Summer plans + a workout

Hey! Long time no chat. I’ve been craving writing a post and knew I needed to make it happen.

I’ve been uber busy with school and finishing up my personal training certification (squeeeee)! My NASM-cpt test is April 25th, so you know less than a week away. I’ve been enjoying reading the textbook – both reviewing a lot of things I’ve previously learned and gaining new knowledge. One can never learn too much, in my humble opinion. I’m just really excited to see where this goes and hopefully starting working with clients soon 🙂 Helping people achieve their fitness, wellness, and life goals = major winning.

What else is new?! Let me keep on the topic of fitness real quick here (but who am I kidding, more than half of this post is gym related)… I’ve been working really hard on my own pursuit of gaining more strength, improving my lifts, and getting back into a place where I am open to competing again. I feel stronger and more centered in this past month than I have in close to four years. Between keeping a level head, focusing on what’s truly important to me and ditching the rest, and listening to my inner-self – I’ve been able to reach some goals which I wasn’t sure I was capable to nail down anytime soon. I keep proving to myself time and time again that you really can achieve whatever you have the guts to set your mind and body to reach. If you WANT it, you CAN reach it.

There has also been a shameless selfie or two along the way, you know to keep that motivation flowing. Ok, I’m semi- not telling the complete truth, I just enjoy flexing. And biceps. 😉

11049414_1550997555151873_1948866388_n Not a care in the world. Be strong for yourself.

I also want to share a workout I recently made up on a whim, worked through, aaaannd had a ton of fun with:

conditioning 5 rnd

Note: KB swings: moderate weight here, keeping a focus on form. Use what YOUR body can handle. Deadlifts: again moderate weight, form > being a badass. Kapeesh? This workout is meant to have a conditioning focus, not specific strength gains.

In other news, I registered for a triathlon. I’ll be doing it with a friend, so it’s for fun and just to get myself back in the competitive atmosphere. While in the back of my head, and now on the blog, I do have the goal in mind to seriously compete again, right now it’s called making sure I’m ready. Trusting myself on this.

triLastly, lets chat about school for a quick second. I’m currently sitting three weeks and a day out from being done with the spring semester, where time went… I have no idea. I feel like this semester flew by. Spring tends to do that, and once it’s nice outside my brain capacity turns to mush. Partly kidding, but sadly not really. I just want to be outside, soaking up that vitamin D, preferably hiking, running, or cycling.

This semester has so far gone really well and I’m still loving my new school and coursework. I’ve started a really neat opportunity within my major as well which I’m beyond thrilled about. I had my meeting with my advisor last week and we discussed all that I still have course wise and what my plan of action is going to be. We also talked about how I intend to complete a minor in nutrition along with my neuroscience major, because WHY NOT. I’m insanely passionate about nutrition, both in terms of healing/optimal wellness and sports performance. Plus, my career goal is to be a physician, and having a background in nutritional science will only help me in that pursuit. So I’ll be meeting with the minor coordinator at school this week which hopefully goes well.

In the meantime, to keep busy over the summer – I will be taking organic chemistry 1 AND organic chemistry 2. Needless to say from May 26th until August 14th I am going to be insanely occupied with cramming the maximal capacity of orgo that my brain can handle. I’m freakishly excited about it. And that folks, sums up why I’m a neuro/pre-med major… excited for 32 weeks of organic being slammed into 12. Outside of my comfort and safety zone? Absolutely yes. I’m nervous. I know I can handle it, but I’m nervous in anticipation.


Questions for you readers:

1. Who has taken organic chemistry?

2. Favorite (or top) outdoor activities for the warmer seasons!?

“I don’t belong to anyone. No one belongs to me. I belong to high of the mountains and quietness of the sea. If you want to join me there and there, make yourself at home, as long it is your choice and only. I am free. You are free.” – Ricardo


Relatively heavy deadlifts + it’s spring break week

Hey kids! Guess what this week is? SPRING BREAK. Wahoo! I’m pumped. If you’re on break also, I hope it’s going fabulous. If you’re not a college student and work a typical full-time job, I’m sorry to rub my break in your face. If it makes you feel any better please be aware that I am considerably busier this week than during a normal school week. SO there’s that.

What am I keeping busy with?

Well on Monday I deadlifted the most weight I have since 2012, I’m beyond stoked about that because #1 it means I’m getting stronger, #2 I love my deadlifts. I hit a 195# lift on my last set. I wasn’t planning on that at all but after pyramiding up 145, 155, 165, 175, 185 I felt awesome and said ____ it, do it. Pure bliss. My first goal is 200, then 225, and then 2xBW which is a smidgen over 225.

DLS Recycled picture 😉

I’ve been focusing on two very essential mindset perspectives. These are two things it’s taken me a while to fully realize. While I can be stubborn and tend to brush things off and not give a care, that doesn’t always end well and can leave me beating myself up mentally quite a bit. Also, from the internal perspective of giving myself love and kindness – both considerable challenges but I’ve improved for sure. It’s a constant progress I think, which I’m completely accepting of. I’m not perfect, I don’t want to be. I just want to be happy with myself, my goals, and my life at the beginning and end of each day. The fact alone that my strength physically is improving (above), is proof that my strength mentally is also moving miles forward.

