Fitness is Sweet A college student explores the world through health and fitness Thu, 27 Dec 2018 19:24:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fitness Hopping and the Holidays Thu, 27 Dec 2018 19:24:03 +0000 Read More]]> Hello, hello, and happy holidays!

I have a recipe to share at the end of this post, but first I wanted to talk a little about about what I’ve been up to over the holidays!

As I mentioned last post, due to the devastating wildfires in Butte County, we ended up having the whole week of Thanksgiving off of school. As a result, things were really hectic when we got back. I was able to help out with some of the wildfire victims though. We had 35 burned kitties come to UC Davis, and I was able to help with some of their treatments. In addition, the weekend before finals, I went up to Butte County with a few other UC Davis vet students and we helped vaccinate and give care to a ton of the kitties in a shelter up there. These experiences have been some of my favorite in vet school; this is why I’m here—to be able to help when something terrible happens. It also amazes me how sweet all these homeless kitties are. It really puts things perspective.

On a brighter note, I’m currently home for the holidays! My first weekend home was the Santa Run in San Jose. Can you believe this is my7th year doing it, and it was my first 5k race ever?

Winter break has actually been pretty active for me. I tried out Classpass, and there is a free week trial which gives you access to a TON of classes in that week. It’s been really fun popping into new studios and trying new things. That’s part of why I wanted to post today. I know how scary it can be to walk into a new studio, and try something new. I do want to try and assuage some of those fears.

Classes I’ve tried out:

Barre at Barre3

Cycling at LIFT

Barre at LIFT

Reformer at Bodyrok (this was probably the scariest one for me)

Barry’s Bootcamp

Core Cycle at Core Studio (with real ryder bikes—they move!)

Barre was the first class I tried. I’ve done a fair amount of yoga, but never really any type of pilates, and CERTAINLY never anything ballet related. I’m not necessarily the most coordinated, especially when it comes to anything dance. One tip I have if you’re intimidated to try a class is to bring a friend! I brought my friend to try this.

What to expect: lots of burning and leg shaking, lots of squats. I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty easy to follow and required less coordination than anticipated. I liked that it had the same intentionality of movement as yoga, but was a little faster paced. You can be barefoot or wear sticky socks. I did my first couple classes without socks, and my feet were slipping all over the place. Other people didn’t have that problem as much as I did though. I invested in some sticky socks, and they were a game changer for me!

Cycling classes are something I’m pretty comfortable walking into a new studio and doing. That being said, I know they can seem intimidating! Check ahead of time to see if the class requires cycling shoes/if the studio rents out cycling shoes. If you need help setting up your bike, don’t be afraid to ask! Team members are always happy to help! Especially since there area a lot of different bikes out there that have slightly different setup.

What to expect: lots of cardio! Definitely bring water. Some studios use small hand weights for 1 song near the end of class. Some classes ride to the beat of the music and do things like push-ups on the bike, whereas some classes are numbers based and show your bike speed. If you’re going to a class with real ryder bikes (these are pretty rare): these bikes move side to side when you lean one way or the other. My biggest tip with these is be patient with yourself! They take a while to get the hang of; I had been on them a couple of times before at IDEA World Conference, and even though it has been years, it does get better each time. Standing on the bike was the hardest for me; really focus on stabilizing with your quads!

Reformer classes were easily the most intimidating for me. I actually signed up for one on accident; I probably wouldn’t have signed up for one, but I’m glad I did! Bodyrok recently opened nearby, and they offered “cycle and sculpt” class. I didn’t realize the :sculpt” portion was on a reformer until I showed up, but at that point I said to myself, “well, I guess I’m doing it.” I actually really enjoyed it! If you’re not familiar with the reformer, it’s basically a machine that looks like a torture device, with sliding platforms and handles on cables. It’s a big core workout! The sliding platform is moved by pulling on the cables, so you can use for anything from core work to bicep curls.

What to expect: slow, intentional movements, and burn! Get there a little early to have the instructor help show you what everything is used for and how everything moves. The class I went to required sticky socks, so check the studio standards on that! It was also really helpful for me to be directly next to someone to see what they were doing if I was ever confused. The instructor was very clear though!

