Tag Archives: sisters

Sister perspectives: what rest does.

I’ve rustled up my sis Jess from her blog retirement for this post and I am so glad she wanted to write this with me  as it is a topic that is near to our hearts but also one we both wrestle with more often than we probably care to admit.

Rest.  We talk about doing it, we do it sometimes, but do we *really* do it fully and believe in why we are doing it? Not always.

As we have both been hit with illness the past couple of weeks, we noticed some major realizations and observations and we share that here, openly, honestly, and fully.

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My perspective:

I believe in rest, and in rest days. I completely do. But I also wrestle with rest days when I feel good, strong, and interested in being active on said rest day. Sometimes I bend that rest day a little, as a result, and almost entirely because I absolutely adore my workouts – my chosen workouts – barre (n9ne) classes and running, primarily, and there are days where it is truly hard to temper that excitement and passion. And I’m not talking miles and miles and miles and doubled up classes (taken). I’m talking a quick (extra) run or a Sunday afternoon class (a rare treat, especially if my sister is teaching!). And Jess and I are really good at tempering each other’s workouts and being that reality check for each other – do you want to run, or do you feel like you have to run. If the latter, don’t even bother. Do you hurt everywhere? Fail. No workout. Nope, don’t even attempt it.  But that doesn’t mean the mental mind games don’t stay behind, even if I’ve agreed to keep that rest day and honor it fully. *That* is what I wrestle with most, far more than stillness.

But illness is a funny thing, isn’t it? Suddenly, you are flat on your back, can barely keep you eyes open, and everything hurts in a hurts so bad way and all you can fathom is recovery and feeling normal again. Nowhere near workout ready.

And as those days pass, where you rest, rest, rest, sleep, sleep, and more sleep, a funny thing happens. You realize what rest does. It renews you, mind, body and soul. It resets you. And it reinvigorates you. And when you come out on the other side of illness, you appreciate your body’s abilities and you learn that it shouldn’t be taken for granted and you shouldn’t do more, more, more, even if your body feels good, because that’s harder and not smarter.

Let’s face it, for example, one really strong run, no matter what distance, pays off far more than a few ‘meh’ runs where you feel like your body doesn’t want to move because your legs are tight, sore, or overworked. One – it’s not nearly as enjoyable as that ‘happy’ and strong run, and two – you aren’t doing yourself any favors in your strength or endurance. What are you accomplishing? Checking a box. That’s it. I’d much rather have one really strong run than three crappy runs. Quality, not quantity.

This is what rest does, and what rest has taught me (especially as I sit here teetering on a cold brewing, but determined not to succumb so soon after the FLU last week!). It is about honoring the rest day, honoring your body’s abilities by resting, renewing and restoring. As I like to say, one day, you won’t turn into a pumpkin. Quite possibly, the reverse. Your body becomes more efficient, more able to recover and well, happier. And who doesn’t want that?!

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Jess’s perspective:

So I’ve been a non-blogger now for almost a year and this is one of the first times that I found myself itching to write. You see, I was down for the count with this funky laryngitis thing that had me sidelined for a week. From everything. The day job – done from my home. In solitude. My beloved barre classes? I had to sub them out. Pained me. My ‘me’ workouts. Gone. I had a lot of time to think. And question.

…how could I possibly be sick after two weeks off from work *and* a quick surprise getaway to Healdsburg (aka ‘my mecca’) with my husband over the holidays? I was uber relaxed. Not worn out in the slightest.

…why was I sick? Besides the obvious – duh I picked up some icky germs somewhere along the way – but truly why. Why now?

And the more I sat and thought about it, sipping on cup after cup of tea with honey (swapping in the occasional hot toddy thanks to a certain Tony, aka Sarena’s husband!) – it struck me.

I hadn’t been valuing rest as much as I proclaimed to value it. My sis and I had this pact at the end of the year, it went something like this:

Stop embracing go-go-go-how-much-can-I-fit-into-my-day mentality and return to the smarter, not harder mentality. A mentality that, admittedly, neither of us had been embracing as much as we’d care to admit. 

