24 March 2014

Life beyond training: Reports from Weeks 5 & 6

Let's go ahead and just summarize what you're about to read with two simple words: in progress. I jumped on this 'trail' over a month ago knowing I was heading down the right path (for me!) back to my fullest self, I had my honey on board (hello, accountability!) and I was facing a few temporary changes related to other areas of my life. real life, you're persistent, aren't you?

So...Let's start with what's good and what's true:
  • Good dog mama: Walking that pup regularly. Let's (under)estimate that Paul and I walk Odin 8 miles a week. That's 415+ miles a year. This Friday, we'll hit the one year mark. Heck yes, a dog most certainly does make you healthier! 
  • Social bravery: I've been tip-toeing my way out on social limbs these days and hanging with new friends. Rewarding and fun, I'm so grateful for meeting these lovely folks. It's refreshing to journey into new relationships with welcoming individuals. Analiese recently wrote a post about this and it's described how these little leaps are reflecting something sacred back to me that i know to be true.
  • Yin + Yang discovered on the Bourbon Trail: Sounds totally crazy right? Well believe me when I say that PW and I, along with one awesome couple, discovered the total Yin/Yang of the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Hoping to write a full post about this soon!
  • Trying new ways of being: This year started off with a minor health scare, that resulted in some adjustments to my ways of being. While I consider myself in good health, I could play around (in tiny ways) with my habits. The health issue unveiled that I need to be taking my vitamins regularly (and then some). So I started doing that, I stopped adding salt to my food once plated , and I've been living by Michael Pollan's grandmother's rule: If you don't want an apple, you're not hungry. (I think that's who said that.) Oh and flossing. I like flossing.
  • The Skinny Confidential: My dad found this blog and my sweet sister bought us both the book. How am I the last person on earth to learn about cool people/ideas/stuff?
  • Black and gold: Scored this little bolero beauty in the Anthro sale room over the weekend. That can be considered a personal victory, right? 
  • CSA: Signed on with our farmer for another season. Excited to see what this year's harvest will hold. The practice of investing in a CSA share has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me. Community supported agriculture allows us to connect with those who grow our food, and thus, the land and seasons that shape what's abundant, what's scarce, and what that means in the larger scope of life. Highly recommend it if that option is available to you. 
And in other news, as our 10k rapidly approaches! Training reports from Weeks 5 and 6 are as follows:
Week 5:
  • Sunday: 5 mile walk at Floyd's Fork with PW and Odin. This was such an incredible day, I can hardly capture it in words. I did an entire journal post about the day and the awesome energy it created for me, for my relationship with paul, for a possibility that is taking shape.
  • Monday: 5 mile run with my champ friend Carla. She's about the most light-hearted, spunky girl on the block, and though I'm probably 7 inches taller, her little legs can travel. Consider this the best and strongest run of my training yet. Odin rocked it out with us, too. #ohyeah
  • Tuesday: 3 mile powerwalk meeting with my boss- walking meetings are our jam.
  • Wednesday: Rest day- this was a long six day stretch of activity. My body said, 'hey girl, slow ya roll.' So I obliged.
  • Thursday: Odin and I met our friends Louise and Olive for a hilly three mile walk. Too much fun!
  • Friday: Run/walk after work with Odin- a solid 2.5 miles before the weekend felt so good with my little running buddy.
  • Saturday: Does the bambi walk on the Bourbon trail count? Just kidding... Day-long adventure with friends. Reference the yin/yang section above. Followed by a supremely fun night out and dinner at Proof on Main.

