What do I pack where.
Long trips. Day trips. Work trips. Road trips. Work. Gym. Gym work. Flights, car, bus, train.
What do I pack where.
Long trips. Day trips. Work trips. Road trips. Work. Gym. Gym work. Flights, car, bus, train.
Fresh into a new year and I’m making up words. In my defense, I needed a word to describe where I am AT. Not where I’ve been, not what I think I may do, not where I want to end up but this special, specific place that I am in right this second. That middle ground when you are between heaven and hell. Between your past and your future. Between where you want to be and where you are coming from. Between success and failure.
When people talk about the secrets to their successes, they always delve into their back story. They talk about the checklist of accomplishments, the awards, the dollars and cents. They use words like “hard work,” “long nights,” and “struggle.” We regularly hear from the successful persons at the top of their game motivating, giving tips and sharing info. But I want to dive into that murky place between struggle and success. What’s swimming in that space so many successful gloss over by saying ‘it didn’t happen overnight.’ What lives in that gray matter between our ears when we aren’t sure of our next move, when the ball’s in our court but we are still figuring out which game we are playing? How many long nights with lost sleep? How did that struggle affect your mental strength, your view of yourself, your vision, and your relationships? I am living all of these questions right now. I am reporting, live, from deep inside a state of Entrepreneurgatory.
Entrepreneurgatory is a lonely place on the road to success. The successful will use it for internal motivation but many find it difficult to convey this struggle to those that haven’t experienced this in-between space. This murky middle-ground may not be short term, practical or glamorous but I’m damn sure hoping it at least builds character (at most builds successful businesses!) It’s not easy to break down the real raw details of your fight to convince the fans and haters that you are not an overnight success. What fills those days, months and years between the thought “I’m going to do this” and “I’ve made it?” That’s where I’m living right now.
For perspective, there’s the sleepless nights you’re in a brain fog with no new ideas, left playing Foosball with the old ideas or kicking around things other people are already doing. You are spending days feeling so exhausted because you are overwhelmed and under-producing. The friends and family giving unsolicited advice about life and career decisions because they can’t, won’t or don’t understand your trajectory. There’s the month you spent just working at your part time job so you can pay rent, and not channeling an ounce of extra energy into anything other then sleep.eat.shower. Add to all of this the frustration in knowing this is not where you want to be. The real swirling question in Entrepreneurgatory: what is your next move?
Goals. Motivation. Direction. Organization.
My keys to climb out of Entrepreneurgatory.
Goals: I’ve mapped out my year, I’ve started in on a 3 year and 5 predictions. I’m dreaming big and realistic at the same time. (not easy- I call it my magical reality.)
Motivation: Internally motivated based on my love of giving people the tools to improve their lives through health, fitness and wellness consistency and training.
Direction: I am moving in the direction of sole proprietorship. Owning what I know with the freedom to deliver science-based workouts and regimens wrapped up and served
Organization: Increasing awareness and accountability by tracking information, ideas and progress digitally and in writing i.e. agenda, planner, calendars, dry erase board. If I write something it increases the likelihood that I will remember and act on it. Now I also include reminders, motivational quotes and to-do items on my phone’s calendar. It’s like having a personal assistant.
You guys are all along for this ride with me. I know people love to celebrate the success but come on the climb with me, grind with me, work with me, jump wit me.
Grocery shopping is not my favorite. But it is a necessary means to an end. That end being cooking and eating. I like the eating part. Grocery carts are fascinating. Looking inside someone’s cart is like looking into their soul. Ok, too deep. It’s more like getting a Polaroid of their personality. It also makes you think a little. What do they have planned this week? What are they using that chicken stock for? (so many recipes!?) How do coffee and shrimp go together? Should I judge them for their cat food and sriracha? NO! Those 2 things are amazing… separately. I want to invite you to jump inside my shopping cart on a basic grocery trip for me. Granted I shop for between 1-3 people (depending on how hungry I am), so your quantities of specific items may be slightly different then mine.
Almost every trip my list looks the same. A few anomalies show up based on season, events or guests but my go-to items stay fairly consistent. This list includes small suggestions and explanations. There will be an easy to read, printable list at the bottom of this page!
The Starting Line Up:
The Bullpen: Things I Don’t Get Every Trip-But Very Often
*balsamic vinegar and olive oil are always in my cabinet. I shop for them as needed.