Barry’s Bootcamp is a trendy fitness studio that recently reached Northern California from the East Coast. I dropped into a class while my family was in San Francisco to see the Union Square Christmas tree and other holiday festivities. My parents had a coffee date while I took the class.

What to expect: a dark room, with loud music, and high intensity cardio. The workout is split into a treadmill portion, and a floor portion consisting of weights, bands, and bodyweight movements. On the treadmill, we did intervals at sprints and on hills. My only complaint is really a personal one: I didn’t run as fast as I would have wanted to get an even harder workout because I wasn’t comfortable running over a 8.5/9 on the treadmill for fear of falling off. The instructor gave plenty of modifications, but I’m not sure this would necessarily be the best workout for beginners. In addition, there was a lot going on in the room because there were people doing the floor portion while others were on the treadmill so the instructor was yelling out instructions for both at the same time.

I’ve had a lot fo fun trying things! Here are some tips to fight that first-timer intimidation:

  • Bring a friend (see above)
  • Check the website to know what to expect/what to bring/what to wear. You can even look at reviews or blogs (like this one!) describing the class.
  • Arrive early.
  • Watch other students to see where to go/what to do/what equipment to grab.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the instructor questions and let him/her know it is your first time.
  • People are so nice! Seriously. The staff at all the places I went was super friendly and welcoming.
  • Let go of comparisons. The person next to you may have been taking this class for years. Take modifications if you need them!
  • Have fun!

On that note, let’s get into some of the other holiday festivities!

I made a list of holiday things to do while on break, and one of them was to go out to dinner at a particular restaurant and see a movie. This burrata and poached pear with balsamic is actually one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and was a seasonal special I remembered from a visit a few years prior. Afterwards, we saw the Grinch. It was cute!

Just like every other year for the past 10 years, my high school friends came over for our annual sugar cookie decorating! This year was the first time with fur babies! My friend brought her cat over to play.

As mentioned above, we visited Union Square and the giant mall up there!


On Sunday, my sister and her husband came over with their kitties for a wine and cheese night. Cheese selections included, aged gouda, havarti with dill, goat brie, stilton with cranberries, and a hard cheese with syrah.

As per annual tradition, on Christmas Eve we had dinner at Benihana, a Japanese steakhouse.

And finally, it was Christmas! My family hosted everyone this year. Marie enjoyed her first Christmas.

Also per somewhat newer tradition, we took Chloe for a walk along the water on Christmas morning.

For food, we got a precooked turkey along with mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and gravy. My sister made an eggplant parmesan and I roasted brussels sprouts with aged truffle balsamic (amazing).

For dessert, I made an amazing GF pear gingerbread upside down cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction. My Grandma brought white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.

It was a great day of food and family!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


Chocolate Mint Protein Muffins Mon, 19 Nov 2018 15:35:39 +0000 Read More]]> Happy Thanksgiving week! I’m getting to celebrate a bit early, but I wish it were under better circumstances.

The Camp Fire has been raging in Northern California these past few weeks. This tragedy has blown an insane amount of smoke throughout the state, including into my school. We had all of last week’s classes cancelled. The air was really too bad to go outside at all. I went home this past weekend, and they ended up cancelling all of Thanksgiving week of class as well.

I think it’s been a rough couple of weeks for our state.

On a lighter note, I obviously brought my kitties home with me.

I dressed kitten up.

Anyways. The point of this post. We had a couple of ripe bananas that needed to be used up, and I was starting to feel the holiday baking. I wanted something a little bit healthier, so these muffins were born! They have about 5g of protein each, which I know is not a ton, but they’re not huge muffins and it’s more protein than normal muffins have! Plus, they’re delicious! I got the whole family’s stamp of approval with these.

Chocolate Mint Protein Muffins

Makes 6


1/4 t salt

1 packet/1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I used Quest)

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 t vanilla

3 T egg whites

2 T milk

2 bananas, mashed.2 T mint baking chips

1 T dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together all wet ingredients.
  3. Add and stir in dry ingredients.
  4. Put into muffin tin.
  5. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.