Week 6:  aka, the week the training plan went belly flop! Busy at work and a full social calendar resulted in a bust of the training plan. It happens. 
  • Sunday: 2 mile walk with Odin- the 'let's burn energy' neighborhood loop.
  • Monday: Ran 2.5/3 miles with Carla and our two pups. We decided to leave one at home next time. Sorry boys. Play nice and don't slow the puppy mama's down! Quick after dinner walk with Odin and PW, too.
  • Tuesday: Biked to campus for an event- LOVE riding my bike! Totally want to do more of this during the spring. So refreshing and fun. Really does make me feel like a kid again.
  • Wednesday: Yoga at work- bliss, bliss, bliss. I love this instructor- she is bright and calm. Always complimentary "You all look so strong." It's a wonder I don't do yoga every damn day. I love it!
  • Thursday: We may/not have found the Comfy Cow on our walk. 2 miles and some ice cream? hello, balance!
  • Friday: Didn't squeeze a lick of exercise in- unless walking around the building at work, counts. social event that evening and leaving work later...wah wah wah.
  • Saturday: 3+ mile walk with Odin and PW- probably should have planned better here. slept in and made it a nice Saturday, but didn't plan my run early enough. paired with the NCAA tourney games (go CARDS!) and a delicious sandwich from the farmer's market, well, let's just say I should have planned better! c'est la vie. again, not gonna lose it over these little things. learning and more on.

*missing from these two weeks: strength training. Ugh- always an effort. I actually like doing it, but habits are tough to build. Any ideas? 

Note to self: more yoga. more runs with friends. more put-it-on-ya-calendar, girl. and more life beyond training. that mix feels just right.

happy spring, friends!

09 March 2014

training update: week four

workin' it: progress!

Time for the weekly training update. couldn't care less by this point? i can understand, other people's business gets old after a while. but you'll have to forgive me as i ramble on, because i've learned something about myself (yet again) after four weeks into training. (my posting is about 1 week behind. Whoops.)

Sticking to something, writing it down, sharing it (in some form), and going for it in a big way because you know it matters to some part of you, even when you aren't "feeling it," is the lesson itself. it isn't the 10k (!!!!!), it isn't the sculpted thighs (!!!!!), it doesn't hurt that you feel awesome from the inside out, yet i'm not sure that's the goal either. i have arrived here: it's all about aligning your actions with your intention and going for it: (whatever it is). Would you agree?

Week 4 updates:
Sun: 21 min strength training app session, and some dancing just because. Hello, heart rate!  
Mon: pPwered up for a three mile run in the snow/// felt super awesome to find the energy to run in four inches of fresh powder. Wrong shoe choice though, my ankles were aching for days! 
Tues: Vinyasa flow class- which I've enjoyed for the past month, but been hard pressed to find the space for. 
Wed: Big old skip... busy day and no time between work/social commitments. Walked to dinner with friends a d Odin though- every movement counts!
Thursday: Too late for yoga so I hopped on a treadmill and logged my two miles (from Wednesday). Felt OK- not great. But I kept at it and upped my positive self-talk to finish strong. Important tool when you're 'not feeling it.'
Friday: Found a 'slow flow' yoga class at infinite bliss and invited PW to join me. Big news bears- we had a good time together and I was so grateful he ventured out to try something new with me. Happy to find an extra dose of yoga on what would usually be my rest day. 
Saturday: Ended the week with a brisk 2.5m run- rather than the 4 which was on the schedule. I must say though, the odds were against Paul and I that day, so the fact that we found space/time to make it happen was the primary victory.  The 2.5 miles felt good, and we logged at least that much more on a good walk with odie boy later that day! Happy way to end a week! Xoxox
More soon!

02 March 2014

Training Updates: Week Three

Back in the groove of things this week, after returning from vacation.  It's incredible how quickly vacation luxury wears off when you open your inbox at work and see the equivalent of Mt. Kilimanjaro in emails awaiting your time and attention. "Don't stop, believin', hold on to that feeeeelin'" screeches your wondering mind to a halt and one has, at any given time, the choice: hold on to what you know is true, on target, raging with the power of staying present, or dive headfirst into the whirlwind this ravenous world creates for us.

So in an effort to stay focused on my plan, I kept on track with my workout plan as best I could,  knowing it wasn't going to be perfect. That just is, isn't it? Even our best intentions don't always (or often?) result in the fulfillment of our best expectations. But I say- hold onto that vision and goal anyway! Slap yourself a good high five in celebration of what is. Any chance you have to do your best, definitely, go for it. But don't let the glow fade just because you fall short from time to time.