Almost every meal I make includes most of The Starting Line Up ingredients. The recipes change with the seasons, and if there is a special event, guests or a new recipe I’m trying. Knowing that when I open the fridge I always have that Starting Line Up, I’m able to easily grow a meal from those items. Variations in seasonings are a perfect way to shake up the Line Up.
Example: Using red onions and bell peppers (red, orange, yellow and/or green).
Option 1– basil, oregano, black pepper, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Sautee together.
Option 2- Paprika, cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes and lime juice. Sautee together. Serve. Eat. Wait for someone to clean up. Sleep.
Both options are DELICIOUS but very different based off seasoning! Spice it up!!
Whatever your goals, lifestyle, or event you are training for:
Plan your meals. Bring your lunches. Have health snacks HANDY.
Full playhardgetfit Shopping List:
You wake up Monday morning, hit the snooze button X amount of times, literally roll off your mattress and saunter lethargically into the bathroom. During this chain of events, your barefoot hits the cold top of your scale and you blurrily look down at the number… STOP! Monday morning is not the time, place or headspace that you need to be checking your weight. Tracking your weight is the most common form of measurement for health (don’t really agree with that though), but like I said, it’s common. I prefer to just check out how my jeans fit! Whether you are trying to lose, gain or maintain weight, leave that number alone on Mondays.
Firstly, you’re lacking your normal routine. During the week, usually there are set times that you have to be at work, take your lunch break, pick up kids, teach a class etc. Weekends are a break from that routine and you’re eating habits know that! You’re also not waking up with the same expectations or constraints that a work week has on you. Your sleeping schedule is either more or less then the weekdays. Celebrations often take place on weekends. You are eating at different times, too much or sometimes less then normal. Our willpower has decreased by the end of the week and you are less likely to make smart, healthy food choices.
Monday has a reputation for being a downer. Just the word Monday has a negative connotation. Mondays are a day when you are abruptly snapped back to reality and to routine. It’s a disease (case of the Mondays), it’s a description (I’m having a Monday), and an insult (you look like a Monday). Why would you want to layer onto that a number on the scale that will most definitely change your mood? Let Monday be itself and pick any other of the 6 days be your weigh in day.
This is personal preference.
You have tons of willpower on a Monday but you also have some jetlag and resentment from the weekend ending. Your weight will fluctuate throughout the day anywhere between 2-4 lbs. on average. I had a client tell me that they weighed themselves 4 times a day because they did NOT want to gain any weight. Well, stuff goes in and stuff comes out…(human stuff… like air and food etc.). I hope your weight fluctuates daily. I don’t want a person to weigh themselves more then 4 times a month, let alone a day! Too extreme, discouraging and unnecessary.
Transitioning from Saturday and Sunday into Monday is emotional. You have goals that you want to reach and motivation to maintain. Jump right into your workouts on Monday. Have an amazing sweat session, press the mental reset button and leave that scale alone!
Play Hard, Get Fit!
Vacation should include an adventure. An adventure that lets you escape from normal life. Siren Surf Camp with Farmdog Surf School in Nags Head, NC was the perfect addition to a family vacation and to having an Adventurous August.
I’ve never worn a wet suit. I felt like I was a sea mammal with my extra coating of blubber, I was so warm and it made me fearless of cold water and wipeouts. I could throw my body into the surf and I had this amazing protective layer to make sure I stayed warm and scratch free. It was a hot mess to get on though. Skinny jeans are nothing compared to the dance I did to get my wet suit on!
We met our instructors. The knowledgeable and teacher-esque, Skyla. She is also a ocean lifeguard so if was a very safe feeling knowing if something happened that she was already in the water with us. Hannah was all surfer girl-cool in her trucker hat. Then Hailey who was super bubbly and I loved her energy! Each of them were in the surf with us, pushing us into waves, cheering us on and giving us tips and pointers before and after wipeouts!
Each day of camp began with a picturesque yoga sequence facing the Atlantic. Bailey taught our class and was all warmed up because she taught a sunrise class right before ours. We all had a large piece of canvas that we shared. I expected sand to be flying around vigorously during any transition between a warrior and a downward dog; that was not the case at all. She had us do a number of yoga poses specifically for surfing. Hips and shoulder opening. Lots of child’s pose and a little bit of balance. Her voice was clear and likeable, always a good thing for a yoga teacher. There is no equivalent to being able to sit in the sand with your eyes closed, the morning sun on your face, the sound of waves smashing and hustling into and away from shore, and the clarity your mind is able to regain.
