Wherever you go, always bring your own sunshine

Sore back, butt, tris, thighs, OH MY!!!

Sooooooo I just peed and  realized that sitting on the toilet was much harder than yesterday.  This is a result of the second half of my ACTIVE SATURDAY!!   After finishing the nearly 5 mi Boston running tour I rushed home to shower, hydrate and get some food in me!   I was super excited and curious about what was to come for the next part of my day.  Oh, my friend did need to make a pit stop at City Sports, which gave me the PERFECT opportunity to get a yoga mat…and a few other cute things 🙂

As many of you know I’m part of the TONE IT UP team/community/plan.  http://toneitup.com/  Over the past few months I have become extremely close with SO many of these girls.  I know it may sound weird, since I have never met any of them, but it’s something I can’t really explain unless you experience it.  There is just something about going through your day…or coming home from work every night, and seeing kind words, motivating inspiring tweets and pictures that just make you smile and remind you of why you are striving for this healthy lifestyle!    These girls just get me.  Whether it be when i’m sad, happy, hungry, tired or whatever…..they pick me up at the drop of a hat.  And I know that I do that for them.   It could be with a tweet, a video, or just a simple quote….but these girls are my (TIU) WORLD!!!!   So you can imagine my excitement when one of my TIU friends Taylor coordinated a “BOSTONED TIU” exercise day for some of the TIU girls that live in the area.

What I knew going into it:

1.  Pilates Fusion class at North End Yoga – Wasn’t sure what this meant, but I thought  “Windsor Pilates” (I did the DVD once in high school- that was my pilates experience extent) :),  plus some extra cardio/strengthening

2.  The instructor: Jen Phelan.  When I looked at her website http://www.jenniferphelan.com/and saw HOW FIT (&  gorgeous) she was, and had won “best exercise class of 2010“, I knew this was NOT going to be an easy peasy class.  My friend and I both said to each other “did you see her website?  Yikes.  This is gonna be no joke“.  LOL

3. That I was going to SWEAT my booty off.  A few of the girls, Taylor and Kerri, both said this class was amazing and be PREPARED to sweat.  yahooooooo.  BRING IT!!

So when I arrived to the studio, I was welcomed by my TIU girl Taylor, (who I couldn’t help just give a BIG HUG to!!!  I felt like I knew this girl from way back!!) and Jen Phelan.  I felt horrible b/c we were a few min late b/c of the craziness going on in Fanueil hall  with parking, (shocking), but they put me at ease right away.  The studio is GORGEOUS!!  Lovely orange walls, beautiful wooden floors, tall mirrors, a big bathroom and nice decorations throughout.  It was all so welcoming.    I couldn’t believe how big this place was for the NORTH END!   What the heck is the rent on this place?!

It was so fresh and fun seeing the friendly faces that I have been communicating with on twitter and FB for the past 6 months !!  My TIU BOSTONED GIRLS!!  Jen gave us a little overview of what kind of hell, ahem, fun we were in for 🙂  A lot of us had never done pilates before, so it was kind of nice we were all on a similar level.  She explained that Pilates Fusion is a combination of standard pilates, with some barre involved, bootcampish stuff (planks/pushups) and there would be some music, some quietness.   She went over the equipment we would be using….including a 12″ inch ? ring and 2 small balls…that both LOOKED harmless…but I knew better:)   I was I was a tad nervous since I had run 5 miles that morning, and I have been having trouble with my hip flexor/IT band, but was just going to do the best I could.

The Class:

I knew that when I needed a tricep rest after the 1st couple minutes of pushup style planks, that I was in for an amazeballs workout.   This was also my first “ding!” moment:  There IS a big difference between forearm and pushup style planks.  I always figured they were both great for your abs….but since i don’t have great wrists,  I figured why not just do them on my forearms? Well I realized how weak my triceps are!  So that is my new goal: work on my pushup style planks and daily pushups.

The next exercises involved that harmless looking ring and set of small blue balls.  (insert joke here).  I can’t say much more than man, they WORK!   Then after 20 of my favorite exercises: burpees (kidding),  we went back down for some more planks.  That is when I saw the sweat just dripping onto my yoga mat….and the forearm plank attempt was a FAIL since all i was doing was sliding all over the place!   Note to self:  BRING TOWEL NEXT TIME.

We headed over to the wall for some barre style type exercises, some with a block between our legs, some without.  It didn’t matter what we were doing…what Miss Jen was having us do was making my legs shake, shake, and shake.  Whenever I didn’t think I could hold it longer she told us to tuck our butts, get our heels higher, and get lower.   (“This class is NO joke” was running through my head again).   When she finally told us to release and shake out our legs, I wasn’t sure if i’d make it back to my mat safely with my Jello legs!

We ended the class with some abs and standard pilate exercises.  During one of them you lie flat with your arms above your head…..you sit up and roll forward like you’re making a “C” with your back.  As I looked at my shins I noticed sweat just dripping down them.  Ahhhhhh, love me a great sweat session.  Makes me feel like I’m really working….which I didn’t really need that proof since my muscles were all in overdrive!