Yet, as soon as I got back from wine country, I was ready to go balls to the wall again. Um hi, where did that pact go that we so smartly made right before the new year???

Yup, out the window.

And bam – laryngitis swooped in. Down.for.the.count.

My, my, God has *quite* the sense of humor, I do believe.

As the days went by, and the rest, rest, rest, mentality settled in, I started to really SEE, for the first time, the true value of rest. Every second I spent cuddled under a blanket, not running around doing a million things, not working out or teaching or any of that, not doing much of anything…except for rest…and it amazed me to see my body respond.

I actually wasn’t feeling nearly as sick as I sounded (or didn’t sound, haha), and I think that’s because I rested. My body was working hard to avoid a full-blown case of bronchitis or something far worse and I allowed the rest to seep in.

And I sat there laughing at myself after awhile. Thinking about all those mornings where I sat in a funk, mad at my rest day, not wanting to take the rest, feeling like a superhero and wanting to do it all, be it all. Silly, short-sighted thoughts to say the least.

So now, I sit here recovered and rested and ready to REALLY do what I say and say what I mean.

Embrace rest.

Seems simple. But clearly, I wasn’t really doing that before, nor was I even admitting that to myself. So I was taught (well WE were taught (how ironic that we both got sick nearly at the same exact time…) a very important lesson this past week, whether I (we) wanted that lesson or not, a certain Someone wanted to show me (us) the way.

Where our story continues…celebrating ‘at home’

Wow, I really don’t mean for my posts lately to be so far apart ;-)

But, this delay came with good reason. I wanted to share the next in my little mini-series on celebrating our marriage and our new home, with family and friends, this past weekend.

You see, several months back, I sent out a ‘save the date’ housewarming invitation via Facebook to our closest friends and family to make sure the people I cared about most could come and celebrate with us for our wedding reception thinly veiled as a housewarming party. While yes, it was indeed a party for both, we truly envisioned this day being the day we would celebrate with those that were not with us in wine country on our wedding day, and share in the joy of the next stage of our story.

And this weekend, that very celebration commenced. While not all of those I hold dear to me were able to make it (life happens…), we had such an amazing turnout of family, friends, coworkers and barre n9ne ‘family’ – it was just incredible. From family all uniting together, and even my aunt from Minnesota flew in to celebrate with us (meant the WORLD to me), spending the afternoon talking and laughing and showing everyone around the house, to playing with my niece as she ran like the wind through the yard, playing, and ‘showing off’ as she carefully walked across our stone fence holding auntie’s hand ever so slightly as she went, to the feeling of pride spread across our faces as we showed our family our home, some of which were seeing it for the very first time.

On to wave two of the party, the friend ‘part’ and we had that moment of….crickets…are as many people going to come as said they would?! As we looked around at the 18 bottles of wine, countless cases of beer, mounds of appetizers, catered BBQ and two ginormous cakes. And then suddenly, in a wave, a flurry of people came, and celebrated, and it was just the most fun and blur of an evening all wrapped into one (now I totally get how a) people say their wedding reception was a blur…this in itself was a blur and I felt like I barely saw M all night and b) how tiring throwing big parties really is!!).

As we wrapped up the evening after about 10 hours of nonstop activity, we opened some of the gifts our families and friends brought us and were just blown away by the thoughtfulness. From the stone my sister Jen gave us with our last name engraved on it for the yard to the wine box holder to store wine for our first, third and fifth wedding anniversaries (with a special bottle tucked away in the fifth ‘holder’) from Jess, to the carefully selected bottles of wine, to personalized wall plaques and pictures, we just felt so happy, loved and honored.

Collapsing into bed, I don’t think I have ever smiled more. In the home we have now ‘christened’ with family and friends, in our first big party, everything just felt more right than it has ever been. Our story…where it continues, feels complete. In every way. <3

6-30-2013

Sometimes, you prioritize.

Sometimes, you prioritize.

…when you sleep in slightly before teaching (nursing a sick M back to health with extra cuddles? sign me up) rather than squeezing in some much-missed running. Because, sometimes you priorize, and a sick love is more important than an extra 30 mins of cardio any day.