Getting zipped up, ankle strap attached and picking up your board lets your body know “get ready!” The water is shallow enough to wade out with your board but the waves are strong and our boards were easier to control while on them and paddling. Can you say shoulder workout!? I loved the challenge of paddling out into the water and digging in and picking up speed to catch a wave. Your focus shifts you are now in surfing survival mode; float and wait for a wave, scan the horizon for a set, pick your wave, paddle for your wave, catch a part of that wave, wipeout, tumble under the water, grab you leash and board, paddle back through waves out to the flat water and then catch your breath. I wanted to catch as many waves as I possibly could which equaled a massive workout for me. Pretty sure my lungs were still being tossed around in the surf for most of the session! Standing up on your surfboard is like standing up on top of the world. It is exhilarating! All the ladies were cheering each other on, we were so excited when we caught waves and just as excited for the wipeouts. At the end of Siren Surf Camp I felt so accomplished and adventurous! It was the perfect addition to summer. For more information, check out www.farmdogsurfschool.com or follow Farmdog Surf School and PlayHardGetFit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
How do I get rid of cellulite? Photoshop.
Millions of people ask that question daily. You spend hours in the gym, try to eat healthy, take your vitamins and do your kick butt workouts. You lift heavy weights and heavy responsibility. You complete 5Ks and half marathons. You wrestle toddlers like the Crocodile Hunter (they are strong, feisty little buggers). You multi-task through your workouts better than a Google search engine, and no matter how much time and effort you put into your sweat sessions you are still staring at your thighs in the mirror.
Cellulite is not a serious medical condition. It is not harmful or detrimental to your health. It is only visually a thing that bothers the individual. It does not restrict body function, skill or ability. Cellulite is normal. The cause of cellulite is not bad karma. You did nothing wrong in a past life. A gypsy did not curse your thighs with dimples. Cellulite is caused by connective tissue that tethers your layers of skin to your muscle. Between these fibrous connections and your skin is a layer of fat. The fibrous tissue is pushing down and the fat is pushing up and the result is dimpling or puckering seen on your skin.
In the era of summer rag mags gracing every grocery store checkout line, (my mom told me not to read those when I was a kid, she said it would rot my brain; I believed her and used to walk through the grocery store line staring intently at the floor.) They always include a hot or not issue which circles any awkward body angle they’ve caught a celeb at, saggy butts and of course, cellulite. If everyone has it how come we point it out and glorify it? That’s like circling someone’s wrists and saying OMG! Look! Those are in fact wrists. There is at no point in my beach day that 99% of people are close enough to me to see my freckles, let alone my cellulite. Iggy Azalea just went through a paparazzi and social media whirlwind over pictures of her in a bikini and she left social media because of it. The cruel comments and scrutiny are truly unnecessary. Google any female celebrity and there are pictures circling their cellulite. It doesn’t make any sense. In the year of booty, it makes me wonder, what does everyone think is in a curvy, round derriere? (peaches, clouds and cinnamon buns?) NO! Muscle and fat!
Factors that May Cause Cellulite:
There is a laundry list of procedures, of varying levels of invasiveness, that are available. There has been very little conclusive evidence that any of them actually work or give you long lasting effects. For now, the best option is exercise. A loss of body fat, if needed, may also contribute to the decrease in visible cellulite. Talk to your doctor or fitness professional about normal body fat percentage for your body and activity level. The most effective routine is one that incorporates aerobic exercise AND strength training. Lifting heavy and focusing on the glutes, hamstrings and quads will show positive improvement to areas you may have an issue with.
I’m staying away from lasers and liposuction, that is not my purpose here. The FDA has approved massage and combined laser/massage therapies for the TEMPORARY decrease in the appearance of cellulite. These are both costly and time consuming and require continuous treatments to maintain any effects. Patients should be very cautious before trying out surgical procedures, dietary supplements, or elaborate techniques of unproven value. Beware of “snake oil,” meaning an advertising company has done its job of trying to convince you to buy a product that has no scientific merit. Unfortunately, there is no compelling or statistical evidence that creams containing caffeine, aminophylline, or theophylline can have a beneficial effect on cellulite. There are also no studies that back up the claim that topical herbal creams can penetrate deeply enough to have a real effect either. Some of the chemicals in these creams may also cause allergic reactions in some people.