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Day in the Life: Fall 2018 (Second Year Vet Student) Wed, 07 Nov 2018 04:31:23 +0000 Read More]]> I know, I’ve been a bad blogger. But I did want to squeeze in a day in the life post, so here it is!

5:30am: Kittens don’t understand the time change and start wrestling on my bed.

6:05: I finally get up.

I get ready for morning Crossfit and eat some Cheerios.

I was up earlier than I needed to be so I had plenty of time to snuggle kitties.

6:45am: Leave for Crossfit.

7:00: Crossfit. For strength, the rest of the class did cleans and I did snatches. My wrist has been feeling a ton better but cleans are going to be the last thing I’m able to do. The WOD was a long one.

100 sit ups

400m run

75 push ups

400m run

50 box jumps

400m run

Oof. I did push ups on a box because I am not strong enough and it’s easier only wrist! We ended up finishing class a few minutes late, and then I hit really bad traffic going back, so I was fairly flustered and rushed when I got back!

8:20: Arrive home.

8:25: Sit down to breakfast. I did a 9 mile race this past Sunday, and ever since then I have been so hungry! I was starving and had a few bites of chicken from soup that I made the other night because I knew my breakfast wouldn’t hold me over. This hunger will be a theme of the day, haha! Breakfast is cottage cheese with an apple from my Apple Hill weekend (where I did the race) with sunbutter.

8:45: Leave for class, more or less on time. We have lab today so I’m in scrubs, so thankfully getting ready is pretty quick!

9:00: First class of the day! We just started Reproduction, so I’ll spare you guys pictures.

After my first class, I actually ate a full size 3 Musketeers bar. Someone put out a big box of giant candy bars and I haven’t eaten a full sized candy bar in years, plus I was quickly burning through my breakfast so I just went for it. I only intended to have half but ate the whole thing and don’t regret that at all. I was expecting to feel sick afterwards, but again, my metabolism has been on fire since the race so I was more than hungry at lunch, after another couple of lectures!

12:00: Lunch at home. The handyman was supposed to come and I had a big gap between classes so I went home. On the menu was a big salad with persimmon, deli turkey (I recently started buying nitrite free deli turkey), cranberry goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.

I also had a square of dark chocolate.

I watched an episode of Parks and Rec while eating. I don’t love it yet, but I’m still giving it a chance, and I needed a shorter show.

12:30: Study! With a side of wrestling kitties.

Marie’s current obsession is to climb on my shoulder and bite my hair.

Which usually quickly progresses to this:

1:45: I’m hungry (again) so I have my afternoon snack.

2:20: Take a short study break to start typing up this post.

2:35: Leave for lab.

3-4:30: Anatomy lab! Today is male reproduction.

4:30: Out of lab a little bit early, but it’s already getting dark!

4:45: Arrive home. I’m hungry (shocker) so I pick some veggies out of the soup I made.

Then it’s study time with the two babies!

5:45: Leave for soccer! We have a vet school team in the intramural league. Today’s game was against the 3rd year vet students and we sadly lost in penalty kicks! I still had fun and my ankle is not thrilled with me.

7:30: Finally sit down to dinner with an episode of Netflix ( I just started Riverdale). No matter how busy I get, I consider my Netlfix and dinner time sacred! On the menu is a stir fry of sorts. I microwaved some frozen stir fry veggies and then sautéed up tofu and spaghetti squash (Kind of weird, but sort of like chow mien!) with GF teriyaki sauce and served that on top of my veggies!

For dessert, I had a mini sunbutter cup and a GF snickerdoodle.

8:00: Have a few more Cheerios while icing my ankle.

8:20: Pick out an old spin playlist to teach tomorrow for Sunrise Cycle at 6:15am! I have actually a million old playlists to choose from. I teach 3 classes a week so I definitely don’t make a new playlist each time, but I have so many from years of cycling that no one will ever hear repeats!

8:25-8:30: Finish up this blog post. Before bed I’m going to try to squeeze in a little bit more studying or work on some emails, but on nights before I teach early morning spin, I try to be in bed reading a book and getting sleepy at 9, and asleep before 10!