'It's all in the transition,' Meredith, my yoga teacher, keeps reminding our class. To get where you're going from where you are is, indeed, the journey itself.  How we transition from vacation back to real life...well, we all know how that goes, right?!

keepin' track in my rad Danielle LaPort Desire Map Day Planner
Week Three in Review:
Sunday: 7 minute strength training workout (J&J App) and Odin walk- reunited after 5 days away!
Monday: 2.5 mile run- and then some! Paul, Odin and I met at the park after work... Odin ran with me and we were booking it to try and keep up with pw.
Tuesday: An after work commitment kept me from attending my usual Yoga class, and I tell you what///it made me so sad to miss! thankfully I had a really awesome time at the event and felt good about that.
Wednesday: Missed the boat this night. Had an awesome evening commitment that was different than expected, yet delightful and I wouldn't trade it for one awesome workout. Two skips in a row- not good for the momentum train though!
Thursday: Finally reconnected with my yoga class. Missed my girls- and though it wasn't my best class ever, I showed up for the hour and was so glad to be back!
Friday:  Typically a rest day, but a spontaneous dance party after work and a good mid-day walk are both totally worth counting! : )
Saturday: Finished STRONG this week- started the day with a 3.5 mile odie walk with pw, then hit the pavement later that day for my 4 mile run (Post game-day nachos-barf). The route I choose was filled with hills. Good practice for Black Mountain, I suppose. And then...later that day we walked to el mundo for some celebratory margs with amigos. Three cheers for a super Saturday to end the good week.

does anybody else feel 100X cooler if you curate your workout gear?

Staying focused this week ahead- how can i find additional ways to make my plans a reality? let me know if you have any tips/tricks! Here's to an awesome week for everybody.

WWWWWHH Wednesday

I never eat the same breakfast twice. You won't find me being picky about whether my meatloaf touches my mashed potatoes. Socks go on both feet, in no particular superstitious order.  My multitasking skills are well known by my colleagues, and I know that's not a compliment, obviously, but it's honestly just the way I operate. Recently PW said jokingly to me, "were you ever evaluated for an attention disorder?" Suffice it to say, mentally I jump around...a lot.

When it comes to blogging though, it's an odd task to describe your interests then adhere to them faithfully and regularly when your interests are diverse and your attention short. So the other night, I came up with this idea to positively harness the possibility that lies in holding so many diverse interests, while capturing them in a framework that allows for some structure. (Oh yeah, add that to the list: I'm just about the least structured person on earth.)

Announcing, the fun, the random, the fully inspired....


What is this, you ask? 
What ISN'T this, I reply!

This is a brand new weekly post for pleasure: WhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHowHowmuch Wednesdays. Highlighting events, people, products, and places with purposeful attention. It's an outlet for asking life's big questions, such as: who made your gorgeous blush wedding gown, and for setting the record straight: what products do you use to make those awesome art journal pages? We'll confess our crushes, contradict ourselves (healthy lifestyles and the best manhattans in the state of KY), reveal some secrets, and rock the boat a little. We'll host some giveaways, feature awesome products, and tell you how to purge your closet, too. Or something like that.

Regardless, it's guaranteed to be more exciting than the treasure box at the dentist office when you were a kid.  A grab bag of another kind. The I'm-turning-30-this-year-kind. It'll be so fun, so random, and! 

So be on the lookout soon...

01 March 2014

Training updates: Week Two

Well... it was inevitable that like all good efforts to change gears on your lifestyle behaviors, the motivation train took a turn down into a valley and the uphill climb started this week! Whew, it all started on a rainy, grey Sunday when we did a long walk with the pup before bad weather set in and my body wasn’t feeling a tough strength training session. So I skipped.