I’ve include 5 possible treatments that run a very low risk of complications or adverse reactions.
Strength training 4 days per week + increased hydration level + vitamins through a variety of fruits and vegetables+ getting your daily amount of calories (not starving or omitting food groups) = Increased metabolism and resting metabolic rate + decreased body fat percentage + decrease in cellulite visibility.
5 POSSIBLE TREATMENTS FOR CELLULITE:
1. Exercises to Strengthen Muscles-
Hamstring Curls on a Stability Ball- Lie on your back with feet on the ball. Lift hips and curl ball towards and away from you. 3X15
Romanian Deadlift (RDL)- With dumbbells or kettlebells, knees are soft (not locked but not bending either), back STRAIGHT, chest out, push your hips back and lower down until your back is flat like a table, then stand up (squeeeeze your glutes!) 3×15
Sumo Squats- Feet wider then hips (about 2-3 feet apart), toes slightly turned out, push your hips back (your BUTT moves first!) and lower down into a squat, knees are looking the same direction as your toes. Try a few with out weight then add some weights! 3×15
Women won’t get bulky when we lift heavy weights, we don’t have nearly enough testosterone in us! BUT we do get stronger, more definition and more shape to those body parts! Yay!
Mix coffee with a little olive oil and you will have your own homemade cellulite scrub. Coffee is used as a possible topical treatment because it’s a stimulant. It works because caffeine, supposedly, amplifies circulation and extracts water from the body, which improves the look of cellulite. Again, not proven but also if you are not allergic, has very low risk factors if you try it. So you come out smelling like a Starbucks and looking like a grande macchiato. http://us.frankbody.com/ make it yourself or check our Frank! Your skin will be smooth and smell delicious even if you are still rocking your cellulite.
3. Massage– A firm massage improves circulation and redistributes the fat back under the connective tissues. Either done manually or with a method called Endermologie which uses a hand-held machine which kneads your skin between rollers. It sounds quite uncomfortable to be treated like Play-doh and only get brief results.
4. Less Stress– Cortisol (a hormone released by stress) and insulin change the way fat cells function. Some ways to maintain low stress levels, include but are not limited to: yoga, meditation, enough routine sleep for your person, actually taking your lunch break, leave work when you are scheduled to, maintain active hobbies, green tea, look for whole grains, no preservative foods and lower sugar intake.
5. Hydration– Foods with high water content will boost skin hydration. Melon, cucumbers, celery and leafy greens are excellent examples of fruits and vegetables with an increased amount of water. Staying hydrated means drinking enough for your size and activity level. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. A 150lb. female would want to consume about 75 oz. of water daily.
Find what works for you. Recognize that anything you rub on whether it’s a scrub, or cream, is not a permanent fix. A balanced diet and exercise may not get rid of your cellulite but they will improve muscle definition and strength, body composition and may reduce the desire for cellulite therapy. Cellulite is not a medical condition.
Get your body on a beach= Beach Body!!
Play Hard, Get Fit*
In the age of the selfie, gym check ins, bathroom mirror pictures, and #FlexFriday, it’s no surprise that men’s and women’s mirror muscles rule our social media feeds. In general, these infamous muscles are the ones you can easily see in the mirror: chest, biceps, abs, and quads. Each gender has 2 muscles (groups) that they are consistently checking out, taking pictures of and training (overtraining?) Chest and biceps rule as king among dudes and bros. While glutes and abs are the emphasis of the ladies. I even had a male client one day say he didn’t want to work on glutes because he wasn’t a girl. So wrong. It has definitely been the year of the booty in the gym and in the media. I like big butts and I can not lie. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working these muscle groups, the problem is that other muscles and entire movements and body parts are forgotten or neglected. Ex) Never Skip Leg Day
The purpose of this paradox is to incorporate the training of the entire body into a person’s program. Being one sided in any aspect of your life will only leave you skewed, crooked and more susceptible to injuries.
Let’s play with scenarios.