…when you schedule a barre ‘fitdate’ (with this girl!), sign up to (finally) take a class ‘as homework,’ or simply need a ‘me’ hour at the barre and *again* nix running, you prioritize. Because sometimes you remind yourself – again – that quality trumps quantity and one rushed run won’t be any better (or any good at all!) than one, strong ‘comeback’ run another day instead.

I am continually a student in this quest for balance between my own workouts, the workouts I teach at the studio, and making sure I create the right mix for myself that is smarter, not harder and not doing something ‘just’ to do it, or because I planned to do it. I vow to prioritize, learn to embrace flexibility and that one less run, workout, etc, won’t be a dealbreaker. Prioritize. 

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…when you choose to answer that phone call from your sister even if your hands are in the middle of making dinner, because if it’s a call, it’s usually important. To then be greeted by a FaceTime chat with the most beautiful niece in the world? The right priority, at the right time. Especially when you say ‘I love you!’ and she says’ wuv ooo!’ and you melt into a trillion pieces. <3

…when you choose to clear the decks of and all weekday plans (even if that means also midweek date night in) for sister dinner, because sisters sometimes trump *even* that midweek bit of ‘us’ time I love so much, because my sisters are my soul, and sometimes the need to be together is even stronger, and right now is one of those times. Sisters unite. Forever. <3

…when you (sadly) realize how much less you prioritized sisterhood for a good portion of 2012, and never want to feel that regret again.

It’s hard to admit when you don’t prioritize something you actually really do feel is one of the most important things *to* prioritize. But I did for a bit. Life got so busy and something had to give, and it ended up being sisters, and well, the wrong thing to ‘let’ give. Not going to happen again. I promise, sisters.

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I never realized how rigid I can actually be sometimes when it comes to my schedule and my routine. I thought I had squashed the rigidity when it comes to my routine (I have, to an extent) but in letting that go a little bit and taking a step back to prioritize, it’s already feeling like a wonderful, empowering, and happy change. In my quest to BE this year, which also includes being balanced, prioritizing has, and will continue to be, a huge way for me to BE the best I can be, for myself, my sisters my (future) husband, and all of those around me, from friends, to clients, to co-workers.

Because sometimes, you prioritize. And it’s always, ALWAYS worth it.

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Wordless Wednesday (almost)…the holidays, in pictures.

This is the first year that my family has staggered the holidays in such a perfect way that we’ve not only had a chance to see each other in various family settings (baking cookies with my sisters, niece and mom, celebrating Christmas at my dad’s with my sisters and niece, celebrating with M’s family, and finally, hosting Christmas at our house for the first time ever, with my sister Jess and Scott and my mom – sans grandparents who weren’t feeling well, though we did get a ‘virtual’ visit via Skype!), it’s felt busy-ish but not rushed, savored, not blurry, and with the right level of balance I am striving for right now. In a word, this holiday so far has been: perfect.

So I give you an almost wordless Wednesday, the holidays, in pictures. Cheers!

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Showering my niece in the girliest of girly clothes, and she *had* to model them for us. She is *such* a girl! <3
Showering my niece in the girliest of girly clothes, and she *had* to model them for us. She is *such* a girl! <3
Celebrating Christmas bestie-style. A long time coming!
Celebrating Christmas bestie-style. A long time coming!
Moments of Isabel sprinkled throughout the weekend. And when she reaches for a hug and a kiss, it's evident that she has a heart just like her namesake, my Nonna. SO loving (just like my sister Jen, too!) <3
Moments of Isabel sprinkled throughout the weekend. And when she reaches for a hug and a kiss, it’s evident that she has a heart just like her namesake, my Nonna. SO loving (just like my sister Jen, too!) <3
Capturing some family shots. I LOVE the picture I captured of my dad gathering Isabel up into a giant 'dad hug' and kiss.
Capturing some family shots. I LOVE the picture I captured of my dad gathering Isabel up into a giant ‘dad hug’ and kiss.
The holidays wouldn't even be complete without some fitdates with besties and my 'kindred' Meaghan, and lots and lots of barre n9ne action!
The holidays wouldn’t even be complete without some fitdates with besties and my ‘kindred’ Meaghan, and lots and lots of barre n9ne action!
Brunch is most definitely going to become a new tradition for Christmas! It was delish! Menu: mini bagels, cream cheese and lox, crackers and cheese, stuffed mushrooms, craisin/walnut/apple/spinach salad, potato leek soup, and for 'dessert' - greek yogurt with pear/apple/pomegranate seeds, walnuts, granola and flax (a yogurt 'bar'!), and the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER had (thank you sis!!), topped off with prosecco/mimosas!
Brunch is most definitely going to become a new tradition for Christmas! It was delish! Menu: mini bagels, cream cheese and lox, crackers and cheese, stuffed mushrooms, craisin/walnut/apple/spinach salad, potato leek soup, and for ‘dessert’ – greek yogurt with pear/apple/pomegranate seeds, walnuts, granola and flax (a yogurt ‘bar’!), and the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER had (thank you sis!!), topped off with prosecco/mimosas!
A few candids/bloopers always make it fun ;-)
A few candids/bloopers always make it fun ;-)