When the class was over Jen talked to us about her different classes/locations, being a ZICO ambassador (SO COOL!), and how we could make this TIU group thing happen again!  We all had such a great time and I can’t wait to do more of Jen’s classes.  There is no way I wouldn’t get results with her classes.  My friend Erin and I said “um, that was def. one of the hardest classes ever.  What the heck have we been doing at these other classes?!” haha

Here are some pics after we finished this SweatFest, I mean Pilates Fusion class.  Fortunately you can’t tell that my hair was drenched in sweat and wished we had taken “pre class” pics 🙂

So I’ll end this by saying I went to bed with some soreness in my butt….I woke up with some sore lats and as the day goes on, my thighs and abs are joining in on the fun.  Walking up and down stairs, and peeing, are hard tasks now….and i LOVE every bit of it.  BIG BIG thanks to Taylor for taking the time and effort to set this up, and THANK YOU JEN for taking your time to make this happen for us.  You’re a friendly, energetic, motivating, beautiful woman and I look forward to seeing you again!

Love Stephy 🙂


Active Saturday Part 1: Boston running tour!

Well its a beautiful day in South Boston and I just got a nice walk in to help with my sore muscles from my Fitness Saturday yesterday!!!

The morning started with a Boston running tour http://www.runboston.org/ that a few of my friends and I had signed up for with Groupon.  Love those city deals!!  Its a great way to try new things that you normally never would!  And a great way to save money on things you do all the time 🙂  I get so excited when I get a yoga or exercise class for discount…..and the massages and manis/pedis dont hurt either!  lol

So the tour was just under 5 miles or so.  Now even though I’ve been running/ training for this Disney race, I have never run with a group.  I like to get my tunes going, get in that mind set of getting my run done, and go at my own pace.  So I was nervous about not being able to keep up, but we made enough stops to learn super cool fun facts about Boston, so I never got too tired.   Did you know the bridge going over into Charlestown is the bridge they filmed in The Town?   Oh, and side note:  the flower shop around the corner from me is the one in that movie too!  I got to watch yummy Ben Affleck film his scenes during production.  Yummy.  Deeeelish.  Adorbs.  oh, sorry, I digress.   So anywho, we made stops about every half mile or so, but I must say in between we ran at a pretty fast pace!  My goal is to run a 10 min/ mile all the time, but we ran anywhere from 8.5 min miles to 10 min/miles or so the whole time.  So it was a nice little HIIT workout!  Short rests and bust out in between!!!  It started at the State House near Boston common, then headed to TD Banknorth Garden- where all our favorite teams of the Bruins and Celtics play!  Next we headed to the North end, then Faneuil Hall, up to the Old State house, then to the Boston common, around Newbury st, Comm Ave and ended at the State House.

At the end we got tshirts – that were shamrocks with a sneaker and said RunBoston.  A few of my friends wore them during the tour which was kinda cool so people knew as we ran by that we were a part of a group.  As we ran down the cobblestones of Boston (which is almost as hard as heels!!!!!) you would hear people say “oh watch out for the runners!”  or jokingly say “Boston Marathoners coming through!”   As I heard these things i thought to myself “if you ever told me I’d be running thru boston on a RUNNING tour, (for fun no less!!! ) I would have thought you were crazy.  But i love what this running has done for me!!   Besides making me healthier and stronger, its opening up my world to new things!   One of my favorite parts of the run was when a couple other runners ran by us and one of them  “high fived” me.   Love Friendly runners!

After the tour ended we had a short cool down walk through Boston common and then headed home to quickly shower, eat and hyrdate….to get ready for PART 2  of HEALTHY SATURDAY!!!

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Empty pickle jar

Hi everyone!

So as scary as this is, I’m excited to do my VERY first post ever on my blog!  While I’m using this blog to journal my health/fitness/running journey, I wasn’t sure what to write about first.  As I was brainstorming, my email inbox lit up with an incoming email from my dad, labeled: Empty Pickle Jar. After watching this quick video, I knew I wanted my first post to be about this.   It’s 3 min long, but it’s a lesson that can last you a lifetime and remind you what life should be all about. (just hit the “back” button after you watch)


The pickle jar represents your life.  We are given this one precious life, this gift, and YOU make the decision of how you want to fill it.  The golf balls, represent what should make up the most of your life.  The things that should make you most happy….or will result in happiness.  Filling your life with important people, whether it be your family members or friends…these are the people that help shape you into who you are and make your life most worthwhile.  Next, health.  Health is so important, b/c we are given this one body, this one temple, that makes our life so amazing.  Think of all the fun things your body does for you every single day.   The healthier we are, and the better we treat our body, the better it responds, and the better we feel!   The better we feel, the happier we are!  Why not give your body the best energy it can receive?

The “pebbles” represent the next important things that should fill your life.  They are a part of your every day– your job, your home, your car.  These things can be even more enjoyable, b/c of the “golf balls” in your life :)– your friends and family.

Now the sand.  You always hear the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff”.    There are lots of things we go through in every day life that can taint our mind, worry us, or make us second guess ourselves.    You don’t like the number you see on the scale, or your house is a pit and you skip dinner out with friends to clean.   You and a coworker or family member don’t see eye to eye on something, or you don’t get all your errands done before picking the kids up at school.  If you dwell on all of these “small”, less important things in life, then you forget about the things that REALLY matter.

Fill your life with positive people and good health.  Make them your priorities.  Laugh, make memories, move your body,  fill it with good energy, and good things will happen!   This world can be so consumed with stress and sometimes we forget whats really important!  EVERY DAY is a gift, and the quality of your days, is your gift to yourself.  So fill your life with GOLFBALLS, and you will go places my friend!!  And I can almost guarantee you will do it with a smile on your face…which brings me to my favorite quote:  Wherever you go, always bring your own sunshine 🙂

Thanks for reading my FIRST blog ever!  And thank you Dad, for reminding me about the Golfballs in life:) XOXO

love stephy xo