What if men trained glutes and abs 3 times per week along with their normal one- sided routine? What if while training glutes they were simultaneously training abs!? Glutes are powerful muscles. Strengthening glutes leads to increase speed and power output during sprinting and running and in Olympic lifts. Functional, firing glutes support movement patterns of lower limb joints (hips, knees, ankles). A number of glute exercises involve the hamstrings as well which are often under developed in athletes who focus mainly on front of the leg, quads. We are not built like pyramids; from the ground up. We are built from the middle out. Therefore, your strength radiates out from the middle of the body known as the core. The core includes layers of abdominals, back muscles, and around the rib cage. Olympic lifting (i.e. deadlifts and squats) recruits the core for stability during their movements. These movements are functional and involve not only the abdominals but the back as well. Core is the center of most kinetic chains in the body. Moving through that entire kinetic (caused by motion) chain develops each aspect of the body parts involved.
What if women trained chest and biceps 3 times per week along with their normal routine? Women tend to be comparable to men in lower body strength, but men have a head start in upper body strength simply because they have more testosterone then women do. A strong upper body not only aids in weight lifting, but also posture, and effectively completing daily activities. Training the chest muscles directly benefits shoulder strength and stability. Certain exercises (single arm press, cable flys, bottom up kettelbell overhead press) strengthen the “push” muscles of the chest and shoulder. Training chest and biceps adds shape and definition to arms. A simple push up works shoulders, chest, core (back AND abs), triceps and biceps! (Tank top arms? Arms like a tank?) Woo!!
The average gym goer is training for appearance. Functionality? Ability? Balance? These get put on a back burner. I dream of a social media world where men are showing off their strong, powerful glutes (have you seen baseball players swing? Where do you thing that power comes from!?) Who else isn’t skipping leg day…have you seen soccer players? Every single member of the USMNT are perfect examples of why men should train legs. They can drop a soccer ball on their foot and a millisecond later it is flying past the goalkeeper at 80+ mph! Helloooo glutes!
I dream of a social media where a woman can flex those guns and it’s known how much harder a female has to work to get that definition, strength and cut then a male has to do. (That whole women have less testosterone thing). Defined, arms are beautiful!!
*Remember your whole body is connected, front to back and top to bottom. Train for your goals but don’t leave out entire body parts!
Play Hard Get Fit
Okada, T., Huxel. K., Nesser, T. Relationship Between Core Stability, Functional Movement, and Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. January 2011. 25(1), 252-261.
A combination of awesome and tough, tightness and strength, hurt-so-good movements built around the idea that movement should be on purpose. It goes through a series of 5 dynamic (active), full-body movements. Dynamic stretches are excellent as pre-workout movements to prepare you for activity, after a warm up to compliment the warm muscles or after exercise to take time and thoroughly move through the actions you just completed in your workout. When: Daily Before your workout After a short warm up End of your workout Next day when you’re sore
5 Dynamic movements: Hold each for 3-5 seconds.
1. Lunge– Step forward with one leg (about 2 stride lengths). Bend the front knee while keeping the back knee straight and the leg extended. Arms are both on the inside of the front leg with the hands flat on the ground.
2. Twist– In the lunge position, take the arm closest to the front leg and reach it to the ceiling while twisting your torso all towards that front leg. Let you eyes and head follow the path of your arm so your final gaze is up at the ceiling.
3. Hamstring– Untwist your torso so your chest and eyes are facing your front leg again. Place the hand you just reached to the ceiling on one side of your foot and your other hand will be on the opposite side of the front foot. Straighten and lengthen that front leg by extending the knee and lifting your toe to the ceiling.
4. Groin– Replace your front foot flat on the ground. Lift your entire torso to the upright position. Bend your back knee and sink into a lunge. Lean your torso back slightly to elongate from your shoulder, through your groin and down to your back knee.
5. Triple Extension– Drive that back leg up and forward until you hug your knee into your chest. In the same motion, the foot on the ground will elevate into triple extension. The 1. ankle will fully extend, you are on your toe, you 2. knee extends fully and so does the 3. hip. *To transition to the other leg, simply step out with the knee you are hugging and repeat the entire stretch on the other side. Movement should be practiced, repeated, and done well. If you practice it correctly, every time, when it comes to applying those movements to everyday life or to competition it will come naturally and without overthinking. Each of these movements in the Worlds Greatest Stretch are transitioned into seamlessly. Play Hard, Get Fit *L*
Mom at your son’s track meet. Dad at your daughter’s soccer game. Gym rat looking to get outside on gorgeous days. Athlete in between classes and jobs. This workout is for each of YOU! Busy schedules, time constraints, and specific locations are the constantly changing variables involved in your workouts. For all those bleacher creatures, bench riders, and pop up chair cheerleaders, there is no excuse left to stop you from getting a sweat session in!