Another Week, Another Big Test Sat, 20 Oct 2018 16:11:34 +0000 Read More]]> Guess what? I finished Cardio! I’m currently at home with my family; I came back because I wanted kitten to get used to the drive. I have a few full days of eating last week I wanted to share, so let’s go straight in!


I had a few pumpkin Cheerios before Crossfit.


Cottage cheese with sunbutter and pumpkin pie filling.


We are officially at the end of peach season. This nectarine in the salad was probably my last!


And then I had a soccer game that I was really hungry before that evening so I had another little granola bar type snack:

Dinner post-soccer:

I really like this salad. It makes me feel so healthy. It’s kale massaged with olive oil and aged balsamic, salt and pepper and garlic powder. Spaghetti squash, and then fresh mozzarella.

Dessert: Another slice of mediocre homemade pumpkin bread.

Evening snack:

I ran a lot at soccer so I definitely needed some extra protein! I had half a container of this caramel apple Noosa.

Work Hard, Play Hard Tue, 16 Oct 2018 03:17:23 +0000 Read More]]> Hello from Cardio Finals week! It’s going to be a rough one over here, I’m not going to lie. Since starting out Cardio block (class), I’ve made an effort to do at least one fun thing on weekends. I’ve had a great time—visiting a college friend, having my family come up and meet kitten, having friends from back home come up. I have a lot of fun things coming up as well…but also a lot of work! I’ve always thought that I could easily study 10% better to make time for the fun stuff. That’s what the next few weeks are going to look like! After Friday. Until then, it’s study central over here.

I figured I would pop in with a quick full day of eating. My current emphasis is to actually eat up the food I buy, and to increase my protein. I’m doing quite a bit of exercise these days now that I’m teaching 3 cycling classes a week. I’m also attempting some long runs (more on that later), and recovery is feeling more important than ever!

Pre-teaching: A handful of pumpkin spice cheerios.

Class was awesome. I love the morning crew. I’m amazing by how full a 6:15am class on a college campus is!


Smoothie with a frozen persimmon, frozen cranberries, chocolate protein powder, plain greek yogurt, and cocoa powder. Plus a few crackers.

Lunch: I went to a lunch talk on treating respiratory distress in the emergency setting, which was really relevant given I was in class all day learning about respiration. We were given Mediterranean food at the talk. I had some chicken, a falafel, and veggies with hummus and tzatziki.

Snack: Luna bar and some dried carrots (still obsessed).

I had been planning on going to crossfit this evening, but I was pretty sore from yesterday, and I just couldn’t justify a second workout for the day on a week with so much studying.

Dinner: This was a good one! Spaghetti squash with parmesan and garlic, topped with Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest pasta sauce and fresh mozzarella.

For dessert, I had some pumpkin bread that I made over the weekend. I’ve been using the same recipe for years, and honestly it didn’t turn out too well. It was dry and too flour-y tasting. I realized that I don’t think I’ve made a good batch since I’ve been using GF flour so maybe that’s it. I froze most of it, and it should be better on ice cream.

Later in the evening, I had some dark chocolate and dried persimmons. And now it’s back to the grind!

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Full Day of Eating: Full Day of School Wed, 10 Oct 2018 03:10:11 +0000 Read More]]> I know I did a full day of eating yesterday, but I figured why not do another one?

Pre-Workout: Cheerios

I was planning on doing Crossfit, but I could actually do zero of the movements with my wrist so I decided to just do a lift on my own instead. I did 10-10-8 back squats at 135-145-155, 3 sets of single leg split squats and pistols, and then some rowing for conditioning! 3x1000m with 4 minutes of rest in between! I think my average time was 4:13 per 1000? It took me back to my rowing days though!

Breakfast: Cottage cheese with pumpkin pie filling and sunbutter, plus a few grapes. The saltiness of the cottage cheese pairs perfectly with the pumpkin—kind of like cheesecake (but I wouldn’t take it that far).

Lunch: Same thing as yesterday, but packed since I was at school all day. Chicken, nectarine, apricot cranberry goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette.

Snack: It ended up being a pretty warm day, so I went and got ice cream with a few friends. I had salted caramel.

And then when I got home I had a few carrot sticks.