FEF: volume II

Awhile back, I waxed poetic blogged about it being ‘finally effing Friday’ (hello longer than LONG week and chock to the brim with activity!) and today? It feels warranted to celebrate FEF yet again.

Because it’s been another doozy. Mostly in a good way. Just one of those weeks where I felt like M and I were ships passing in the night (we had one meal together this week, and tonight won’t even have that!). And not even so much because I fell back on my motto to simplify either, just a week where M had lots of meetings after work and I had several evening plans as well. But in the choas of this week comes a few very fabulous things I am loving. So, celebrate, shall we?

I am loving sister dinners.

As part of my quest to make more room in my life for what matters most, sister dinners was a top priority. These nights are so special and NEEDED for the three of us, to really connect as sisters, without our men, or families, or anyone, around, just us. Being silly. Sharing in a glass of wine (something my sister Jen rarely gets a chance to do!). Laughing. Venting. Catching up.

And sometimes a special guest joins us to make it that much more perfect. This Wednesday was sister dinner WITH that special guest…my niece Isabel. She is at SUCH a fun age, and she melted me into a million pieces with her running full speed in for a hug, her kiss on the lips and how she says ‘hi auntie’ in the cutest little voice I have ever heard. She’s also a fan of the selfie and we took many of those to capture the night. My most favorite collage of all time below :-)

Sister dinners…worth the busy week to cram in and do right.

I am loving my expanding role in barre n9ne.

Another reason my week was so busy – but in a valued, good way (just so happened that everything got planned for the same week, M’s busy week and mine, the perfect storm for ships passing in the night!), was a long-awaited meeting of the b9 minds (LOL. That would be me, Jess and Tanya) to discuss even more ways to make barre n9ne better, bigger, and stronger. My sister and I are officially taking on more of a marketing/PR/social media role at the studio to help make this happen and I couldn’t be more excited.

Melding my passion with what I’m good at (PR/social media)? Perfection.

And, helping even more with the 60 day challenge, refining it further, helping clients be successful? A dream.

Bringing in new events, features, and classes and teaching even more? Words cannot describe.

And, I am loving looking back at the past four (!) years since I began my journey anew. 

You see, Tara at Relative Evolutions asked me to write a guest post for her on my evolution, from then, until now (she’s had quite the journey herself, and I am so proud of her, and happy to see where she is now!!). And it’s taken me weeks and weeks of ruminating on just how I wanted to capture it, and the inspiration to put it all together. Here is the finished piece, and I am so proud of it, and my journey. I don’t write on the topic nearly as much, but it just makes my heart happy, proud, and filled with gratitude about my life now.

So, while I am celebrating FEF fervently today, I am feeling grateful (albeit relieved the week is nearing an end). And I am feeling so fortunate to be surrounded by those I care about. Because this weekend? It’s Friendsgiving, folks. Third annual, and it’s going to be the best one yet ;) Hope you have a fabulous weekend, shaking off a long week, and enjoying a much deserved weekend! Cheers!