Five on Friday {5.27.16}

Good morning and TGIF! I have a few hours of work and then I’m off until Tuesday- amazing! I’m hoping for good weather- I need to work on a tan for the wedding 🙂 Let’s jump right into some highlights going on this week:

  • Yogathon hosted by lululemon- On Saturday, June 5th, lululemon is hosting a 12 Hour “Yogathon” in Honor of Nation Cancer Survivor’s Day at The Street in Chestnut Hill to benefit two organizations devoted to sharing the health benefits of yoga. There are various different classes to choose from, so if this interests you and if you’re around on June 5th, all you need to do to register is make a donation of any amount to bodhi & mind yoga, which offers free one-on-one yoga and meditation practice to women battling breast cancer, and Triyoga Boston, a non-profit organization offering therapeutic yoga classes, using the Yogathon Eventbrite page.
  • Thankful for great friends– If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you know that I had my bachelorette party last weekend. I will do a full recap on it, but for now I’ll just say that I felt SO special, thankful and grateful for having so many wonderful friends in my life. They planned the most amazing weekend, filled with lots of my favorite things and I ended the weekend feeling so humbled by everything everyone did for me.

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  • Bags & Beats @ GymIt- Earlier this week, I taught my first classes at GymIt in Watertown as a result of completing my BoxFIIT certification. I was pretty nervous going into the classes: new gym, new crowd, new class format, new app… after 4 years of mostly teaching at the same gyms to the same crowds, this totally put me out of my comfort zone, but you know what? I think I kinda rocked it! I had big shoes to fill, but I think members were happy with the classes I taught so I’m hoping to grow them over time. If you’re interested in checking it out, I teach on Tuesdays at 5:30 and 6:30pm and the classes are Bags & Beats so we use the heavy bags and do punching combos to the beat of the music mixed with non-boxing exercises. It’s a fun class and Tuesday reminded me that it’s so important to get out of our comfort zone and try new things because sometimes that’s exactly what you need to ignite a new fire within.

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  • Embracing the weather & season- Yesterday I decided to take a rest day. It’s been a long and busy week and I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep/getting back to normal after my bachelorette weekend, so I decided to take a rest day yesterday. I knew I needed this because after my run on Wednesday, I felt abnormally sore and tired. I set my alarm yesterday morning to get up and go for a walk before work, but when my alarm went off I realized I would benefit more from sleep. Listening to our bodies is so important, and somethign I admit I still have to work on, but I was proud of myself yesterday for listening to my body and resting (and enjoying vino after work).

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  • New Workout Plan- With our wedding coming up (38 days from today, to be exact!), I decided that I wanted to spend some time focusing on me when it comes to workouts. Lately I’ve been teaching a lot and have had a lot of other things going on so my own workouts have fallen a bit by the wayside; I still workout 5-6 days a week, but they aren’t as structured or formatted as I’d like them to be in order to see changes I’d like to see. With that said, I reached out to my girl Athena to have her create a month long upper-body focused workout plan for me for the month leading up to my wedding. I am by no means trying to lose weight, but rather I just would like to tone up my upper body and back and see what kinds of changes I can make when I consistently follow a plan. She sent me the workout plan the other day and upon first glance it looks great and I can’t wait to start- sometimes just having a new plan to follow is exactly what you need to get excited about something again!

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And that does it for me! We don’t have a lot planned this weekend which is really nice. I’m hoping to get some sun, sleep and relaxation 🙂

Questions for you: How has your week been? When is the last time you got out of your comfort zone? Do you like to follow structured workout plans? How are you embracing the weather?

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Five on Friday {5.19.16}

Good morning- TGIF 🙂 I am so happy it’s Friday and that there’s good weather in the forecast for the weekend because my bachelorette weekend kicks off today!  Let’s jump right into today’s post, shall we?