Of course I had a dinner-making snack:

And I know I recently posted this meal, but here it is in context. Zucchini noodles, apple chunks, chicken apple sausage, and white cheddar laughing cow. Seriously so good.

Dessert: Same as yesterday. Pumpkin pie filling with dark chocolate chips and whipped cream. And a piece of dark chocolate.

Bedtime snack: The same rice cake with pumpkin cream cheese, and a couple of pieces of dried persimmon.

And that’s it! I’m currently trying to hurry up and get my studying done for the night because I have early morning spin to teach tomorrow!

Here is your obligatory kitten picture:

Full Day of Eating: Fall Foods Tue, 09 Oct 2018 03:32:52 +0000 Read More]]> One thing I really haven’t done in a LONG time is a full day of eating! So, I figured now that fall is in full swing, I’d share one! If you know me, I’m all about the seasonal foods, so let’s see what I got into today!


A couple of handfuls of Cheerios.

I teach 6:15am spin on Mondays and Wednesday now, so this was before my class! I’m still getting used to the early schedule, but it was a blast! I’m impressed at the class I get that early on a college campus!


A couple of pumpkin crackers (these are really good and taste similar to Trader Joe’s pumpkin soup crackers, but with more spices).

And then a persimmon protein smoothie. One frozen persimmon from last year’s bounty, milk, salted caramel protein powder, and a few shakes of cinnamon.

Mid-morning snack: I don’t normally do a morning snack, but breakfast was on the earlier side and I didn’t have class until 10, so I had some of these carrot chips. They’re my newest obsession.

Lunch: I’ve had the same salad literally every weekday with a few variations. This one was nectarine, Trader Joe’s rosemary balsamic grilled chicken (this is amazing), Trader Joe’s apricot cranberry goat cheese, and light balsamic vinaigrette.

Whenever I had lunch at home, I always have to have something sweet. I try to keep it on the healthier side, so I had a square of 78% dark chocolate and half a piece of my sister’s homemade (!) chocolate.

Snack: Banana with Trader Joe’s unsweetened sunbutter. I actually really like this because I think it tastes a lot like peanut butter.

Dinner: Of course I have to have a bite of something while I cook, so I had a few of these:

And then my actual meal was a fall kale salad: kale massaged with aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper, butternut squash, dried cranberries, parmesan, and chicken apple sausage.

Dessert: I forgot to take a picture, but I had the exact same thing as last week that I shared before—pumpkin pie filling with dark chocolate chips heated up and topped with whipped cream.

And a ginger chew.

Evening snack: Rice cake with pumpkin cream cheese.

What do you think—was that enough fall foods??

I’ll leave you with this:

Happy fall!


Workouts, Fall Food, and a New Family Member Wed, 03 Oct 2018 21:56:53 +0000 Read More]]> If you’re wondering what’s new around here, it would be my little foster fail, Marie!

I met her when she was 7 weeks old, and fell in love with her. When she needed a new foster a couple of weeks ago, I jumped at the opportunity. I foster failed within a week. Jackson has been the most amazing older brother and they became instant BFFs. He didn’t hiss when he met her, just trotted up and wanted to play. It took about 5 minutes for them to start playing, and they literally played ALL NIGHT that first night.

Also new is that this has been my first week teaching spin for fall quarter! I taught a class the last two weeks, but this is the beginning of normal fall classes and I have 3 a week! It’s been fun but I need to adjust my sleep schedule for the 6ams because they have been wiping me out.

That all said, it’s fall so you know I’m enjoying seasonal foods. And zucchini. Always zucchini.

This is my new favorite dish. All the flavors of fall despite the summer veggies! Zucchini noodles with apple sautéed in, white cheddar laughing cow, and Trader Joe’s chicken apple sausage which is super mapley.

I felt like such a real adult peeling and cutting and roasting carrots. I served them with cheesy zucchini noodles and a salmon burger.

I love this breakfast for fall. Cottage cheese with sunbutter and pumpkin butter.

