Walla Walla, Thanksgiving and Buffalo, NY!

Hello Everyone!!!

I am SOOOOO excited for this ENTIRE week and weekend full of F.U.N.!!!!

Lets head back to Sunday morning… I awoke at my brother and sister-in-law’s house, after a night of playing darts and Five Crowns, to my crazy nieces and nephew and some serious little kid morning breath as they gave me hugs and kisses in the morning.  Hahaha…I still love the little dudes.  I was scheduled to lead a cardio session on Sunday morning with another group of backpackers!  I LOVE The Hopeless Wanderers! Rant: Being around like minded people that totally get why you’d want to winter camp in freezing temperatures is quite awesome. 😀

I was getting ready to head out the door when my big brother Donnie said he was joining me on my Walla Walla Wing Ding Workout (yes, that is the silly fun name for it.)  So with no coffee to be made we piled in my car…first stop: COFFEE…Mmmmm.  Next we headed to the park so I could map out exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to do it. I know this park like the back of my hand but always like to be extra prepared when I am actually in charge of something. Lol..  I was trying to convince him to drink some water and do a little stretching before hand but he was all, “No no no… I don’t drink water when I work out.”  He has so much to learn from his little sister!

When everyone arrived we headed to the infamous set of stairs behind the nature center to do 5 climbs (134 stairs up, 134 stairs down) as a warm up.  We then headed over to the outdoor amphitheater.  Here the park as several backless benches that were perfect to do planks, push ups and tri dips.  Performing planks on a partially ice covered bench was a bit tricky but also took it up a notch for the ol’ core!

The guys doing lunges and Shelly being camera shy!
The guys doing lunges and Shelly being camera shy!

Next up were lunges…oh how I love lunges. LOL!  But I really do love lunges!  We did 4 sets of 12 walking lunges and 4 sets of squat kicks.  Let’s just say that that was on Sunday, today is Tuesday, and I am still having trouble sitting down unassisted!  BUT in my defense I did just of come off of the injured list after being on it for two weeks!  A couple of people messaged me on Monday saying that they couldn’t walk.  I said, “That’s the point!”  There was a reason it was called Walla Walla Wing Ding Workout Part 2: Feel the Burn!  Next those of us who could, jogged to the trail head of super short but steep hill.  I waited for those who didn’t jog and we all hiked up the hill and went for a short hike on the rim of the cliff overlooking the valley.  It was a beautiful day and my phone camera didn’t do the view justice!  😦

View of ice covered Rocky River :)  Kind of...haha
View of ice covered Rocky River 🙂 Kind of…haha

After the mini hike we all headed over to one of my favorite cafes.

Post hike fire-side coffee chat :D
Post hike fire-side coffee chat 😀

I love coming here post hike because 1. it’s local and 2. a fireplace!

I almost refuse to go to a cafe that doesn’t have a fireplace.  Being that close to Lake Erie and getting smacked in the face with the wind that whips off the lake?!  Ya need a cafe with a FIREPLACE!!!

Speaking of being all warm and cozy!  I am heading to my folks house the morning of Thanksgiving.

That would be me!  hahaha!
That would be me! hahaha!

I have to work at 3pm that day so I am going to get my vegetarian Thanksgiving coma on early!   After that, black Friday (which I do not participate in because I have a will to live!) and then comes Saturday!!!!  Me and five friends are heading to Buffalo, NY, yes the same Buffalo, NY that was buried under 7 feet of snow, to go to the Browns vs. Bills game!  I figured we could either sled to the stadium or kayak if the all the melting snow caused flooding.  Either way I’m cool!  I am so totally excited as I have not been to a NFL game since the 1980’s when the Cleveland Browns were on strike.  But I never will forget the wonderful time I had with my dad watching the replacement players in the old Municipal Stadium. That was back in the day when the football and baseball games were held in the same stadium.  I can still remember seeing the outlines of the baseball diamond on the football field.  I love you Dad!!!!

I am excited for this little mini get away with friends.  Hopefully the game will still be on.  They had to reschedule last weeks game and it ended up being held in Detroit.  Any way it plays out, it will be an ADVENTURE and adventure is my middle name!

Photo from: ttareq10.typepad.com
Photo from: ttareq10.typepad.com

So in conclusion…oh wait!  My brother DONNIE kept saying how he hasn’t been mentioned in my blog yet.  So I thought I would take this time to mention my brother DONNIE.  DONNIE is a great big brother to me and my two sisters!  He is also an amazing son, husband and father (and a bit of a dork sometimes 😉     So without further adieu… Heeeeerrrrrre’sssss Donnie!

My big brother Donnie...lol.
My big brother Donnie…lol.

Ta Daaaaa!


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Questions:  What are your run plans for this Thanksgiving? and How do you combat the holiday 5-10lbs?

Loving Life!

I am loving life right now!  I am all warm and cozy at my sister Lisa’s house!  There is Christmas music on, I baked apple struesel muffins, and I am chillin’ with my niece Kelly.  There is snow on the ground and family love in the air! The holiday season is in full effect!  Next, I am on my way to my sister Lana’s house to chill with her babies!  YUM!

