I have two posts to write, one that will be filled with some pretty deep emotional and personal stuff, and one that will be just a nice little write-up on an awesome area. Wasn’t sure which to write first, but I’m feeling a little overflowed with incredibly wonderful emotions so I think I’ll write that one first!
This past weekend will officially go down as one of the greatest weekends of my entire life. I planned out this huge weekend up around Lake Placid, NY to spend with Lindsey and it went down without a hitch. In fact, I can’t really think of too much else that would have made it better. Getting down onto one knee in front of the girl I love felt like the most natural thing in the world. And every second since that moment I have felt more fulfilled and relaxed in the direction I, and we are headed than ever before. This is exactly where I am supposed to be in my life.
Lindsey and I have been through a lot. We’ve had our ups and downs. We even spent some time apart a bit ago. But in the end there was something deeper than our surface issues that kept us connected. And this fueled the need to work things out. This “something” between us gives me every bit of confidence in us spending the rest of our lives together, and having a wonderful family. I feel a deeper connection with this girl than with anything I have ever imagined. She makes me the best version of me. She relaxes me. She makes me feel comfortable and confident in public and when it’s just us. It’s cheesy as hell but when she smiles I can literally feel every single stress in my life just disappear. I have heard so many sappy love songs and read so many Renaissance-ian poems describing this sort of thing and I always liked the idea, but I never thought it to actually exist in my life. But it does. Say what you will, I told you this post was going to be an emotional and personal one.
This awesome girl drives me to get better every single day. Sometimes she says the most insightful things that open my eyes to new ideas I’ve never thought of. Sometimes she says stuff that bugs me to the core and lights a fire of energy in me to figure out just what the hell is going on and how to work through it. I cannot explain how important it is to me to spend the rest of my life with a person who forces me to use my mind in every single way possible on a regular basis. She does this.
I am so happy to know that we have found each other and have worked through so much to be where we are today. I know we’ll go through so much more in the coming years and I look towards all that with so much excitement. But right now I am just excitedly experiencing each moment, knowing that my girlfriend is now my fiancé. I am happy. I am so happy.
Lindsey, sorry if this is a bit embarrassing, I needed to share it all. To all my readers, sorry to get all sappy; probably won’t happen again for a while, but all this deserves to be stated. I hope everyone in the world gets to experience the way I feel right now at some point in their lives. Even if it’s just for a second.
OK, rainbow-y romantic, emotional stuff over! Back to the gym for some iron tossing and beard growing!!!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
For a bit over a week now I have been back on eating nice and clean. In doing so, my kitchen time has increased quite a bit and I have come up with a few fun creations. For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, you might remember the old Courageous Meals posts I began doing back when I moved to California. Well, now that I'm back in the kitchen thinking up different creations, I thought I'd reintroduce a couple of those into my posting (the main thing is to just get back to regular posting!), This past week, while very good on the nutrition front, I've been completely out of the gym. I intentionally took a couple extra days off from training, then, got pretty sick and ended up taking the entire week off. I am super excited to get back onto the program this coming week, along with the new-found wonderful meal plan; I am expecting great things!
So, on to a few of the meals I came up with! First, at the start of this whole thing, I was strolling through Whole Foods picking up some essentials, and decided I'd just grab a few things, head back to the house and see what i could make! This ended up being a really fun time. I literally had a bag full of wonderful food, laid it all on the counter and let my imagination run wild, and came up with the following:
Chicken sausage and shrimp collard green wraps
I broiled some great chicken sausage (I learned from my good friend who worked at Whole Foods for a while that their personal sausages are in fact, organic, free-range ground chicken, spices and pork casing, that's it. Totally cool with that!). Heated up some pre-cooked shrimp, chopped up tomato's, onions and jalapenos and put the mess into a large collard green leaf. Wrapped it up and boom, there's your meal! It turned out to be unreal! After that, it was open season in my brain for coming up with some new things (new for me at least, I am pretty sure I have been beat to the punch with all my ideas long ago, but I just don't research this stuff enough, so, I like taking the credit!)
Steak tip over eggs w/ coconut wasabi and asparagus
My lack of grill is killing me, so, it was back to the broiler for the meat. To add to the fun, I cooked up a couple eggs over easy in a pan with coconut oil and steamed the asparagus. The kick to the meal was the wasabi. I found a great little powder at Whole Foods, added water and coconut oil and just like that, a slightly sweet, crazy spicy paste to throw on top of most meats! So damn good! Some great red meat meals led me to realize that I hadn't cooked up chicken in a while, so, I thought I'd try something great!
Bacon-wrapped chicken with Brussels sprouts
Yep, back to the broiler for this, again, this lack of grill is killing me! Either way, I wrapped up my 3-inch cuts of chicken with some thick cut bacon and threw it in the oven for a good 20 minutes. This was paired with halved Brussels sprouts cooked in coconut oil along with some almond slivers. Yet again, another awesome meal (Lindsey is the Brussels sprouts genius of the household by the way, it's great!). But what about a different style of dinner, like a soup you say?
Old Fashioned Chicken Soup
Cubed up a bunch of chicken, cut up carrots, celery, onion and butternut squash along with some finely chopped bacon, and threw the whole sh'bang into a pot with a mixture of chicken and vegetable broth and water. Simmered it for a good 25 minutes and we had a perfect soup for a cold Sunday night! But what about the sweet tooth? My plan and goals for the next few weeks is to avoid this sort of thing as to control my emotional desire for sugar in certain situations (...); but, yesterday Lindsey and I went to a Halloween party and we needed to bring something perfect!
Almond Butter Cups
This was the one that everyone on Facebook wanted to know all about! Go figure, right? You have all this wonderfully good, healthy food posted up, then you post of dessert and get bombarded with questions as to how to make it! Well, if you want to make a quick buck, start a dessert company I guess. Either way, it was super easy (time consuming and messy yes, but easy)! I'll give a little more detail on this one for you all then. And of course, you can expect a few super detailed Courageous Meals posts over the coming month. A note to make before all this: you can use any type of chocolate, depends your taste.
I bag semi-sweet dark chocolate pieces
1 bottle almond butter
Small paper muffin holder things
Put all the chocolate in a large bowl or plate, then place over a small pot with a little water in it. But it on the stove and bring the water to a boil. This will slowly melt the chocolate. As this is happening, take about a cup or two of almond butter into a bowl, add about a quarter cut coconut, 2 tbsp cinnamon and 1 tbsp nutmeg, mix it all up and set aside.
Once the chocolate is melted, let cool for a minute or two, then take about 2 tbsp and pour into the muffin holder things. Use the back of a spoon to coat the whole paper thing as best you can (this is the messy, time-consuming, annoying part). I made about 15 in my batch, just as a heads up. Once the paper things are all coated, set them in the fridge to harden up.
Once they are hardened up, add a couple tbsp of the almond butter mixture into each cup, then coat the top of it with another tbsp or two of chocolate (you may have to re-heat the stuff). Again, use the spoon to make sure the entire top is coated, then, if you want to be pretty about it, add a little swirl to the top to make it look professional! Pop in the fridge and about 15 minutes later you have the perfect Almond Butter Cup! You can make this as healthy or unhealthy as you want really. Mine were pretty damn good healthy for a dessert. No added sugar, just the smallest amount in the dark chocolate. The spices and coconut in the almond butter added a bit of a kick to the whole thing that o think really made these things that much better. Now I am really curious about making these with zero sugar. I'm sure they'll be nasty, but it's worth a try! Let me know how yours turn out!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Ok, so this weekend I traveled up to upstate NY with Lindsey and her brother to run one of those Warrior Dashes. Turned out to be a damn fun time, and got me brainstorming so many different things. First off, what a perfect concept! It's easy enough that anyone can do it, but tough enough so that you can't just sprint right through without getting a little challenged. I mean, just traversing through muddy water is enough of a curve ball to slow you down a little! I opted to hang with Lindsey and her brother and had such a fun time sloshing through the mud and navigating all the crazy obstacles they had in store for us. I was amazed at the fact that we signed up for a 2:30pm on Sunday heat, and it was packed from registration to end! And that's closing in on the end of the second day of heats! What a successful concept these people have come up with.
While some of the elitist competitors out there might not enjoy the laid-back feel of the whole event, I can't really see any real negatives on the whole thing. It saw people of all ages and fitness levels. I mean, it was not all that off to see mostly out of shape goofballs out there just wanting to play around with everyone. And in my mind, there is nothing but AWESOME things to say about an even that inspires anyone and EVERYONE to get outside and run around!
We got ourselves all checked in, in the craziness and hoards of people dressed up in all sorts of entertaining get-up. We then walked on up to the start line, through even more craziness and got to waiting for our heat to get going. About a mile of straight up the mountain (they are generally held at ski resorts) across the ridge and back down, that was the course. And for the obstacles we had three different water traps, a slip n' slide, walls, tires in all forms of tricky ways, old cars and trucks to climb over and plenty of rope, cargo nets and boards to climb all over. Needless to say, they were not really easy per say, in fact, a couple of them were actually pretty damn hard. They were just perfectly tough!
And to top it all off, a massive turkey leg to feast on afterwards! Can't really think of too much else better than that!
Back in the DC area now, ready to train hard and revamp the nutrition plan to see what else I can learn! Oh, and the Fitness Survival Challenge in less than a week away!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Today I took a wonderful rest day. Got some Vitamin D by the pool while napping briefly and getting some good reading in, foam rolled like mad and analyzed the hell out of my nutrition program! I have so much I want to try out, I'll just have to start a nutrition To-Do list. The main thing Ive been doing more and more is charting everything. I mean EVERYTHING! It is an incredible experience to write down what's going on in your life in a very technical manner, it inspires so much more awareness of your lifestyle and I really believe it's a great way to take proper and logical steps to becoming a healthier person!
Tomorrow I'm back in The Garage for my second to last de-load workout, and I'll hit some light conditioning along with some skill work. Super excited for Sunday when I'll be headed up the greater North East to vacation with Lindsey! Lot's of relaxing, tanning, reading and working out; perfect.
Well, that's it for today, just a short little post. I have my second Courageous How-To coming up soon, so look for that tomorrow or Friday!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
My lack of posts over the weekend was inspired by a last minute trip to Upstate New York to visit Lindsey and her family. While it was an awesome weekend, filled with great food, fun people and some great sights, I ended up changing my programming around to be much, much, well, easier. I found that I was really fatigued, run down, and right at the brink of being over trained. So, I decided to tone back on the workouts over the weekend and just get some basic work in. On Friday I worked on handstand push ups, muscle ups, buterfly pull ups and the new standard burpees. Felt good all around, except for the handstand push ups (a LOT more on this tomorrow!). Saturday, after a crazy long drive up to Norwich, NY (somewhere in the middle of upstate NY), Lindsey and I hit a sweet park for a bit of fun.
I worked on much of the same stuff as Friday after Lindsey and I traversed the crazy jungle gym for about 30 minutes or so (it's freaking awesome to be a kid every now and then!). My muscle ups felt better, and I was able to work a few of the 30" box jumps as well, felt real good. All around I was feeling good about all the skills needed for the coming Regionals.
The remainder of the weekend time was spent hanging with Lindsey's awesome family and having some good times! The first was Saturday night when we all drove into town to hang with a collection of Lindsey's family from her Moms side. After a bit of time there, Lindsey and I went to hang with a couple of her cousins and friends, this ended up being all sorts of entertaining into the early hours of Sunday morning. Then, on Sunday, we drove out to Ithaca, check out out Cornell (my dad went there, as well as Lindsey's dad and youngest bro). We then parked up at a trail head for Taughannock Falls and hiked the ridge trail around until we got to see the awesome vision of the 215 foot falls. From there it was off to Lindsey's fam on her ads side for some grilling and chilling into the early evening!
After that, we drove out to Syracuse to catch a Sky Chiefs baseball game (Nationals triple A team) so I could catch up with my good friend and old client Josh Wilkie. He's been tearing it up at that level for a while and I am hopeful to see him down in DC very, very soon! It was awesome to be able to catch up with him, he;s a damn good guy and it was great to talk with him for a while. And to top it all off, he pitched an inning and two thirds and did awesome!
Early Monday morning I took the long drive back to the DC area and chilled through the rest of Monday. Fired up the grill and fired up some food for my pops!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
As most of you should know at this point, I am making huge transition in my life and job only 9 months after making the biggest transition of my life. My girl and I are moving back to the East Coast. This is a very bitter sweet process for me as I have fallen so madly in love with the California life-style but am excited to the core to return to the community I had spent so long creating in the greater DC area. Even though I’ve only been in CA for less than a year I feel as though have made friends for life and I fully expect to be making continuous trips back to workout and hang out with all the great people I have bonded with.
Right now Lindsey and I are faced with the overwhelming task of figuring out how to get our lives moved back across the country. Our memories of the crazy times we had in getting things out here are still pretty fresh on our minds so the intensity of the stress is multiplied a bit. But, I have a great deal of confidence that things will work out pretty damn well because we have our sights set on our awesome future and the journey towards that!
So, this past weekend saw the start of our physical search. We hopped a redeye out to DC, getting in at around 7:30am ready to explore. The goal for the weekend was twofold: to find a neighborhood to live in, and to search around for gym locations for my business. Basically we picked out a collection of neighborhoods and drove on through them to get a gut feeling. We did this a bit before we moved out to California and it worked out great. Over the course of three days we were able to find the place we wanted to be and we love it! So, with the couple days in the DC area, we were hoping for the same thing; and for the most part, we did. We narrowed it down a good bit to a few different areas we liked best, AND, I was able to search out a good collection of spaces and locations for my new gym! All in all, I think it increased our excitement for this new transition.
I'll throw in some updates about this process as we continue on as it basically is taking over about 85% of my energy these days (the rest is gearing up for the CrossFit Games Sectionals coming up in two weeks!!). Its a crazy process and I am expecting the best from it all!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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