On Wednesday mornings, I typically wake up with the sun, and head out to the trails to run with my dog. As a small business owner, I am up nearly every single morning of every single week to teach early morning classes – whether it’s Monday or Saturday (weekend, who?) – so Wednesdays have become my day to have a few uninterrupted, morning hours to myself. I typically get up before 6 am so that I can truly take advantage of my free time, and so that I can be guaranteed to be free of distraction, interruption, and have the space I so desperately need to think, create, find peace, and be surrounded by trees.
When I first started this routine, I would question myself, did I really NEED another early morning workout in my routine? Should I just sleep instead? But when I started making it part of my routine, I realized that the thing I loved most about it, even more than the workout itself, is watching the sun peeking through the trees and witnessing Abbie in a state of pure bliss: sprinting ahead of me, wagging her tail, ears flapping in the wind, and playfully pouncing on sticks or chasing after small birds on the trail. And I realized, that no, I didn’t need another early morning workout in my routine; in fact, it wasn’t a workout. It was a time to disconnect, breathe, and appreciate life.
These mornings have become my meditation; they are my time to process, think, breathe and resuscitate myself. And they are important to me.
That’s why I was so bummed when I woke up this morning. That’s why I’m still so bummed now. I woke up a little over an hour later than I usually do – it was just after 7 am when I started to open my eyes. I glanced at the clock, noted the time, and thought about what I needed to do. I realized that it was still early enough for me to get out on the trails and get back at a reasonable hour if I was motivated enough to do it. But physically getting up, getting dressed, and getting out the door was an entirely different story. I felt stuck. Trapped. Exhausted. And ultimately, I didn’t go.
I reasoned with myself that maybe it was for the best; I told myself that my body was telling my mind that it needed to rest, and recover. I told myself that sometimes, ok all the time, I sacrifice my sleep in an effort to be more productive with work, to be a present, active, energy at the studio, whether or not I am teaching, and to be a good wife, dog mom, and friend. I asked myself to be excused from always doing, and reasoned that I deserved a little grace after the insane week that was BlogFest.
Admittedly, at the time, I didn’t think much of what he was saying. I was listening to him talk but also distracted by the million things I needed to get done that day – from preparing for the presenters I would be introducing, to when I might have a break to go to the bathroom, to taking inventory of who was in the room that I hadn’t yet had a chance to say hello to. With all of the go, go, go, his words didn’t have time to process or truly resonate until now. BlogFest was a complete and total whirlwind of activity and non-stop go – I was fully on, 100% energy for nearly a week – only to return home late on Sunday night and bring that same energy into Flex & Flow the very next morning, into a very late evening of classes. I literally had zero time to stop, rest, and recover.
Now that I’ve had time to slow down, his words truly resonate with me. Life is a sprint; it’s a series of small sprints. We go, go, go, go – whether with our careers, families, social life, or even workouts – and then we rest and recover. We go, go, go, and then we rest and recover. It’s really no different than a track workout, in order to keep sprinting through life, we have to rest and recover. Another key to success in this sprint through life, according to Todd, is getting our minds right. And when you truly think about it, getting your mind right might be the most important thing you can do in life.
In fact, when I apply this concept to my own life, I realize that it’s the key component of success whether I’m working on a new project, teaching a yoga class, or even running an ultra marathon; when my mind is scattered, all over the place, or even in a dark, negative place, I am more likely to fail.
And in looking back on this morning, I realize now that no matter how hard I tried to stick to my routine, it just wasn’t possible because my mind wasn’t right. I didn’t actually need an early morning workout or meditation in the trees, instead, I needed a slow, but deliberate morning to rest, process, digest and restore my mind back to right so that I could be ready to sprint again.
I’m giving myself a bit of grace this week. I’m picking up things that have gotten lost in the pre BlogFest madness (like, ahem, blogging) and am giving myself space and time to rest, recover, think, breathe, create and process. If you’re feeling as exhausted and overwhelmed as I am, here are some of my favorite ways to rest, recover, and restore so that I can get back to kicking ass at this sprint through life:
- Chilling at the park. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that there’s almost nothing I love more than my dog, Abbie. One of my favorite ways to spend time with Abbie is to chill at the park while she does wind sprints up and down the hill, chasing after her beloved ball. I often use the time to hang out with her and catch up on some of my favorite podcasts, made possible by the most amazing, wireless, hands free headphones to ever exist – AfterShokz. If you’re not on the AfterShokz train, get you some. Plus, if you purchase now until the end of the month, you also get a free water bottle! GET UP ON THIS!
- Self massage. Thanks to all of my friends, family, students and co-workers for the massage gift cards. Someday, I will use them, I promise. While I have been TERRIBLE at the whole self care routine thing the past couple of years (ahem, hundreds of dollars in unused massage gift cards…), I’ve been instead using theBeam by Nimbleback, it’s a great tool for active recovery. It helps reduce back pain and improves posture…and it just feels so damn good to lie and move around on it. In need of some self-love for your back pain? Get 20% off theBeam by Nimbleback when you use the code flex&flow.
- Fueling right. When you’re go, go, go on very little sleep and very little food, you end up eating like you’re in middle school all over again. Coffee and a piece of candy for breakfast, check. Chips at midnight (complete with a mortifying elevator incident), check. Chips the next day with cheesy fingers caught on camera, check. This week, I’ve recommitted myself to fueling right and am keeping myself accountable by taking part in the #EBKitchenChallenge with Eggland’s Best and Fit Approach. Seeing all of the amazing food and recipes coming out of this week’s challenge has inspired me to eat better and pack more protein into my meals throughout my day, from salad bowls, to veggie packed toasts, stir-frys and more! I even made room for more chips…but as a small side on my salad, rather than by the fistfuls. #balance. Am I right?
Along with protein packed lunches and dinners, I’m also recalibrating my morning routine with the help of Daily Harvest smoothies. They make getting back on track so easy as they are delivered to your door and ready to blend. No matter how busy your life gets, Daily Harvest makes it easy for you to eat well. Use code FitApproach to get three free smoothies from Daily Harvest.
- Hydration! I mean, duh, you should drink water and plenty of it. But when you’re sleep deprived and on the move for a week straight, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Don’t believe me? Just ask my parched skin, and lethargic body. Trust me, it’s easier than you think. To rehydrate my body, I’ve enlisted the help of my new, smart water bottle from Takeya, Takeya is not only stainless steel and insulated, it also comes with the BEST LID EVER made. Seriously. Just try it. It’ll have you hydrating so you can get on with kicking butt in your daily life.
To rehydrate my poor parched, dehydrated skin, I’m armed with my FAVORITE skincare product ever –FRÉ Skincare’s Revive Me Serum – it’s moisture rich, but light and makes my skin feels 10 years younger with every application. I first learned about this amazing line from my favorite boss lady, Alyse (who also happens to have the most beautiful skin), and I’m not sad about it. If you want to try FRÉ Skincare for yourself, give it a go as it’s 15% off using the code SUMMERSWEAT at checkout until August 5.
- HIIT it to win it: Tomorrow, after this day of recalibration, rest and recovery, I’m getting back into my Flex & Flow HIIT Yoga routine. It’s the workout that never ceases to challenge me, make me sweat, and leave me feeling re-energized and strong. If you don’t have HIIT Yoga classes in your area, don’t fret, we’ll bring them to you! Get a FREE month of HIIT Yoga using the code IDEA17. Learn about HIIT Yoga here, and sign up here.
And if that’s not enough to get you inspired to get out of your post BlogFest fog, maybe some discounts will help! #yourewelcome
- prAna: Get 25% off any full priced item at prAna.com with code IDEA17, now through August 31.
- Sign up for the BEST (most fun race + yoga event ever): 50% off EMPOWER Race Registration: 5k, 10k, 13.1, and yoga options available! Use code IDEA17 for 50% off. Register now.
- Lorna Jane: Save 20% on your favorite activewear with code LJSWAG. Expires 8/18/17, valid only on full price merchandise. Cannot be cominbed with any other offers. Not valid on gift cards.
- Take charge of your health now. Get 10% off Everlywell home test. At-home health tests for food sensitivities, metabolism, sleep, thyroid, and more! Use code FITAPP for 10% off.
What are your favorite BlogFest (or, ahem Las Vegas) recovery tips?
Stay sweaty friends!
Disclaimer: I was provided with product in exchange for my participation at BlogFest from all of the above, aforementioned companies. That said, my words, opinions, and thoughts are all my very own. I truly appreciate that brands and people who support the #SweatPink community.