Equipment: Bleachers, Bench, Stairs, or other safe elevated surface.
Sets X Repetitions: 2X15
Burn More Calories: Walk, jog or run 1 lap (2-3 mins.) in between each set! Add an extra set!
*Working out on bleachers requires an increased level of fitness and balance. If you suffer from vertigo or have other balance issues, do not attempt to work out on steps.
Bleacher Creature Workout:
1. Uneven Squats- quads, hip flexors, glutes
2. Step Ups w/ Sprinter Start- quads, core,
3. High Knee Quick Feet- cardio, quads, agility
4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up- core, chest, shoulder stability
5. Climbing Squat Jumps- cardio, quads, glutes
6. Squat Jumps- glutes, quads, hamstings
7. Elevated Lunge w/ Sprinter Start- quads, hip flexor, glutes
8. Elevated Push Ups w/ Variations- chest, core, triceps
1. Uneven Squats: One foot on a bleacher or bench so that it is elevated higher then the other. Push your hips back and squat like you are about to sit in a chair.
2. Step Ups with Sprinter Start (on bottom step) -Video Below: Step up with one leg, as soon as that leg is fully extended on the step, follow by driving the other knee straight up into a march position, lower that leg down and repeat on the same leg.
3. High Knee Quick Feet -Video Below: Alternating between right and left feet tapping them quickly and lightly onto the bench.
4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up: Complete your push up and rotate your body weight onto one hand until you are in a side plank position. Return to the push up position and complete the other side.
5. Climbing Squat Jumps onto the bleachers: (all the way up and down) Squat down and jump on the first bleacher, then the second, third and so forth.
6. Squat Jumps (on and off of bottom bleacher)-Video Below: Squat onto and off of the bleacher landing with soft knees, abs tight, hips back like you are going to sit in a chair.
7. Elevated Lunge + Sprinter Start- Video Below: Lunge as pictured below and left the back knee up and drive that knee forward into a marching position. *be careful with your balance! notice in the video it takes me a second to get centered. Also, watch your dismount OFF the bleachers!
1. basic push ups- bend your elbows until they are at 90 degree angles, squeeze your armpits as you straighten your arms and press up into a straight arm position.
2. push ups with one leg off the group
3. push ups bending your knee while you lower down and extend your leg when you push up.
This workout makes the best use of your time and resources all while hitting major, calorie burning body parts! Focus on your form, take your time completing each set properly and have FUN! get creative with your locations, keep gym clothes in your car and don’t hesitate to get a great sweat session in!
Play Hard Get Dirty, Play Hard Get Fit!!
Questions or feedback: feel free to comment below or message me on the links on the top of the page by email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
The warm weather is finally trickling back into our weekends and we are now in the midst of race season! Every weekend you have your choice of fun runs and charity races. Do you want to get dirty, muddy, colorful, glowy, foamy, sweaty, wetty, and a cool, free tee shirt? Of course you do! Well, that makes two of us.
I recently ran in the Color Me Rad 5K. It was definitely one of the best 5Ks I’ve ever participated in! This was the true definition of a FUN RUN.
Fun– (Noun) Enjoyment, amusement or lighthearted pleasure.
Run-(Verb) Move at a speed faster then a walk, never having both or all feet on the ground at the same time.
Fun Runs are excellent starting points for the first time runner, or the athlete looking for inspiration. I saw such a wide variety of age, size and ability. Each person had their own reason for being there and the commonality that brought them together was the idea of accomplishing this race all while having a huge amount of FUN.
That morning was dreary. It was a cold, gray April morning. It was threatening rain and my cousins and I were wearing white and not nearly enough layers. I was borderline dreading this run. I quickly realized that this was a massive event, much bigger then any 5K I had ever been a part of. Everyone was dressed in different combinations of athletic gear and white clothing with sweet neon-colored shades on (although we did not need them with no sun shining). I heard the Start/Finish area before I saw it. Music was blaring, there were inflatables, tents, people covered in color, people with clean white clothes on everywhere!