  • Secret of Being Happy At Work but actually, I think this can be applied to all areas of your life. RM sent me this and I just think it’s such an important message to get across. If we are always saying we will be happy when we get a new job or a promotion or a boyfriend or after we lose 10lbs., etc. etc., we are continuously spending our time, thoughts and energy NOT focusing on the present and everything good in that moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting more and thinking more will make you happier and feel better, but if you take a step back and appreciate everything you have/do/etc. RIGHT NOW, I think you’ll find a greater sense of satisfaction and self-appreciation. Try it!
  • Clean up your cardio My girl Athena just released her new, FREE Clean Up Your Cardio guide, which will show you all sorts of new ways to get a bigger bang for your buck when it comes to cardio (less time working out and better results? Yes, please!). Athena sent me some of the workouts ahead of time to try out and I loved all of the 6 that I tried! They’re challenging, but doable, which I think is a really important thing when trying new workouts. You want to feel like you’re working hard, but you also want to feel like you can finish the workout, right? Also, they range from body weight to minimal equipment to the use of a treadmill or some other cardio machine to the track, so there’s something for everyone! I’ve been inspired to spice up my cardio just by seeing all the different things she’s included. If you’re interested in checking it out (it’s free, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t be), check out this link!
  • Book Club- As I mentioned on Monday, I hosted book club at my apartment last weekend. I am so thankful that we not only started, but have maintained, book club for nearly 2 years. These days it’s so hard to get together with people because we’ve all got so many different things going on, so having a planned event every 6 weeks or so is awesome. The last book we read was Defending Jacob, which was a great book club book. There was so much to talk about! Our next on is Fates & Furies, which although I’ve heard it’s a little hard to get into, once you get into it you’ll love it. I can’t wait to read it! What are you reading lately?

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  • Bags class at GymIt- On Tuesday (May 24th) I am going to be teaching my first bags classes at GymIt in Watertown!!! I am so excited, but also so nervous. Want to know what would help? Having some familiar faces in the class, so if you are around I’d love for you to come check it out!! I tested out one of the workouts I’ve created the other morning at my apartment and even without a bag, I was a sweaty beast and huffing and puffing. Boxing is no joke!

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Here are some details if you’re interested in coming to a class:

1) There are gloves to use for each class but you’ll need to buy your own wraps ($10.00). If you buy gloves there ($35) the wraps are free.
2) You can try a class for free once you have signed up with Gymit
3) 10 pack for $180.00 no members or $25.00 per drop in (non members of gym)
  • Bachelorette weekend– Today I am heading up to Portland, ME with a bunch of my favorite girls to celebrate my bachelorette party. I cannot believe this weekend is finally here… sh*t is starting to get real! The wedding is in 46 days… how did it sneak up so fast?! Although I’m from Maine, I never spent much time in Portland when I was able to really appreciate the bar scene, so if you have any suggestions for bars to go to, please let me know 🙂 We are staying right down town which is awesome! Had to celebrate last night by getting my nails done and drinking vino… duh 😉

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Your Turn! Tell me something good! What have you been doing for workouts lately? Are you reading any good books? Do you tend to focus on things to come or embrace the present? Where did you go for your bachelorette party?

BoxFIIT Certification {Review}

It still feels so crazy to say that I am completely finished with my Box FIIT Certification!!  While I felt like I worked diligently on the certification, it still took me about 2.5 months to finish, but considering everything else I had going on (teaching, subbing, blogging, working… oh yeah, and planning my wedding!), I don’t think that’s too bad!

Before I get into the details of what the certification was like/what to expect, things I liked, things I would change, etc., I want to say that this is the best certification I have EVER done. George Foreman III (“G3”) clearly put his heart and soul into this certification and every time I felt overwhelmed by how much work it was, I reminded myself that GF3 put a hundred times more time & energy into this certification and that helped power me through 🙂 It’s seriously incredible everything that he put into making this certification and it far surpassed all of the other certifications I’ve done in terms of teaching you the basics, advanced levels and how to teach it. AND, I get 7 AFAA continuing ed. credits as part of the certification- amazing!

Ok, let’s talk about the certification now! I have wanted to teach at The Club for a long time now. I had previously gone through the hiring process but for one reason or another, never ended up teaching there, so when I saw that they had a public certification, I knew I had to do it. Between my love of boxing/cardio kickboxing and my want to start teaching at a new-to-me gym, I knew it was the perfect certification for me. Oh, and they had a crazy deal at the time so I got the whole thing for SO cheap!

Once I signed up, I had a Skype introductory meeting with GF3. He went through all of the various stages of the certification, suggestions on how to complete it, what to expect, what he would like to see, etc. and he answered all of my questions. From there, I jumped right in with watching the videos. I took LOTS of notes, but that’s because that’s how I learn best. If you don’t need to take notes, you can print off notes from the library, which is what I did when it came time to do my videos so I could remember the specific cues that I should use.

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There were 5 Learning Paths: Boxing (this included 5 rounds within the path: Footwork, Defense, Offense, Combinations & Styles), Strength (this included 8 rounds within the path: Core, Squat, Lunge, Clean & Row, Push & Press, Turkish Get Up, Suspension & Safety), Conditioning (Rowing/Cycling/Ropes/Plyos & Running), Teaching Classes (and using the trainer app) and Mittwork (mittwork & sparring). If that sounds like a lot- it was! But I really did find everything in the videos to be extremely helpful and they really inspired me to be a better instructor and boxer. GF3 taught the videos on the boxing learning paths and Anthony Diluglio lead all of the non- boxing learning paths (conditioning, strength, suspension training, Turkish Getup, squats, lunges, etc.). Both of these guys are incredible instructors and I learned SO MUCH by watching the videos and executing the moves.

For each phase you had to watch various videos on content related to the learning path, do your “homework” which was watching short video clips of the exercises and cues he wanted us to focus on, video yourself demoing the focus exercises and then video yourself teaching someone how to safely and accurately execute the exercises. While the video part didn’t bother me (hello, I post videos and selfies all the time!), I did struggle with finding time and people to teach for video purposes. I also found it hard to tape some videos based on the equipment necessary- I tend to go to the gym during busy times which is not conducive for videoing 😉 But it all worked out- I was able to make trips to the gym during off hours and find gracious people to help me! Also, I had invested in a cell phone tripod from Amazon (not sure the link anymore, but it was $7!) that was a LIFESAVER throughout the certification process.

Pro’s

I want to talk now about the things I loved about the certification- there are so many!

  • Attention to detail and thoroughness of the certification- As I mentioned earlier, this certification is the best I’ve ever done. Each part of the boxing and strength experience is completely broken down to make sure that we, as future instructors, know our shit (for a lack of better words 😉 ). There is nothing worse than an instructor who instructs incorrectly, so it was clear that GF3 and Anthony really made it a priority to make sure that wouldn’t happen.
  • Communication- GF3 was very active with communications, whether via email, Skype, Twitter, etc., he was around. Also, he responded to EVERY video that I submitted- either with notes or tips or tweaks to make or just a “nice work!” note (<- those were my favorite 🙂 ). Knowing that he’s actually looking at the videos and taking the time to give us feedback is awesome. Nicole Schultz was also a HUGE help when it came to communication- I emailed her countless times for random questions I had throughout the certification. She is amazing!!
  • Expertise- GF3 is so incredibly knowledgeable about boxing AND teaching- truly a master of his craft. And Anthony was just as knowledgeable about the other exercises we learned as GF3 is about boxing. The tips and cues Anthony gave throughout the videos have helped me SO MUCH in my own teaching.
  • Content- The content was spot on and I truly felt like I finished the certification with such a better understanding of the human body and how it relates to and reacts from exercise and movement so much better. Rather than skimming the surface of boxing and conditioning and strength, they dug really deep to help us drill down the necessary fundamentals to safely and correctly execute and teach the movements.
  • Resources- The “library” which holds all of the individual movement videos was invaluable to me during my certification because it also linked to written notes about each exercise/movement with specific cues/teaching points. Also, the trainer dashboard is awesome and having access to so many other trainers and workouts is going to be so helpful as I get going with my teaching. The BoxFIIT Trainer App is also great- so long paper notebooks with my scribbles on them! The app allows you to create your entire workout right in it AND link to music. It’s awesome!

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Con’s

With every list of pro’s, there’s usually a list of con’s, right? I don’t really have much negative to say about the certification because it was truly an incredible learning experience. However, I will say that this certification is not ideal for someone who isn’t serious about wanting to teach a BoxFIIT/boxing class because it is a lot of work and does take a lot of time. Going into the certification you really need to be prepared to work hard because you can’t slide your way through it like you might for other certifications. I think the hardest part for me was finding people and time to do the video submissions, but I do know they are really important for an online certification. I would’ve loved a 2 day intensive in-person certification, but I think online is much easier for most people because you’re able to go at your own pace. Attending the recent BoxFIIT clinic at The Club a few weekends ago was SUPER helpful in getting the in-person experience that I personally crave.

The only other things that I thought got to be a little redundant were the videos on teaching, but again, I think that’s because I’ve been teaching for 4 years and have a pretty good handle on that. I think those videos were targeted towards people who have never taught before, so when I reminded myself of that, I realized how important they were!

All in all, I couldn’t be more impressed with this certification, nor more grateful that I took a chance and added it to my plate during a very busy time in my life. I can’t wait to continue learning from some incredibly motivating, inspiring, talented and smart people in the field. GF3- thank you for everything- you’re amazing!

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If anyone is interested in learning more about this certification, PLEASE let me know. I believe I can get you a discount code, or at least put you in touch with Nicole and George.

Also! I will be teaching my first classes on TUESDAY (May 24th) at 5:30pm and 6:30pm at GymIt in Watertown. Let me know if you’re interested in coming (would love the support of some familiar faces on my first night!) 🙂

 

 

Five on Friday {5.6.16}

Good morning and TGIF! I’m trying to fake being peppy because I hate how “blah” this weather is making me feel. It’s giving me absolutely no pep in my step, which is a sad, sad thing, haha I feel like this week went by in a blink of the eye… like, how is it already Friday?! Not that I’m complaining. I’m certainly not complaining. Friday+pay day+half day+mom in town= FriYAY for sure 🙂 Let’s get to some topics of the week!

  • Responses to Tuesday’s Post- Thank you all so much for your kind comments in response to my post this week. Seriously, you have no idea how much it meant to have so many of you comment and tell me what you like and would like to see more of. I have to admit- I was actually surprised by how many of you said you enjoyed my “weekending” roundups. Although I plan to take some of my personal life off of the stage of this blog, there are some things worth recapping and sharing so it certainly won’t be the last of them!
  • BoxFIIT Update– I got an email from George Foreman III the other day saying that I passed all of my boxfiit video submissions, which was the best email ever! I worked so hard on getting everything in and doing the best job I could, so to hear him say he felt confident to have me start teaching whenever was such a great feeling. I’ll let you guys know when I have a class on the schedule (either there or in Watertown at GymIt) and hopefully you can come check it out!