I finally got my first Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash of the season! This is actually one of my favorite fall foods, and I never know when to get it because a smoothie is always seems awkward to have between meals. I went after teaching my first 6am spin and had this for breakfast. It’s basically ice cream for breakfast, but all this teaching is burning up my metabolism. Today I taught spin and then went to Crossfit, and instead of eating a banana for a snack like I was going to, I had some frozen donut pieces and it was amazing.

Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi with zucchini slices and trader joe’s butternut squash pasta sauce.

Dessert of pumpkin pie filling and chocolate chips.

And finally, pumpkin pie filling and sunbutter with cottage cheese.

I haven’t posted in a while but I did want to share some of the workouts I did when my wrist was much worse than it is now. It’s not healed, but it’s so much better and there’s a lot I can do.

Workout 1:

4×5 barbell squats

4×8 single leg squats supersetted with pistols (to a bench for me)

20 minute (or 15) AMRAP: 30 sit ups, 20 lunges, 10 box jumps


Workout 2: No Barbell Workout (perfect for busy gym times)

4×6 heavy single leg RDLs

4×8 single leg squats supersetted with pistols

3 Rounds of tabata for conditioning (20 seconds working, 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes—one tabata for each set of movements)

  1. Squat jumps/ speed skaters
  2. Air squats/ lunge jumps
  3. In and outs with a twist at the top


Workout 3:

Heavy backsquats

Hip flexor exercises—3×20 (fire hydrants, etc)

MetCon: 5 min AMRAP of kettle bell swings and box jumps 3-6-9….

That’s all i have today! Enjoy the fall season!


Meals Lately: MORE Ways to Eat Zucchini Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:53:01 +0000 Read More]]> I know I haven’t shared much food lately, but I wanted to catch up on some meals I’ve had lately, hopefully to give you guys some ideas for something quick and easy! We’re going to skip the chit chat and dive right in. Featuring: MORE ways to eat zucchini!

Zucchini noodles with artichoke bruschetta and topped with a giant ball of burrata (burrata is amazing).

Zucchini scramble with whipped garlic and herb cheese (alouette). Plus half a papaya.

Egg+banana in the microwave, topped with cinnamon sugar and a drizzle of honey for breakfast.

Stir fry with lots of zucchini and veggies, plus tofu.

This was a good one. I shredded zucchini and sautéed it up, and then I added Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch and Mexican cheese. This would make a really good cheesy dip with tortilla chips! I also threw some guacamole, apple salsa, and a salmon burger on there.

Super delicious grocery store find! You just heat it up!

Cauliflower gnocchi with sautéed mushrooms, chicken, garlic, and plenty of cheese. Parmesan and mozzarella.

A mini cup of the amazing Jeni’s (that I had weekly in Nashville). I found it at the specialty grocery store here! They only have two flavors but I did order some online the other day….

I’m trying to go for something a little more natural than Halo Top for dessert, so lately I’ve been putting my orange chocolate sauce over vanilla yogurt!

After hurting my wrist, I had this meal a ton because I was on a “no chopping of anything” protocol and couldn’t really use my wrist. I made a chicken-queso type of mixture by heating up chicken with Mexican cheese and salsa ranch dressing. I put that over lettuce with guac and salsa.

Post-5k donuts from Dynamo Donuts in SF. They make amazing gluten free donuts that I’ve been craving for over a year! I got lemon raspberry, chocolate ginger, and carrot cake.

Decaf cappuccino from Bluestone Lane post-race.

With their avocado smash. Honestly I thought the one I had there i nNY was better.

This was a good one! Zucchini noodles with laughing cow cheese and chicken apple sausage. With giant zucchini that I got from my friend’s garden! Jackson below for scale.

Lunch salads still going strong. Peaches, goat cheese, Trader Joe’s grilled balsamic rosemary chicken, and aged balsamic vinegar.

I discovered this amazing smoothie. I have quite a few persimmons that I froze last year, and I recently realized that they make great smoothies! My favorite is a frozen persimmon with salted caramel protein, a touch of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of salt.

And finally, more use fo the burrata in a blueberry burrata salad.