The race start was informal. Get behind the starting line in whatever combination you’d like. In other races I’ve ran you are corralled by your 1 mile run time. BUT, this is where the party started. People had packets of color that they were throwing at each other and playing tag with. There was a little kid running around with what looked like a squirt bottle… a pressurized blaster filled with COLOR!! He was short so he kept shooting strangers in the back and I quickly ended up with a yellow streak across my stomach. The starting line party continued with the dreadlocked MC shooting droves of this magical neon corn starch into the crowd by means of an ACTUAL fire extinguisher! Just drenching people in teal powder and sending it into the back of the masses by means of some solid wind gusts.
BANG! WOO! AHH! Race starts and all I’m trying to do is warm up! I was so involved in all the sights and sounds around me and crazy combinations of outfits and people passing me and I was passing that I quickly forgot about everything I usually have on my mind in races: are my shorts sitting right, headphones in, mileage tracking app on, music pumping, sneakers tied, re-tied and tied, my pace, my knees, my ponytail, my stride, etc. the mental checklist could go on and on. All of that was gone. I tucked my headphones into my shirt, I kept pace with my two cousins, who I was super excited to be doing this with, and trotted along and actually looked up at the scenery. The trail was dirt (my knees were so happy), the first check point was blue powder and they seemed to be running low or completely out so it was up to the other 3 color checkpoints to get us blasted with a blaze of neon glory. The next color check point was yellow and I was dusted with what resembled pollen. I quickly learned that if I walk through the check point and stand in front of one of the volunteers they would launch color directly one me. Perfect! At the orange check point I was ready to get covered. I had orange down the ENTIRE left side of my body. (and was still getting it out of my left ear 3 days later). Awesome!! The final checkpoint was purple and I floated through the purple cloud with the gracefulness of a wood nymph and then trucked it to the finish line!
The finish line was filled with people handing out snacks, water and more COLOR! We each got a color packet which the three of us quickly threw at each other. There was a stage with music, that same dread-locked MC was rocking the mic with ease and exuberance. His energy was contagious and the color soaked crowd was dancing and screaming for more color! He was throwing packets and buckets of color off the stage and the did a massive countdown and everyone at once released handful upon handful of vibrant color into the air! It was a beautiful sight to see and an amazing way to finish out this run. From start to finish, I did not notice the gray sky or the cold. I saw only rad colors!
Fun Run “Gottas”:
Gotta leave your headphones home. They are a pain in the butt to clean the little ear buds of the dusty cornstarch. (Mine are permanently orange tinted still.) There is music at the checkpoints. It promotes chumminess if you can talk to and hear the people around you. They are having a good time and so are you.
Gotta invite friends… family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. It IS the more the merrier. The more people there are, the more variety of paces you can chose from. You can stick with the running pace of someone who matches your pace. If you are needing motivation or that final push to the finish you’ve got an entire squad of cheerleaders running ahead and behind you. You may have been the inspiration one of your friends needed to TRY a race. You are now the fitspiration that convinced them to “Do Rad Stuff!”
Gotta take pictures. I don’t care if you’ve never taken a selfie in your life. There is nothing more fun then to see a crisp, white tee shirt and shorts turned into a technicolor, mosh pit of neon that goes from the crown of your head and swirls down to the soles of your shoes. Also, color bomb pics are essential. If you can get an action shot of hundred of people throwing handfuls of colorful dust into the air you will instantly be in awe and want more.
Gotta have fun. I know you competitive athletes out there want to focus on time, form, pace and stride (like I started out doing) but find the place in yourself where you can enjoy the entire experience as much as possible. I am able to time myself in my next training session, I can beat my 5K time at a road race, I am able to pass people when they are my equals but doing these things at a fun run like this one takes a little bit away from the experience you are in the midst of. Actually, the SLOWER you go through th color check points the better because then they get you realllllyyyyy good! Doused, drenched, splashed, blasted, soaked, covered, and splattered with color!
Gotta do you. It’s your race. If you want to walk, walk-run, sprint, jog, trot, skip, frolic, trudge… Do it! Know your abilities, know when it’s too much (we do not want injuries), also know when you could push it more! Often, a good adrenaline rush and high excitement situation, like a race, brings out your best performance. You may surprise yourself!
Play Hard, Get Dirty! Play Hard, Get Fit!