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  • Flourless Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies Alexis over at Hummusapien posted this recipe recently and I knew I just had to make it. No surprise here that it turned out to be another hit from her blog. Every time I make something new RM is like “is that another Hummusapien recipe” 😉 Super easy to make and super moist (sorry) and tasty- perfect healthy treat for our weeknight “treat time”.
  • Embracing my curls- For so many years, I’d straighten or create curls in my hair with my straightener rather than letting my natural curls shine bright, but lately, I’m alllll about the big hair! I don’t know what it is, but my hair has been SO curly lately that I just feel bad altering it! What I do now to give it a different look than my every day “wash, mousse, scrunch & go” look is I put in gel/mousse and scrunch and then I let it air dry for a bit. Then, I use my diffuser (finally bought one and it makes a world of a difference!) and flip my head over and put it to the roots of my hair to start and then scrunch up my hair with it to heat up the curls and liven them up. The end result is a big head of crazy curly hair that totally gives me a sass factor 😉

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  • Cino de Mayo at home- With yesterday’s rainy, nasty weather, I just didn’t feel like going out to get my Cinco de Mayo necessary fix so I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some of the necessary ingredients to whip up some yummy things: pineapple salsa, guacamole, shrimp tacos & a quesadilla. Everything was SO good and really quite easy to make (and healthier than going out!).

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And that does it! I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!! I’m working a half day today and my mom is coming down for my dress fitting! And tomorrow I’m teaching at the Y and then we are going shopping for our wedding bands and then Sunday is my BoxFIIT “graduation”. Whatever you do, make it a good one!

 

 

Five on Friday {4.29.16}

Remember me? I’ve missed you 🙂 I’m popping in quickly to share some things that might be of interest to you before you kick off the weekend!

  • Changing things up- More on this next week, but  at a high level, I’ll be changing things up a bit on B2B going forward. I can’t imagine stopping blogging all together, but I do realize that some things have to change a bit in order for it to work better. BUT, I think it will be great, so I hope you’ll stick along for the ride!
  • Legacy Place’s Spring Cycle for Friendship & Block Party for Best Buddies This Sunday (May 1st) from 8am to 1pm (rides will be 45 minutes and offered on the hour- so 8-8:45, 9-9:45, etc.), Rev’d Indoor Cycling studio will provide bikes, high-energy instruction and complementary shoes for a killer ride… and a live DJ will be play the perfect music to pump you up and keep you moving! After your spin, you’ll have a chance to do a Yoga Cool Down class hosted by Stil Studio and you’ll receive a sweet swag bag. Each ride is $30, but 100% of that goes to Best Buddies. Lastly, there will be a block party for riders & their guests from 12-1 in The Gardens with refreshments, food samples and games. Sounds awesome, right? If you’re around, sign up quickly because space is limited! I can’t make it, unfortunately, but my girl Sherri will be there, so say “hi” if you go!
  • Girls Night at Barcelona in the South End Last Saturday night I had a chance to get together with some of my oldest girlfriends in the city and we had such an awesome time! We started at my sister’s apartment for cheese & wine and then went to Barcelona in the South End. Everything was FANTASTIC!!! But even better was getting to chat with some of my favorite ladies.

 

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  • Fasten Ok, I know there are “Uber-like” companies popping up all the time, but I recently tried Fasten and am totally hooked. I don’t know how they did it, but for me to get from Newton Corner to the Dorchester/Southie line it was $10.81… and then after dinner with the girls I went to get an Uber and it was X1.6 surcharge so I opened up Fasten, ordered a ride and was only charged around $7 for the whole trip from the South End to Newton Corner. I couldn’t believe it!!! And both drivers I had were very nice and professional and had clean cars. I highly suggest using this link to download the app and use their services. You get $15 by using that link/code (code= MO5551) and I get $15- pretty awesome deal if you ask me!
  • BoxFIIT Updates- I finally submitted ALL of my videos for the BoxFIIT certification that I worked on for months and to say it felt great is a huge understatement! Thanks to Nicole’s amazing help, I feel really good about my submission and I CANNOT WAIT to start teaching hopefully both at The Club and at GymIt here in Watertown.

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That does it for me! Gosh, just writing this post solidified how much I LOVE blogging and sharing things with you. I hope all of you have a wonderful Friday and a wonderful weekend. Tomorrow is my bridal shower which is so crazy exciting! Sh*t is getting real now!