about are often only presenting the good parts.  They don’t always show a picture of them struggling to get motivation themselves, having a meal where they got uncomfortably full while celebrating a good friend’s birthday, or just having a bad life hair day.  A lot of the times, the more celebrity a person is, the less personal they come off.  And while that can be great for motivation, it’s not entirely accurate.

I’ll be the first to tell you, there are going to be days when you don’t want to workout.  I defy you to find me a person who has not felt this way.  But you know what, on those days you have two choices: dust off your bootstraps and get to steppin’ or take a mental health day and just do you.  Contrary to popular belief, not every workout has to be the best workout you’ve ever had and that’s okay and normal!  But that’s not necessarily what every page would have you believe.

I have actually started to unfollow some bigger accounts in favor of smaller ones because I’m kind of sick of looking at perfectly styled clothes and immaculately coifed hair in pictures with the caption “just killed my workout”.  Granted, I suppose you could look like that after an insanely hard session, but the odds of you looking like a sweaty mongrel are slightly higher and that’s just what I want to see.  I want to see people like me who are just trying to better themselves and not always trying to get the latest endorsement deal or make a boatload of money from taking pretty pictures.


Next time you need a little push, think about how far you yourself have come instead of turning to a perfectly curated page of fitness glory.  Even if you’re just starting to hit the gym, give yourself a damn pat on the back for all the times you’ve done something to better yourself.  Maybe you can jog a mile quicker than when you started.  Maybe you don’t feel as out of breath when you’re on the bike.  Maybe you can pick up heavier weights today than yesterday.  The progress will come and you will be proud of it, I promise.  But know that at the end of the day, you and you alone are the one who is bettering themselves and that’s pretty awesome.


in it for the long haul: tips to surviving those long runs.

I have slowly but surely been upping my mileage lately in my quest to do something new.  I do this every now and then just to challenge myself because I really feel like there is no tougher workout than running distances.  At least for me anyway.  The trouble is, I almost always get injured trying to up my distance though. This year, I am putting a lot of focus on cross training and listening to my body.  My longest run recently was today and it was a whopping 8 miles in 1:01:23.


First of all, I am very much aware that running over an hour on a treadmill is crazy talk.  It’s what I like though and when it’s cold outside, I would 100% rather run inside.  So, I took to my good ole mill this morning.  Things that can be really boring: running for over an hour in one place never leaving.  I am more than aware that long runs can be dreaded, so here are my tips to getting that long run done as painlessly as possible:

Surviving the Long Run

  • Get out of your mind: find something to distract yourself.  Pick a good audiobook, podcast, or playlist to really get yourself focused on something other than the insanity you’re putting your body through.  I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack non-stop for my long runs.  I get so lost in the story and music that the time goes way more quickly than usual.
  • Play with your pace: Don’t assume that because you can run a mile in 8 minutes or you can run a 5k in 20 that you can sustain that pace for the duration of your run.  You very well might be able to, but don’t force it.  Listen to yourself.  Start out slow and work your way up to a speed you find comfortable.  I like to alternate between 5 minutes at a comfortable pace and then 5 minutes at a quicker, but still manageable pace (ex. today I switched between 7.7 mph and 8mph).  Doing 6 rounds of 5 minute/5 minute intervals is a lot more manageable than running for an hour straight.
  • Don’t look at the time: Truth.  I cover up my treadmill screen with a towel when I’m running because if it’s showing I just stare and stare and stare at the distance watching it creep so slowly.  What I don’t know, doesn’t hurt me.  If you’re running outside, just take in your surroundings and don’t rely solely on your watch.  Watches can be great
  • Break it up: I’m running 8 miles today can be a very scary statement.  I’m running 2 miles is not.  8 miles is 2 miles four times and that, for some reason, sounds way more manageable to me.  When you’re running, just focus on the shorter distances.  Take it a couple miles at a time rather than paying attention to how far you have to go.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a break: You’re running for a long time!  That’s great!  But it’s not the easiest thing for your body to do.  If you have to walk for a minute, walk for a minute and recoup.  No one is going to kill you for it.  In fact, I like to take a minute when I’m running to just have a sip of water and shake it out after I’m a little more than halfway through.  This helps me to realize how far I’ve come and know that whatever I have left is something I’ve already accomplished.


So there you go.  There are my tips to getting those long runs done.  Pro tip: if you are starting to run more, don’t up your distance too fast or you will be met with a whole lotta problems.  I add a mile to my distance every week.  Any more than that and you’re looking for trouble.  All in all, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  It knows what’s up and knows when you’re working a lil too hard.  It’ll give you the signs, you just have to pay attention.

Now go out there and run!