And let’s be honest, and clear, about my ultimate goal here: getting active again, and on the regular. Integrating habits into my lifestyle that make me feel engaged, alive, and on top of my game. It’s a different post to share about where I came from- what I’ve come through- and where I’m going (still figuring that part out. Always, no?)…

So let’s keep this a simple review for now, ok?
Sunday: 5 mile walk with Odin and Paul 
Monday: skipped. Altogether. Short dog walk at night. Crazy day at work. 
Tuesday: Missed yoga due to my flight out of town. Opted for a good dog walk with Paul and Odin for some quality time before I left.
Wednesday: 18 minute strength training session with Caroline and mom, followed by a 2 mile run with dad (favorite runs happen in this fashion), and finally, the sun was out and shining, so we jumped on the bikes and hit the hills. Hello hills, meet 3 speed earth cruiser. In other words, hello burning leg muscles, meet no help from the 3 speed. But it was really cute :)
Thursday: Day at the spa. Oh my lawd, this is absolutely the best form of ‘cross training’ a girl could dream up. Thanks to my incredible sister, she treated mom and I to a trip to Salamander Spa & Resort. Planning a full post to recap the incredible day!
Friday: Worked up a sweat trying to keep up with mom in her 8 a.m. Jazzercise class. If I look half as good as some of those babes doing Jazzy, can break a sweat with 10 ceiling fans blowing at once, and am still jamming out to fun songs in my fifties, call me Queen, ok? Later that day, my sister took me to her workout at a ‘Performance Fitness’ gym. Hello kettlebells, 1500 squats, core exercises and more. Worked this girl to the core!
Saturday: Other than hardly being able to sit down, I had a slight wine-ache from some Friday night fun. Erred on the side of walking and Aleve, if ya know what I mean!

So that’s that- didn’t exactly stick to the week as planned- but kept moving and active every chance I got. Loving just having a goal in mind, it’s so motivating to be working towards something with each decision I make. 

19 February 2014

post your love

Some would say I naturally gravitate towards glitter, ink, and paper scraps. I would say, they're right.

About a week or two into the new year, I start to get an itch to make valentines. It's the one time every year where it's completely acceptable to shake insane amounts of glitter onto collages, cut them out into a heart shape and send love to all your friends. turning 30 this year? why, yes! this is how i roll!

This year, I went all out. Tried to hit almost all of my lifelong friends and family with a good dose of love and sparkle. Hopefully, by the time this blog post goes live, most will have been received. If not and you fall into an above category...well, reader's discrepancy ; )

Imagine my excitement when two of my darling nieces, Sofia and Cami, started to take part in an annual valentine making extravaganza with CAS (Crazy Aunt Steffi)! The original craft (pom pom hearts) totally flopped when these two got a hold of paint and glitter. Fineeeeeee by me. Here's Sofia ready to shake!

armed with the glitter shaker!
And the end product- which I promptly placed in my journal to remember forever!  Sofia and Cami sent heart to cousins, grandparents, parents, aunties, and more... I'd say about 15 people received valentine's from these little fridas!
so awesome, right?
Later that weekend, I started patching together some other lovely pieces for the pinks and my high school girlfriends.
in progress

chopped and ready to send!

choosing the perfect envelope for each piece.

custom lettering, and tea (always tea!)

close up- details!
Not pictured here are the other valentine's i sent via postal mail to pw, parents, siblings, and grandparents. Whew- up to about 30 valentines at this point.

You'd think I'd have had my fix at this point, right? Wrong. (But you knew that was coming)...