My Message, My Platform Wed, 12 Sep 2018 05:24:04 +0000 Read More]]> WOW it’s been a while. Things got busy. Nashville adventures. Moving back with my kitty. Starting school. Then, when I finally got settled, I sprained my wrist pretty badly (I jammed a 125# barbell into it doing cleans.) It was bad enough to merit a thankfully negative x-ray, but writing and typing were a struggle so I was not going to use my limited typing ability to write a blog post. In the meantime, I learned about the kidney. My wrist is healing. Last week I could hold things for the first time and pulled a 205# deadlift (heaviest since my back issues of the spring). Today I put a (light) barbell overhead for the first time. The body and its ability to heal really is an amazing thing.Despite not being able to do Crossfit much, I got some good workouts in. I thought my hiatus from blogging would end with a workout post. Or a post about all the new ideas I have for zucchini (stay tuned). But instead, I have some things I’ve been thinking about the past couple of days that I figured are worth sharing.I’m going to intersperse some fun pictures from the last few months while I type this up.

Chloe has been staying with me this week. It’s been a blast. I feel like I’m honestly the best version of myself with her, forcibly. I studied on the first day of the block because I needed to bring her to school to give my roommate’s dog some peace last night. I try to socialize with other people and dogs with her (we organized a friend walk today). I can’t just sit around and waste time on my computer because she will whine and bark. When she does sleep, I feel a lot of pressure/motivation to get work done because I know it is transient. I spend minimal time on my phone because she likes to bark when I’m on my phone.

I have to use my time wisely so I have enough free time to walk her. 2 hours a day. So I’m more active. But those walks. They’re some of my favorite things. I put in a podcast and we go. There are a couple of podcasts I listen to that used to be fitness based and now they’re fitness/social media business/personal development based. They are both inspiring and cause me to think deeply. The things on my mind this week are how to be the best version of myself, and my message and platform. There’s a lot of focus on social media influencers and building their platforms. How to do it. What they want to do with their platform and following. Don’t get me wrong; I have no intention of being a social media influencer or even presence. But I realized, I do have a platform.

And no, I actually don’t mean this blog. My dreams of being a star blogger are far behind me. Honestly most of the time I feel like this blog is a journal for myself (and a medium for cute pet photos). My platform is Cycling Instructor. After taking last year off of teaching spin, I was really missing it and managed to get a job teaching spin at the rec center at my school. Honestly, the university environment is my favorite setting to teach in. You get a huge variety in students.I love seeing their transformations; and I don’t mean physical transformations. Mental transformations. Confidence transformations.

I was thinking really hard about my message. First and foremost, I want my classes to always be a positive environment. I will never, EVER say “Do this to burn XYZ ‘unhealthy food.'” No. Nonono. That’s not why we’re there. I was thinking about my own story. What sports and fitness did for me. Sure, being active and healthy is important. But you know what fitness and sports taught me? Strength. Hard work. Discipline. Power. You put in the work, you feel changes. You push yourself past what you thought you could do, and then learn what you’re capable of.

I truly believed I gained so much confidence from this. And I’ve seen it happen in my students. I remember one older gentleman specifically. His first class, he tentatively came up to me for help with bike setup, in the back of the class. By the end of the quarter, he was crushing it at the front of the class. His whole demeanor was different. It is my job to push people to their limits, past what they believe they’re capable of. That being said, it’s a fine line. I want my students to learn to respect their bodies and listen to their bodies. If something is off on that day, do what you can. But know when that’s really the case and not when it’s an excuse. That room is their space. Their space to work through their sh** and grow. I remember the summer before I started vet school, I went to IDEA World in Vegas and was cycling 3 hours a day, taught by the best instructors out there. At the time, I was really nervous about what vet school would bring. And as I was biking my little heart out, I realized this: “I can do hard things.” And I knew I would be okay in school.

And that’s my message. I really think now that I have a truly defined message, it will make me a better instructor because I have an added purpose. It’s kind of like I’m using the same principles that social media influencers do to grow a following, but for me to “grow a following” and hopefully a community in my class. I’ve said it before, but I truly believe that humans connect best through stories (why else would we read blogs about a random person’s life) and that’s an element I want to bring to my classes. Personal connection. Sharing my message and my heart through stories. Getting the most out of my students and getting the most out of myself. Because we can all do hard things.