I woke up this morning feeling well rested 🙂  I started out doing some yoga moves to combat all the overtime I have been picking up at work lately.  It can really take a toll on my body and I need to pay extra attention to my stiff bones and muscles in a kind way through yoga.  My ankle is not anywhere near ready to do high impact cardio so I had to modify my workout again this morning.  I am going to drive to the gym on Thursday and get in the pool and do some laps freestyle with a pull buoy.  This way I am getting my cardio in but not putting any pressure on my ankle.  Plus it is a GREAT WAY to get your upper body workout in!

image from:  tri-coaching.co.uk
image from: tri-coaching.co.uk

I have always admired swimmers. (This paragraph is in blue for swimming!  LOL) Unfortunately I cannot seem to get my breathing down!  It is completely and totally opposite from how I breathe when I run.  When I run, I usually breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. Swimming ALWAYS screws me up because now I have to breathe in through my mouth in a split second and blow bubbles out through my nose.  It generally takes me a 1/2 hour to get some sort of sub-par rhythm…lol! I took an advance swim class in San Francisco and I loved it!  It pushed my so hard and by the end of the class I was doing the butterfly and breast stroke decently!  I’d love to take another class here but that will have to wait a bit.  Plus my climbing improved dramatically as well!  

This Sunday I am leading another training session with The Hopeless Wanderers and I am really excited to show and explain some great exercises that will really help with enhancing the muscles one uses while backpacking!  It is suppose to be 54 degrees and a little rainy on Sunday.  54 degrees!  Right now it is 18 degrees and feels like -2!  Ya gotta love Cleveland!  The first training session was a total success and people requested another one so I am excited to have motivated some people!  Yay!!!

First training session!  They loved it!
First training session! They loved it!

Well I am signing off for now!  I hope you all have an amazing day!


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Going off the radar for the day…

Good Day, शुभ प्रभातम् (Sanskrit) Aaaahhhhh…..

This morning I feel as if I have a million topics running through my mind!  First, lets start off with the atmosphere of the local coffee shop here in town.  Love the decor and the vibe, the coffee is nothing special but I didn’t feel like writing from home and the other coffee place in town (McDonald’s) is way too cold on the inside.  The great thing about The Slow Train Cafe is that is has a BIG COMFY COUCH.  I decided to be the first one in today so I could call dibs on it! 😉  I woke up this morning feeling a little too preoccupied and a little too uncertain.  About what?  Everyday things I guess.  So when that happens I know it is time to put my phone on Do Not Disturb and hone in on my needs and not really worry about anyone else today.

I have been juggling too many people, places and things lately.  This combined with a set back due to a wretched sprained ankle has put me in a “what the heck is going on” place.  So I am going for ZEN today.

I took this pic at Joshua Tree in California.  This is what transpired when I developed the film.  (Yes...film..lol)
I took this pic at Joshua Tree National Park in California. This is what transpired when I had the film developed. (Yes…film..lol)

The above picture always brings me back to center.  I close my eyes and remember hiking that day with friends.  We camped there a couple of nights and it was breathtaking!  Joshua Tree is a really magical and mysterious place to me. Actually, I feel that way about most of the desert places I visited here in the U.S.  The Painted Desert in Arizona is by far my favorite desert.  That place is …. I can’t even think of how to explain it.  GO VISIT!!!

This morning my friend Patty is coming over and after that I am going to get some things in order and then dedicate the rest of my day to myself.  Meditation, yoga and quiet.  (Until I go to work at 3..maybe…)  Even if you have a million things going on today, make room for 10 minutes just for you.  Lock the door and give yourself 10 minutes of quiet.  When I am at work I often have lunch in my car (not now because it is so darn cold) just so I can get away from work and have peace and quiet. When it cold outside, like it is now, I go down to the meditation room/chapel because I KNOW it will be quiet in there! Pandora has a great station called Calm Meditation Radio.  Love it… sometimes I just want music without words…

This post is short and sweet…

Be good to yourself, take time for yourself and love yourself…Go get “lost” somewhere that brings you peace…

Go get "lost" in the woods...
Go get “lost” in the woods…


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sweet and funny old guys and my small home gym part DUE (that’s 2 in italian)

So I am sitting here in my local McDonald’s…(they have great coffee, I don’t eat the food…sorry) and there are a bunch of old timers here drinking coffee, reading the newspaper and shooting the breeze.  They are talking about going hunting this weekend and one man says to another, “What are you hunting this weekend?”  The other man replies, “Women!”  I laughed so hard that they looked over at me and apologized.  I said to them,” This is what I love about people.  The candid and funny conversations you overhear!”  Then a different guy asked what “spooning” was.  He thought it was some kind of new drug people were doing.  A guy in the little gang looked up and said, “Are you serious?  It’s when you lay on your side in a ‘c-shape’ and spoon your partner.”  Hahahahaha!!!!  They are the sweetest guys… and they were kind and sweet enough to let me take their picture 😀

Fun, sweet old timers :)
Fun, sweet old timers 🙂

Back to the home gym part due (pronounced “dew-eh”.)  I am one of those people who LOVE the benefits of yoga.  I love feeling peaceful, strong and quite frankly my darn spine feels aligned!  BUT….. it’s getting me to yoga that is the problem.  When I lived in Venice, CA I would hop on my beach cruiser with my yoga mat in my basket and peddle down to YogaWorks on Main St.  It was easier for me then for a few reasons.