IMG_2074 IMG_2077

Another thing I’ve realized is that while this current semester is by far the most demanding, I’m handling it the best. I guess I can say I’m where I’m supposed to be. Between changing schools, jumping into an undergrad neuroscience program, taking classes at two different campuses (M/W/F at one, T/Th at the second), working weekends, being in the gym at the most consistent and driven point I’ve been since my recovery, finishing my NASM certification, continuing healing my gut, trying to blog (!), and lastly maintaining a semi-kind-of social life. It’s been fun actually so far. I genuinely enjoy everything listed so that is really helpful. Although I’ll be honest I skipped my 8am philosophy class one because I traded it for sleep. Sleep > philosophy (on necessary occasions) = fact.

I’ve been sleeping more! Don’t get me wrong it’s not like I wasn’t sleeping because you might infer that from my skipping philosophy for sleep. Not true. Even with a hectic school schedule I’m managing 6.5-8 hours per night. This week I’m nailing 8-8.5 per night which has definitely been helpful especially because I’m maxing this week at the gym and my body needs the extra recovery between sessions. I think that range is my sweet spot. Another fact, I have sleeping habits outside of the norm for my age group, I’m in bed by 8:30-9:30pm and wake up between 4-5am. Daily. Sunday you ask? 5am. I came across this handy chart on sleep recommendations (source)


And that is that for today. Deadlifts, loving yourself, and sleeping. All solid topic choices, right?


Questions for you:

If you are a lifter, what’s your favorite lift?

Do you have a bedtime, and how much shut eye do you get on average?


“I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself.” – Jack London

xo, S


Weekly workouts + living in the present

Why hello there! Happy Friday. I hope you’re having a fabulous week and well let’s be honest, tgif. I know I’m pretty excited to be almost over this week because while I’m loving school… this is the first full week we’ve had due to all the snow. I had three exams, one quiz, one paper, and a lab due this week. Woah. It’s quite exhausting 😉 In all seriousness though it’s nice to not have classes cancelled and actually have some solid lecture and lab time. Goes to show how much I really do love school and promoting neurogenesis (the birth of neurons) by constantly learning. #neurosciencemajorproblems. Be on your toes here guys, I’m going to be adding vocab into my blog posts on the regular because I think it’s fun.

10895071_347825798736115_1931511224_n completely necessary

Today I wanted to jump into what I’ve been doing gym wise lately. A while back I typed up a lifting cycle for anyone reading to see. To be honest I haven’t changed a whole lot…well, kind of. I’m still doing a lot of deadlifts and benching, along with bodyweight stuff, jump rope, and yoga. One major change I’ve made is the mindset I have going into the gym each time.

Back a few months ago, while I was definitely light years away from where my headspace had been it still wasn’t anything spectacular. I’ve been working on that a lot recently. I wanted to get to a place where I was going to the gym solely because I love it rather than any other factor such as feeling like I needed it for anxiety modulating reasons, or just out of habitual practice. I’ve changed up the outline of my workouts so they aren’t as strictly set. While I have a general idea of what I am going to do when I go to lift, it isn’t written down and actually I haven’t even been tracking my workouts in terms of sets/reps/weight lifted. It’s mentally noted, but nothing more. In the past I would be able to look up a Tuesday five weeks ago and tell you exactly to a key what I did that day. Right now, I don’t care.

I’m not saying that tracking doesn’t have it’s benefits, because it definitely does and it can be an extremely motivating tool as well. However for me, as someone who tracked every possible thing in her life for so many years, it gets old. I’m at a place in my life currently where I want the gym to be purely a playground, a place to get back to my roots, and to just have fun. I love feeling capable, strong, and like I can take on the world. I’m noticing that when my focus is that and nothing more, I feel better. I also subsequently perform better. Who would have thought that. Not I, that’s for sure.

Another change I’ve made is that I’m doing slightly more conditioning. Now before you all up in arms (because trust me you wouldn’t be the first), I’ve literally been doing two days of kickboxing in addition to some double under medleys post lifting. It’s all about balance, and at this time I’m digging kickboxing because well, it’s FUN. I’ve also noticed that my gut health seems to be improving since implementing some changes and also not over-thinking every last detail, this is something I’ve been aware of for a while – the link between physical activity and digestive function. While exercise/physical fitness is proven to be beneficial for digestive function, it can be a U-curve. As in, not enough provides no real change. The right amount, aka the “sweet spot”, helps us feel good and function better overall (this is different for everyone). On the other end, too much can be linked with negative physical symptoms both gut wise and non-gut specific complaints (irritability, susceptibility to injury, injury, ect.).


I think we tend to get so caught up in the past and the future that we forget we are actually living currently, in the now. It’s a constant challenge to keep the mind focused on the present moment and you might find yourself present one moment, and then thinking about next Tuesday three minutes later. It’s natural for the mind to shift, to oscillate between past, present, and future. Our brains have so much going on, so many functions, things to process, and information to relay to us. I think what’s essential however is to be content and happy with the now so that the reason our mind is wandering isn’t to escape the present moment. Oddly I’m going to tie my above lifting update into this. When I was constantly tracking everything I was constantly obsessing over things. I needed to know to a key what I’d be doing for the entire week. I’d usually even plan out what weight I was going to do each set. Do you know what that accomplished? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was holding me back, keeping me stressed, keeping me out of the present.

I’m tired of holding myself back out of fear, and out of habit. I’m in the process of learning that when we truly let go and follow our dreams, what makes our soul happy, that we feel better and things go better. This is becoming clearer to me every day in many facets of my life. By the simple act of letting go and following what feels good, I’m being surprised with new opportunities and experiences that I never thought would happen. I’ve found that the more I just let go, and let things be, the happier I am. In the end though, it’s all about perspective.

“Sometimes life will test you but remember this: When you walk up a mountain, your legs get stronger.” – unknown