I have a few other valentines to consider, and I stumbled upon my old French grammar book and just couldn't resist.  Colleagues, in-laws, hot pink, good paper, sparkly pens... Can't keep this girl away from that combination! It's really true what they say about how hard you hustle when you're doing what you love, love, love. I stayed up wayyyyyy past my bedtime and felt so happy to create these lovelies. Tired eyes and happy heart. I'll take it.
PW said: "Wow, you'll be committed for a few hours."

for a special pair :)

one of my favorites for one of my favorites

ready to send!
phew! so all in all, i'd say there were about 40 valentines posted with love to friends and family near and far. hopefully, though i know it's only a small gesture, it's one that will help spread happy love to many corners of this big, beautiful earth. and a little bit of sparkle, too!

here's wishing you a dose of what you love the most. and the intentions to listen well to the whispers. what a difference that makes!
xoxoxox stephanie

16 February 2014

Training Updates: Week One

Absolutely rocked my goals this week! Thanks to my awesome partner in crime, we stayed really focused and committed as we supported each others' goals in light of all the other things going on. Talk about a hearty yes!

Week One Review: 
Sunday: Strength and stretching, plus a light dose of cardio for the fun of it. Using the Johnson and Johnson 7 minute Strength Training App (which is awesome).
Monday (Runday):  Awesome 2.5 miles on the treadmill. Pretty epic amounts of energy because I ate well and hydrated like a champion. For my fellow FHS hockey players, I was feeling like a beast because I ran an 8:00 minute mile. Remember when coming in under 7:30 was a command, not a choice?
Tuesday: Yoga Flow...loving Meredith's classes at the GHN Wellness Center. So happy I've made a regular routine of this. Good for the mind, body and spirit.
Wednesday: This was by far the toughest hurdle for me (mentally). After eating a late lunch, I teeter-tottered, can I run 2 miles and strength training? Will I hurl in front of everyone? Put my mind to it though, and championed through. Felt good about my workout- solid run and great ST session. I sleep like a ROCK when I workout like this.
Thursday: Plan calls for yoga, which is an adjustment I made because I really like the T/Th schedule. However, it was sunny and beautiful, so I skipped out of work a bit early and took Odin for a 3.5 mile walk instead. Down-dog, taking new shape : )
Friday: Rest. Thanks to my awesome step-mom for refreshing my hair and sweet PW for a fun Valentine's day!
Saturday: Odin and I powered through a 3 mile icy run outside! We had an awesome time zipping through snow-crusted Crescent Hill and kept a pretty good pace, too. Love this pup to the moon. He's such a good running buddy!

In order to be successful this week, I erred on the side of gentle whenever possible, and put on the perspective of possibility. Ingredients include: time management,  realistic commitments, keeping our kitchen stocked with healthy options, and lots of water. Can't say enough good about aligning your life to your intentions. #workseverytime

Feeling the love for my fitbit again. Do you have one? Let's be fitbit friends!

Here's to giving your gold to your goals this week!

10 February 2014

Back To It

When was the last time i ran a road race? Oh my, don't even ask! This Friday (2.14.14) it will have been FOUR Years! My dear friend Erin and I ran the Austin half marathon together and totally rocked it. You can read more here>>>

So, when pw and i started planning our goals for the new year, among them were to train for and run a road race. Since we're going to tackle this goal together, we decided a 10k would be a fun distance to run and give us enough time to train and get in a vacation early in 2014. we're all signed up to run the Black Mountain Greenway Challenge 10k. The goal is to raise awareness and support for the Greenway and all proceeds from the race will be donated to fund projects for the Black Mountain Greenway Commission. That's pretty awesome, right?

Add to it that it begins and ends at Pisgah Brewery and supports an active, sustainable lifestyle- we were both sold immediately! Plus we're staying at a darling cabin in Asheville, can bring our dog, and love spending time outdoors. Win, win, win!

Now that we're all signed up, i'm excited to have identified a training plan that will work with my lifestyle, and is aligned to my wellness goals. More on my 2014 Goals soon-- getting brave about those this week and look forward to sharing soon. Louisville friends who want to join for a run, call me!

10k Novice Training Plan from Hal Higdon  (I modified the days of the week to align with my schedule, and added some specific information, including my Tu/Th yoga classes. Note: Odin's going to be joining for runs again, soon. Especially for the 2 and 3 mile options. He's the best pacer ever!)

1stretch &
2.5 m run60 min
2.0 m run + strength60 min
Rest3 m run
2stretch & strength2.5 m run60 min 
2.0 m run + strength60 min 
Rest3.5 m run
3stretch &
2.5 m run60 min
2.0 m run + strength60 min
Rest4 m run
4stretch &
3 m run60 min 
2.0 m run + strength60 min
Rest4 m run
5stretch &
3 m run60 min
2.0 m run + strength60 min
Rest4.5 m run
6stretch &
3 m run60 min 
2.0 m run + strength60 min 
Rest5 m run
7stretch &
3 m run60 min
2.0 m run + strength60 min
Rest5.5 m run
8stretch &
3 m run60 min 
2.0 m run + strength60 min 
Rest10-K Race

09 February 2014

i am who i want to be

'i am who i want to be,' a thought that occurred to me one day while practicing yoga a few years ago. "this can't possibly be true!" EgoSteffi replied. yet it was. and is. 

trying to appreciate the space between who we are and who we aim to become is perhaps the greatest challenge we constantly face, no? what about that one posture i still can't figure out? a promotion? my love handles? the distant ache for family and friends far away? how can i have possibly arrived at a place of contentment, or even, {gasp!} approval?

and then i think of the people i love, who, despite their many perfections, have a few flaws, too. it's so simple for me to see their strengths, their assets, their redeeming qualities. admiring loved ones comes easy (that's not to say i'm not hard on them, but that's another topic altogether).  

caroline and me in FL.
like who? example one: my sister, Caroline.  she's literally the most generous, accepting, charming person i know. i love being around her: she's smart, gorgeous, fun, and committed. it's so easy to see 10 billion qualities in her that i admire. i think i've written an entire blog post about her- at least one- because i'm so inspired by her. she's my sister and best friend. do she have flaws? of course, but that's not what i see when i see her.  she'll blush if she reads this, but it's true. she's awesome- and i totally  can accept her strengths as who she is.  can we easily do this for ourselves? admire our most redeeming qualities and acknowledge we're not perfect as we pursue lives of meaning, intention, possibility?
maybe it's not as difficult as it seems. when we're open to what already exists in the framework of the soul, working from the place of acceptance and offering the true self to the world around us, so much joy can blossom. with affirmation, we align our positive thinking and highest qualities to the mission and intention with which we live our entire lives. at work and at play, for self and others, acceptance can ignite possibility, and possibility- well, it can change the entire world, unveiling a universe of every opportunity in abundance. whether you're on a yoga mat in louisville, ky or hiking the highest peak in nepal- you arrive to the present moment alive and in awe of what exists there.

this past summer, pw and i had the extraordinary opportunity to spend a day at blue cliff monastery in pine bush, ny at thich nhat hahn's day of mindfulness retreat.  'Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing.' in the shining light of an overcast september day, we experienced the most peaceful and affirming practice of mindfulness. it's a day i hope to never forget, and  it affirmed a whisper within that i already knew to be true. 'i am who i want to be.' 

blue cliff monastery, september 2013

08 February 2014


allow me to return to this space after a hiatus extraordinare by introducing myself. 

where to begin?
i'm stephanie:  hello. 
what makes me tick?
perhaps with my obsession love of the colorful life. creativity in its many forms...

and warm spaces that welcome you as you are. 
especially ones where you can roll out your mat and explore the inner landscape with care and curiosity. 

highlights of my life:
 i have a darling pup that greets me each morning. odin, an australian labradoodle, just turned one on Feb 1st. (keep reading and you'll celebrate with me when you learn he doesn't wake me up at 645am on the daily any more. didn't take him long to figure that out.)

i'm one of five siblings- and go figure, that's the most awesome thing ever!

golden soul:
obsessed with all things golden. seek to find love in the small spaces.

and married to one heck of a guy: pw.

followed my inner compass back to this space after a taking a significant break from blogging. it's really one of my favorite ways to connect with others, gather inspiration, share projects, and creatively express what lights up my soul. bravely returning and feel so fortunate to find my way back to this space.  hoping to spend time here on a regular basis. xoxox