  1. Yoga studios are EVERYWHERE in L.A.
  2. Since there are so many studios, the prices are competitive which means cheap!
  3. You could go to a class any time of day!  Even at midnight!   So the accessibility was amazing!

(I once did yoga on a rooftop in Venice on the beach at night and it was my favorite experience with yoga!)

I have always been a “sweaty workout” kind of person.  Holding positions and trying to breathe at the same time doesn’t come naturally to me.  I can run for an hour straight at a good pace just breathing in and out through my nose!  Not so much doing yoga 😦  So, I decided to take what I  learned from the various yogis in L.A. and do some yoga at home.  I love it!!  And with YouTube, you have a yoga class at your beck and call!  I even do yoga at work.  I am on my feet 12 hours a day and about 8 hours into my shift I go find a place where I can lay down a blanket, close the door and do a few quick yoga poses.  OH MY STARS I can’t tell you how much that rejuvenated not only my muscles but my mind as well!  It is a “little reset” button that gets me through the rest of my shift.  I haven’t been able to convince my co-workers to join me yet but I’m wearing them down!

My "yoga studio" at work!  Lol....
My “yoga studio” at work! Lol….

Once in a blue moon I will go to a yoga class to make sure my positioning is correct and to see what is new and then go home and incorporate what I have learned.  The equipment I have…

  1. Yoga mat (the sticky kind)
  2. Yoga block (for positions that I am not quite flexible enough for yet)
  3. Yoga strap.  Dude… you can totally use a belt or a scarf.

It is that simple and totally cheap!  And when you are at home you don’t have to worry about a possible wardrobe malfunction.  You’re in the privacy of your own home. Normally I am in my lounge wear.  I don’t buy into fancy yoga clothing or fancy workout clothing.  I do have a few pieces of performance athletic wear, but I just wear what I have and save a TON of $$$$$ as a result!  K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid.

So you don’t have to spend a bunch of money… sure some exercise equipment is an investment but over time it all pays itself off.

Hope you have an amazing Thursday!  My good friend Shannon is in town from Oregon and I am so excited to spend time with her!!!

Part tre to come….


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


My small home gym part UNO :D

Good morning….LOL… I laugh because I am running on about 3.5 hours of sleep!  (Right now I’m listening to the Jay-Z Pandora radio station to keep me awake! HA!)

So I want to share a few FUN ways I exercise when I tire of my usual routine.  Have an arsenal at my disposal.

My small but FUN home gym!
My small but FUN home gym!

It is a small home gym but there is a TON packed into that small space!  From left to right, my bouldering pad, backpack, yoga mat and block, hand weights,  climbing shoes and harness, skateboard (Sector 9 longboard) and last but not least the most versatile piece of equipment on the planet…my treadmill!

You don’t need a ton of fancy equipment to be active.  Oh wait I forgot my FAVORITE exercise piece….

my running shoes..
my running shoes..

Running is my first love.  More than anything or anyone, when I am having a good day, bad day or whatever kind of day, my running shoes are there for me.  They are without a doubt my go to stress reliever, happy place and my gap!  I have been running since my parents put me, my brother and older sister in cross country in elementary school.  I don’t run for time really any more and I don’t have a desire to run a marathon.  I don’t need a 26.2 sticker on my car.  I run because that is who I am.  Running is where I go to recenter myself and clear out my thoughts.  I get high.. every single time!

Ok ok ok….back to the rest of the small home gym equipment.  My bouldering pad, a.k.a. crash pad.  I climb big rocks or boulders outside.  Bouldering is when you climb short but good size boulders without being harnessed in.  Without a rope.  There is a great park on the westside of Cleveland and I like to get there early in the morning before the neighborhood wakes up.  😀

I’m sure most of you have climbed trees as a kid!  Well now I climb rocks and trees!  Hahaha!  But seriously bouldering is great because you can do it solo.  I would always recommend going with a friend because if something happens there is someone to call for help!  Buddy system…(most of the time I go alone but I ALWAYS let someone know where I am!)  All you need to get started is a chalk bag, for when you hands get sweaty, and a crash pad for when you can quite make that next hold… 😉  The other great thing about bouldering is that you don’t have to be a “climber.”  Anyone can do it!  You may not do it well at first and your hands and most likely your legs WILL get scraped up!  But you just climb as far as you can until you build up the strength and confidence to climb a little higher each time.  Also if you have a fear of heights then this is perfect if you don’t want to be on the big walls because you will really never be that high up to the point where you couldn’t jump down!

Holy guacamole look at the time!   I have to jet for now but I will be back to chat about the rest of my small home gym!

I hope you guys all have an amazing morning….AND DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!!!!!

Until  a little bit later…


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow