The Muscle Stick

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I want to introduce to you my favorite recovery tool. I found it on Amazon about 3 months ago for $19.99 and it has been the best twenty-bucks I’ve spent in a long time!

If you have issues with sore muscles, stiffness, or knots in your muscles, I highly recommend this tool to you.

The Muscle Stick

FYI: I do not have any affiliation with this product or Amazon.

About the Product

I’ve been using it every day, if only for a few minutes and sometimes longer. I roll out my feet, legs, glutes, and arms without help. I occasionally will talk my husband into rolling out my back and glutes for me. It has done wonders for my forearms, shoulder caps, calves, quads, and hamstrings.

I think that my cellulite has decreased since using it regularly. Considering the roller helps with fascia manipulation and increased blood-flow, it makes since. So that’s a nice bonus.

If you decide to get one, please feel free to leave me a comment on this post and let me know how you like it.

Cheers to recovery and feeling good!

On-Going Lifting Commitment to Myself

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Now What?

I was thinking about posting all my workouts for a full year, but….I think it is time to move on….

After 8 months of this workout series I am feeling strong and capable. Soooooo now what? I’ve not decided yet if I am going to go back through all 6 programs again with heavier weight and different set and rep schemes or if I am going to design all new workout programs…..but either way….rest assured I’m keeping at it!

keep_keepin

What I’ve Learned

Life Happens

Life Happens frequently.

If I miss a workout for whatever reason it is, I know that it is my choice. I don’t beat myself up, I don’t “make up for it”, I don’t think twice about it…..because the Lord willing…..there is another day for a workout. And if the Lord isn’t willing…..well I’m in heaven and no longer need to lift weights anyway.

Consistancy

Consistency is the key to progression.

You are what you do over and over again.

Make Changes

Changing-up the routine/programming is important.

I change programs every 5 weeks, sometimes 4 weeks. The change keeps interest and engagement high as well as elicits new stimulus to the body to promote body changes and growth.

You can_t out-exercise a bad diet

What you put in your face matters more.

While weight training is important for health (bone density and hormonal response) and capability (muscle mass to get through life with ease), what you put in your face matters more. You can’t out exercise a poor diet. I could talk for a long time on this subject, so I’m going to leave it at that….for now.

Links to All the Programs in One Place

In the past 8 months I’ve completed the following workouts, linked to below. In each post I link to YouTube videos that will show you or teach you proper form for each movement.

Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Why lifting weights is important to me
  • Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  • Things to-do
  • Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

Part 3 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 11 – 15
  • Circuit Style
  • Rest Week & Life

Part 4 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Life Happens
  • Lifting program weeks 16 – 21
  • Full Body Workouts – Mostly Large Compound Lifts

Part 5 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Pyramid Sets/Reps
  • Back from Vacation

Part 6 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Still Super Sets
  • Drop Sets

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

Part 6 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

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I completed the following five workout programs with modifications each week on number of sets, reps, and or weight so that each workout continued to challenge my body to adapt (aka: change).

In each post I link to YouTube videos that will show you or teach you proper form for each movement.

Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Why lifting weights is important to me
  • Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  • Things to-do
  • Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

Part 3 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 11 – 15
  • Circuit Style
  • Rest Week & Life

Part 4 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Life Happens
  • Lifting program weeks 16 – 21
  • Full Body Workouts – Mostly Large Compound Lifts

Part 5 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Pyramid Sets/Reps
  • Back from Vacation

Drop Sets

Throughout the workouts for this past five week, I included drop sets. The drop set rep scheme I used was (6/12/20). What you do is pick a weight that you can lift for only 6 reps, then drop the weight to a weight that you can only lift for 12 reps, and lastly drop the weight again to a weight that you can only achieve 20 reps with.

If you can do any more reps than the designated rep range for each set, then your weight isn’t heavy enough. Most women underestimate how much weight they can actually lift. Don’t do that. This won’t work if you go to light on weight….out of fear! Error on the side of too heavy vs. too light. You can always drop down and start again.

The past 5 weeks of workouts (weeks 28 – 32) are listed below.

Week 28

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Life Happens

Don’t beat yourself up for not making it to the gym when life happens. I got sick on Thursday this week and spent about 20 hours sleeping on Friday. All that rest really helped me get on the mend. It is Monday today and I still have symptoms, but I’m feeling better and have energy to get through the day. Hopefully, I feel well enough tomorrow to start Week 29.

Week 29

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • 3-Way Lunge (Front, Reverse, Curtsy) – Bodyweight
  • Arnold Press (6/12/20)
  • Smith Machine Squat – 2 Set @ 50 lbs +bar / 2 Set @ 70 lbs +bar
  • Inverted Row – Smith Machine
  • Hamstring Curl – 45 lbs
  • Triceps Press-ups – 10 lbs (8/6/4)
  • Front Raises – 10 lbs

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Assisted Pistol Squats – bodyweight
  • Straight Arm Lat Pull-Down
  • Single Leg Reverse Step-ups – Assisted Pull-up Machine
  • Assisted Pull-up
  • Wide Stance Squats – 55 lbs
  • Triceps Pushdowns (6/12/20) 
  • Overhead Palloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lb Cable

Week 30

Life Happens Frequently 

Wednesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Assisted Pistol Squats – bodyweight
  • Straight Arm Lat Pull-Down
  • Single Leg Reverse Step-ups – Assisted Pull-up Machine
  • Assisted Pull-up
  • Wide Stance Squats – 55 lbs
  • Triceps Pushdowns (6/12/20)
  • Overhead Palloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lb Cable
  • Stretch

Week 31

Tuesday – Full Body Workout

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Traditional Leg Press (110 lbs, 130 lbs, 140 lbs, 150 lbs) (4×10)
  • Inverted Row – Smith Machine – Bodyweight (4×10)
  • 3-Way Lunge (Front, Reverse, Curtsy) – Bodyweight (4×18)
  • Incline Push-ups – Bodyweight (4×10)

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Single Leg Reverse Step-ups – Assisted Pull-up Machine – 130 lbs
  • Assisted Pull-up
  • Wide Stance Squats – 60 lbs
  • Triceps Pushdowns
  • Seated Leg Extensions (varying toe positions) – 45 lbs

Week 32

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Friday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Upright Row
  • 3-Way Lunge (Front, Reverse, Curtsy)
  • Front Raises – 10 lbs
  • Incline Push-ups – Bodyweight (4×10
  • Smith Machine Squat
  • Inverted Row – Smith Machine  
  • Hamstring Curl
  • Triceps Press-ups – (6/12/20)
  • Stretch

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

 

 

Part 5 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

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I completed the following four workout programs with modifications each week on number of sets, reps, and or weight so that each workout continued to challenge my body to adapt (aka: change).

In each post I link to YouTube videos that will show you or teach you proper form for each movement.

Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Why lifting weights is important to me
  • Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  • Things to-do
  • Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

Part 3 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 11 – 15
  • Circuit Style
  • Rest Week & Life

Part 4 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Life Happens
  • Lifting program weeks 16 – 21
  • Full Body Workouts – Mostly Large Compound Lifts

The past 5 weeks of workouts (weeks 23 – 27), I threw in a day of Descending Pyramid Sets/Reps.

The benefit of descending pyramid training is that it builds strength and muscle, which is the name of the game for fat-loss, looking good, and feeling and being capable of making it through life (carrying groceries, not falling down, and if you do…being able to get back up again not injured).

Throwing in different styles of training also prevents plateaus, it switches-up the stimulus on your muscles and bones to allow for continued growth and positive change on the body.

Depending on where you are with your strength will determine how much weight you can handle through this pyramid style training. Some people use the same weight throughout the rep scheme, some folks start with heavy weight getting lighter as needed throughout the rep scheme, and some people start off with lighter weight with the most reps working their way heavier and heavier as the rep scheme progresses down to 1. I suggest you try all three weight schemes to see how your body responds.

This style is also combine with a super-set style to keep the heart-rate up the whole time; you can see via the color groupings below.

Week 23

This was my first lifting session back after vacation; I took my time and rested when I needed to. This was a nice change from my usual set/rep scheme. It was fun and I really enjoyed this workout. I felt really good afterwards. It was difficult and effective. I was quite sore the couple of days following this workout. I took some amino acids, foam rolled, and stretched to help with my soreness.

Saturday – Descending Pyramid Sets/Reps

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Forward Lunges (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Hammer Curl (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Goblet Squat (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Overhead Press (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Bulgarian Split Squat (4 sets) – starting at 4 reps (3, 2, 1)
  • Front Raise (4 sets) – starting at 4 reps (3, 2, 1)
  • Plank (5 sets) – starting at 30 seconds (reduce by 5 seconds each rep)
  • Push-ups (5 sets) – starting at 15 reps (10, 8, 5, 5)
  • Stretch

Week 24

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Week 25

Saturday – Descending Pyramid Sets/Reps

  • 50 minute walk – Treadmill (getting in my steps)
  • Forward Lunges (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Hammer Curl (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Goblet Squat (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Overhead Press (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Bulgarian Split Squat (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Front Raise (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Plank (5 sets) – starting at 30 seconds (reduce by 5 seconds each rep)
  • Push-ups (5 sets) – starting at 5 reps (4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Stretch

Week 26

Friday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Wide-stance Squat – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Lat Pull-Downs – 50 lbs
  • Barbell Hip Thrusts – 50 lb barbell
  • Dips – 50 lbs
  • Traditional Leg Press – 100 lbs
  • Assisted Pull-Ups
  • Overhead Palloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lb Cable
  • Garhammer Raise – bodyweight

Sunday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Under-Hand Grip Bent Over Row – 40 lb barbell
  • Straight Leg Deadlift – 40 lb barbell
  • Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Step-Ups
  • Overhead Press – 20 lb dumbells
  • Goblet Squat – 30 lb dumbbell
  • Overhead Triceps Press
  • Hand Walkouts

Week 27

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Seated Leg Press – 120 lbs, 130 lbs, 140 lbs, 150 lbs
  • Seated Row w/ Short Bar – 40 lbs, 50 lbs
  • Single-Leg Foot Elevated Glute Bridge – Bodyweight
  • Bicep Curl – 30 lb, 40 lb barbells
  • Straight Leg Deadlift – 60 lb barbell
  • Triceps Pushdowns w/ Short Bar – 20 lbs
  • Single Leg Box Squats – bodyweight
  • Overhead Triceps Press – 10 lbs
  • Stretch

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

 

 

Sugar Struggle

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This topic is so big, it is difficult to know where to start and what to cover and not cover, as not to fall down the giant rabbit hole…..

The sugar struggle is real folks! We are living in the time in history in which we are surrounded by sugar. There is sugar in things that we don’t even realize there is sugar in. Having said that, if you are eating something out of a package, you are pretty safe to assume there is sugar in it….and probably added sugar in it.

Let me get one thing out of the way here….all food can be turned into glucose in the body. Yes, even fat. Yes, even protein. Yes, even salad. Given the correct circumstances….

But let’s get real….I’m not talking about real whole foods in this post. I’m talking about processed, man-made food-like products. The hyper palatable eatable food-ish products that keep us coming back for more. That make us “can’t eat just one”.

Video: Hyperpalatable Foods in Action

Sugar is the Devil

If you ask my closest friends what I say about sugar, they will tell you that I have been saying for many years “Sugar is the Devil”.

Because I know what sugar does to the body, I have an internal desire to not eat sugar or to not eat it very often or very much. I still go through times of eating way too much sugar; I get on that cycle of habit and training my body to want sugar at certain times. But guess what…I’m aware of it. My awareness allows me to identify why I’m eating sugar and then make the necessary life-style changes to reduce my sugar intake. Do I still eat some sugar? Yes.

The reason this works for me is because I tamed my sugar beast years ago. I balanced my blood sugar regulation. Got rid of my sugar cravings. I am able to moderate my sugar intake. Having said that….I am more of a salty kind of girl. I’ll take potato chips over cookies any day!

But guess what happens to those processed potato chips in my body? They turn to sugar (glucose) too.

Excess glucose in the body (sugar, carbohydrates) over a period of time (each person’s body is different) will create a metabolic state of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the first step towards the development of diabetes 2 and 3 (insulin resistance of the brain leading to Alzheimer’s). This is not a metabolic state you want your body to be in.

My Top Five Ways to Improve Your Body’s Ability to Process Sugar

(processed and natural sugars from all sources including carbohydrates)

  1. Sleep 7-9 hours per night (not getting enough sleep can cause temporary insulin resistance)
  2. Resistance Train/Lift Weights
  3. 4 to 6 100-yard or 30-second Sprints 1x to 2x per week
  4. Keep your Liver Healthy (cruciferous veggies, bitter greans, garlic, citrus, avocado, Beef Liver Capsules
  5. Throne Research – Berberine or Dr. Mercola Berberine

How-to Alter your Relationship with Sugar

Keeping it real: You have to want to make change. You have to want to be healthy more than you want to eat sugar laden food-like products. You are the only person responsible for what goes in your mouth. You have to take action.

Stop the Struggle

Below are a few programs I recommend to help you gain control of your sugar intake. You do not have to be perfect, but you have to be relentless.

Other Resources

Beauty Products Review: URSA Major

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In my Safe Skincare Brands post, I listed a brand called URSA Major.

Side Note: I’m not an affiliate nor gain any money or products from this brand.

On their webpage there is a link called Try The Line; I purchased the Clear, Healthy Skin Trial Kit which has a two-week supply of their “award-winning face care favorites” for $20.

URSA Major

The kit includes:

  • Fantastic Face Wash
  • 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic Spray
  • Fortifying Face Balm
  • Essential Face Wipes (3 singles)

Kit

I recommend everyone buy this kit and try these products for yourself. I really like them! I was super surprised at the high-performance of these products. They did what they said they would do.

The best part for me is the affordability of this brand and products. You get a lot of bang for your bucks!

Should you choose to purchase products from URSA Major you will be supporting a U.S.A. company out of Vermont. The quality is of the highest! With 98.6 – 100% naturally-derived, no chemicals (“no petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, color, glycols, silicones, or PEGs”), gluten-free, and not tested on animals. You can feel good about putting these products on your skin (ultimately in your body).

I purchased from their webpage, but they do have retailers. You can find the nearest you using their Store Locator on their webpage.

My Review

Fantastic Face Wash – The two best things about the face wash is: 1) A little goes a long way; I know people say that about products a lot and it tends to not really be true. I am a professed “over user” when it comes to products, BUT this one it is true…..a little really does go a long way! 2) My face as never been so clean. My pours….cleaned out! Shock and Awe!! It has built-in exfoliating properties (not gritty ones, but through alpha hydroxyl acids). It has antioxidants, moisturizers, and soothers also built in for healthy looking and feeling skin. I love this product!

4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic Spray – It took me a little while to realize that this spray isn’t just a toner….it is an active tonic. It works as hard as the face wash! I was pleasantly surprised to find that this tonic made my face feel smooth, hydrated, and evened out my skin tone by calming redness. I seriously love this tonic!

Fortifying Face Balm – This product is ultimate! It goes on smooth and weightless. It actually absorbs into the skin (instead of sitting on top of the skin) and makes my face feel hydrated and firm. This is a perfect product for under make-up, because it absorbs into the skin and leaves a matte finish. In love!

Essential Face Wipes – As far as face wipes go, these worked fine. I was not a big fan of the material the wipes were made of; they weren’t very soft. I’m generally not a huge fan of face wipes. I honestly could take them or leave them.

3 out of 4 LOVES is pretty dang good!

URSA Major offers more products than these 4; check them all out here.

The two products that I’m looking forward to trying next are:

Force Field Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18 – Boasts a 3-in-1 formula that nourishes and protects

Golden Hour Recovery Cream – Boasts intense hydration, anti-aging, soothing effects

I hope you give URSA Major’s products a try; they are affordable, high-preforming, and safe quality skincare.

 

Our Summer Vacation 2018 – South Lake Tahoe (Part 5 of 5)

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  • Check out Part 1 on picking where to go and picking lodging.
  • Check out Part 2 on Food and Activities.
  • Check out Part 3 on Packing List
  • Check out Part 4 on Last Week To-Dos & Packing
  • Check out my post on Vacation Training

Trip Recap & Experience

Lodging Review

I booked our lodging using HomeAway.com. I did also purchase travel insurance through the site, since we booked it 6 months in advance.

We stayed at Aston Lakeland Village Beath & Mountain Resort while in South Lake Tahoe, CA. This property is a mix of permanent residence, vacation condos, private owners who rent out their properties (which is what we stayed in #105), and rooms that are managed like a hotel.

Lake Land Village

Check out my first post in this series for more details and pictures of the property.

Location, location, location….this property is located in an ideal spot in South Lake Tahoe. Many places are walkable, bike-able or scooter-able (via LimeBike) from the property. The property has a shuttle service that will drop you off and pick you up within a 2 mile radius of the property until 10:00p PT at night.

The property has a private beach, pier, two pools and hot tubs (one overlooking the lake). The amenities we didn’t use was the laundry facility, kids wading pool, sauna, fitness facility, tennis court, grills, volleyball courts, nor the beachside bistro. I also think that they offer kayak and paddleboat rentals.

The privately owned unit we stayed in had a view of the parking lot, so we didn’t spend any time on the patio. It was well equipped: large closet with hangers, dresser, bathroom, full kitchen with full size appliances (including a traditional coffee pot), dining table, sitting area, king size bed, a flat screen TV with remotes and channel guide, a gas fireplace (we didn’t use), A/C unit, and an oscillating fan. Because it is privately owned, we were not able to use the “hotel” services, but it really wasn’t an issue for us; there were plenty of towels. However, we did purchase our own higher quality toilet paper.

We received a parking pass for while we were there, that is to be kept in the dash board when parked in the lot.

Parking

The Negatives:

  • They offer free Wi-Fi, but you have to enter a password every 24 hours and the Wi-Fi is not that great, but better than the cell service in the area.
  • The bathroom vanity has an electrical short in it, if you close the drawers just right the lights above the mirror would flicker or go out.
  • While the mattress was comfortable and we had no issues sleeping on each side of the bed separately, this was achieved by each individual sleeping on their side of the bed in the pre-existing divot/hole that was in the mattress on each side. I really do suggest that the owners replace it.

We were there through a major holiday, when the masses descend upon the lake. On the 4th of July our parking lot was so full that there were vehicles parked in every nook and cranny on the property. We had to park between a tree and a bush between the driveway and a walkway. It was crazy, I wish they had warned us!

The evening of 4th of July we and long with everyone staying there (plus some it looked like) went down to the private beach and dock to watch the fireworks show put on by the casinos and coordinated with music from the local radio station. They had a local radio station DJ on-site playing music before and after the show.

Fireworks

Generally speaking and overall we were pleased with our accommodations and would probably stay there again.

Restaurant Reviews

I will be posting reviews of all the restaurants that we visited at my sister site: Restaurant Reviews – ByCandace in the coming weeks, which will probably slow down my posting on this page.

Activity Reviews

Reno Arch: Overrated idea, but we got a picture.

Reno Arch

Hiking Eagle Falls:

The Eagle Falls trailhead is approximately 12 miles and 20-30 minute drive from the location of our lodging. It was a breathtaking drive.

Thankfully we had spoken to a family the day before at the pool about this hike and they suggested we arrive early, because the parking lot is small and it is a very popular hike.

Go EARLY!

We arrived at the trailhead parking lot at about 8:30 a.m. local time and the parking lot was already full. We went just past the trailhead parking lot (on the left side of the road) to another parking lot 100 yards or so up on the right side of the road. This lot was ideal because it is larger, they have Porta Potties, and a beautiful scenic outlook to take pictures from. This is a pay-to-park lot; put the ticket on your dashboard. There is a walking trail down the side of the road to the Eagle Falls trailhead.

Warning: if you miss the second lot, there is no place to turn around, the road is two lanes, narrow, and you are high up on the mountain.

These are pictures of the falls across the road and just below the trailhead parking lot.

Thankfully the trailhead also has bathrooms; we ladies really appreciate this. Read the maps before you start heading up! There are different directions you are hike.

The upper Eagle Falls hike is short and fairly easy. There were lots of kids on this trail.

We decided to hike up past the falls to a lake, which was another 30-40 minutes up. Someone said it was 15-20 minutes further, but it took us longer. It was worth the time and effort to get to. Do this! Kids were doing this hike as well. People had their young children in back carriers, hiking up with them.

On the way to the lake….

The reward….the lake!

Ducks….

If you are even more ambitious and more prepared than we were (food, more water, and toilet paper). There is a second lake that is another 3-5 miles up past the first lake. We did not do this.

There is also a hike path that is “the loop” that is a very long hike. We also did not do this.

I’d love to go back and hike this again and maybe even go up to the second lake.

I cannot speak highly enough about this hike. It was beautiful!

Fishing Excursion:

I researched fishing guides for my husband to do 1 or 2 ½-day fishing excursions while there. Boy was his experience different than what we had expected based on the reviews and research I did. Out of the two companies that I had narrowed it down to, we picked the first one (Mile High Fishing Charters) because it presented as though he’d receive more personal attention because it was a little smaller outfit.

  1. Mile High Fishing
  2. Tahoe Sport Fishing

My husband spoke with the ower-operator, Joby, two moths out, twice for about 20 minutes each time in May 2018 (trip was July 2018). Joby said that he didn’t want to take payment that far in advance. He said the schedule was wide open and he’d put my husband down for those two dates and to call him back when we arrived in town to confirm what time of day my husband could go. The plan disused was to do a morning trip on Tuesday, 07/03 and then maybe again on Friday, 07/06.

My husband and I drove over to the marina on Sunday, 07/01 in attempts to perhaps drop in and speak to Joby in-person. On the way into the marina area, BAM! Momma bear and two babies (one of the little bears is towards the back right side of the tree) on the side of the road. Apparently, she forages trash cans for leftover fish parts. Generally pretty dangerous for people riding their bikes and walking down that road behind us and in the nearby neighborhood.

I’ve never been this close to a bear before, it was sooooo cool, but I was very thankful to be inside my vehicle and not riding a bicycle.

We had a difficult time finding their place of operation, as there are multiple businesses out of this marina; we didn’t see any signs. We called Joby and he was out on the boat. A brief conversation was had that reviled to us that he didn’t remember my husband nor having two conversations with him two months prior. We were told that once he got back on dry land he’d call my husband back to disucss; he never called. My husband had to keep calling him. Once my husband was able to speak with him again, we were told that my husband wasn’t on his schedule for Tuesday and was on for “maybe Friday”, this after he was reminded again of the previous conversations. Needless to say, the hubby was frustrated and mad.

Talk about unprofessional! To compound the issues, the communications between the fishing guide and my husband was like pulling teeth. We’d be told he’d call him back or email him information and my husband would continually have to call him back to get information.

Also, Joby gave my husband’s phone number to another local guide without tell him. We received a phone call from the other guide saying that he got his number and wanted to touch base about a trip out on his boat, but he was booked solid and could do a trip for his 5 people. My husband is only 1 person! All the facts relayed were wrong.

Surprisingly, Joby called my husband and said that he could get him on his boat on Wednesday, 07/04 morning with 5 other people. My husband said ok and went. The boat can really only hold 4 fishermen comfortably and he was squished up in an awkward corner of the boat the whole time.

Joby was on his phone the majority of the time and not paying attention to the fish finder. The boat would be “off” the fish schools for upwards of 15 minutes at a time. Joby also kept the boat in a small area of the lake the entire time.

Only 3 of the 6 people on the boat caught fish (those on the back of the boat). For $150 per person you’d think they’d be motivated to make sure people caught at least one fish during the 4 hours on the boat.

The whole experience was underwhelming to say the least. As an avid fisherman, my husband didn’t understand how anyone with this business could charge $150 a head and provide such a poor experience and lack of production for their customers. He will never do this again and would advise the same to anyone.

Heavenly Resort – Gondola and Zip Lining:

Call ahead and make a reservation (775-586-7000) for the activities (time) and purchase your tickets ahead of time. This is a very popular spot in the area and it is quite busy and full.

The Gondola ride was a mind-blowing view and so cool. There is a stop halfway up the mountain you get-off at and there is a platform for viewing and pictures. There are real bathroom at the stop and tables for hanging out.

These pictures are unclear, because of the nearby California fire smoke getting sucked into the Lake Tahoe Area.

Gondola Mid-Stop

At the top of the mountain there is a large lodge with wifi, real bathrooms, food and beverages, including a bar. There are tables inside and outside to sit.

There are a number of activities to do while up there, some geared towards various age children and some towards adults.

  • Gondola
  • Mountian Coaster
  • Tubing
  • Ropes Courses
  • Zip Line
  • Climbing Wall
  • Gemstone Panning

From the lodge area, we checked in at the Blue Streak tent, was provided an orientation and then took a ski lift up to the beginning of the zip line and the line ended in the area of the lodge and all the other stuff.

The Blue Streak Zip Line was fun, but is short-lived. I probably wouldn’t do this activity again.

Timber Cove Marina – 1,000 ft Parasailing:

The older lady that runs the office, I’m not sure if she owns the business or not, but she was not friendly. She was brash. I was not a fan.

Super cool experience over this huge lake surrounded by mountains. I’d totally do it again, even though it seemed like an overall short ride. The people who took us out were friendly, professional, and we had confidence in their abilities.

Bonus: On our way back to dock, my cap flew off and they were nice enough to circle back and we fished my cap out of the water. I can’t believe I spotted it in the water! And it was super nice for them to turn around for it. I am still incredibly grateful, since it was one of my most favorite caps.

The Cork & More:

My husband agreed to stop by a shop called The Cork & More, which is an artesian store, deli, wine tasting and shop. I picked up some spices and a new coffee mug! It is a cute little store.

Tahoe Coffee Mug

Markleeville & Grover Hot Springs:

On one of the days that we didn’t have dinner reservations we decided to take a trip to Markleeville, CA, which is approximately a 30 minute drive south of South Lake Tahoe. The drive was purdy.

There is NO cell service nor data signal in this area. We had to stop at the visitor center twice in the short time we were there.

Just outside of town is Grover Hot Springs.  We paid $10 per person to enter the pool area (this is a day rate). They have locker rooms to change and rise off in. There are outside cubby holes to put your stuff in by the hot spring pool. We were told to lock all your valuables in your car. While we did remember to pack swim suits and sunscreen, we didn’t remember to bring towels. I drip dried and then changed back into my real clothes, so it was really no big deal.

After about an hour in the hot spring pool, we changed and went back into town to eat at a local spot called Wolf Creek Restaurant and the Cutthroat Saloon. It was one of….I think….three places to eat in town. It is a historic building built in the 1800’s that originally was a hotel and brothel (so we were told by the locals) in Markleeville.

The official restaurant review will be posted at my sister site: Restaurant Reviews – ByCandace. Once the post is up, I’ll link to the post here.

Genoa Bar & Saloon:

We had no plans to drive to Genoa City, NV that day, but two locals from the Wolf Creek Restaurant and the Cutthroat Saloon told us that instead of going back the same way we came in we should go back through Nevada and Genoa City to hit up the first settlement in NV and the oldest thirst parlor and “gentleman’s saloon” in Nevada. Naturally we couldn’t resist checking it out.

Genoa 13

We drove approximately 26 miles and 30 minutes through a beautiful valley with cattle ranches everywhere to get from Markleeville, CA to Genoa, NV. Totally worth the drive. Genoa City is a quaint town with a historic hotel, mom-and-pop shops, and the main attraction Genoa Bar & Saloon. Pretty cool spot! If you are ever near here, I recommend you put this on the to-do list.

To get back to South Lake Tahoe from Genoa was approximately 19 miles and 35 minute drive. It was through a mountain pass which eventually winded down to the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe.

Elements Day Spa:

I chose this spa, because originally my husband was supposed to be off fishing while I went to the spa and this one is within walking distance from our lodging location.

Don’t let the old building and make-shift spa deter you. I was originally disappointed and apprehensive. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into when I first saw the building and spa quarters.

They have private bathrooms with keyed lockers to keep your clothes and valuables. They provide comfy robes. They have a little side room called the tea room, where you can make and sip a variety of teas in between services (if you have time). They offer a variety of product in their main waiting room as well.

The people and their skills were amazing! Everyone was very courteous, friendly, accommodating, and professional.

I’ve had A LOT of massages in my life and honestly it was the best massage I can remember. My massage therapist was Sage Salonga; she was fan-dang-tastic! My husband was able to schedule a last minute massage that morning as well and said that his girl did a really good job too.

My Esthetician was Sandy O’Donnell and again, super great!

When and if I make it back to South Lake Tahoe, I’ll be seeking them both out for services.

Overall South Lake Tahoe Experience

Overall we really enjoyed our time in South Lake Tahoe. It is a beautiful place to visit! I hope one day I am fortunate enough to be able to go back again and do some of the activities we didn’t get to do this time.

Activities for Next Time

If we are able to make it back for another trip, we’d probably go in the off-season to avoid the large numbers of people, in October or late April/early May time frames. We may also consider staying at a more remote location, instead of in the middle of it all….who knows….we’ll see.

I hope you found this series helpful and enjoyable.

Spanx

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At first glance, wearing Spanx seems relatively benign, but it’s not.  Spanx are to the 21st century what corsets were to the 16th, 17th, 18th centuries. Notice how long that is?? I tend to add braziers and waist-trainers (which is a whole other rant) into this subject as well.

The point is that the idea of women needing to smooth out their lovely lady bumps by wearing compression gear is ridiculous! Thousands of women squeeze themselves into Spanx like sausages on a daily basis.

Confession: I worse Spanx on my wedding day. That was the first and only time I’ve put them on.

Along this line, I wrote a post called What’s the Point that I hope you read.

The women’s body image movement is hitting pretty strong these days and hitting a good stride. Here are a couple of podcasts that touch on these subjects that recently aired that I hope you take a little time to listen to.

  1. Balanced Bites Podcast #352 – Your Body is Awesome Because IT’s AWESOME
  2. Stupid Easy Paleo’s – Harder to Kill Radio – #108 Cellulite + Confidence: Fierce Love Friday

 

Do You Have GRIT?

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The human experience is not easy. We must gird-up our loins to get through the less than ideal times that we experience throughout our lifetimes in this fallen world. Know this, you are not alone. The people that have come before us, since the beginning of time, have been through much worse than we. We are living in a very fortunate time in history.

What is Grit?

If you Google the term grit you find a definition of “courage and resolve; strength of character”.

Let’s break this down further…..what is the definition of……courage “strength in the face of pain or grief”, resolve “firm determination to do something”, determination “firmness of purpose”, strength “the quality or state of being strong, in particular”, strong “able to withstand great force or pressure”, character “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”.

So according to these definitions grit is: a quality or state of being able to withstand great force or pressure in the face of pain or grief and a firmness of purpose to do something; a quality or state of being able to withstand great force or pressure in the face of pain or grief that reflect the individual’s mental and moral qualities.

Nurture or Nature

Grit is not like common sense; grit is learned and developed through experiences. It can also be modeled to others and likely taught to others. It does get a little sticky around the “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”, as this is a key component to grit and one’s character is very much dependent on the nurture factor as well as the nature. Common sense is an innate (inborn or natural) quality that people have or don’t have. Ironically or not maybe not so ironic, I find that people with grit also have common sense.

In the post Your Power, Your Control, Your Responsibility, I touch on how some folks believe that life just happens to them, having a victim mentality and not taking responsibility for their choices’ this also plays into the mental state of those who lack grit.

In the post called Do You Need Motivation?, I touched on the topic of discipline. In my opinion, discipline is a component of grit.

Your Beliefs

Rene Descartes said “I think therefore I am”. When it comes to the human brain and shifting our thinking you cannot speak to yourself in negatives. Your brain doesn’t understand negatives. It understands positive reinforcement, like Pavlov’s Dog. You tell yourself/brain what you do want, not what you don’t. What you think about and what you believe about yourself and your circumstance will dictate your results.

I spoke about “a firmness of purpose to do something”. Also, in the post Do You Need Motivation?,  I touched on finding your why. The reason you need to find your why is so that you have intrinsic motivation, you have a purpose for doing something.

Your belief about yourself and your purpose on this planet will drive the amount of grit you have.

I’ve read and heard on multiple occasions that people with the belief in God are much more able to overcome hard times, because they have a purpose and an identity outside of whatever their current circumstances are.

Your beliefs are the foundation of grit.

Other quotes I like:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”—Confucius

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.”—William J. Brennan, Jr.

“There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise to meet.”—William Frederick Halsey, Jr.

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” —Aristotle Onassis

Do You Have Grit?

When thinking about sayings like “survival of the fittest” or “only the strong survive”, this is the result of grit! Other piffy sayings that I think of when I think of grit are: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and “failure is not an option” —Ed Harris from Apollo 13.

Allow me to ask you a scary question…..who is the fittest? who are the strong? are you? will you survive? will your children?

Do you have the ability to “withstand great force or pressure in the face of pain or grief and a firmness of purpose to do something”?

Do you have courage, resolve, purpose, initiative, determination, resilience, discipline, strength, instinct, and tenacity?

If you do not and you want them, I suggest you start working on it. Start reading biographies, autobiographies, and the Bible. Surround yourself with people who have the qualities you want. Soak up every ounce of wisdom you can from them. This type of shift is mental and requires dedication, practice, and time.

Put in the work, be gritty!

Vacation Training

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Summer Vacation

I hope that you’ve seen my posts about planning for my summer vacation. If you have not, please check out my blog series, so far.

  • Part 1 on picking Where to Go and Picking Lodging
  • Part 2 on Food and Activities
  • Part 3 on Packing List
  • Part 4 on the Last Week To-Do’s

Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

As I hope you also know, I’ve also been posting a blog series about my Lifting Weights / Resistance Training.

Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training post where I covered:

  • Why lifting weights is important to me
  • Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  • Things to-do
  • Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training where I covered:

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

Part 3 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training where I covered:

  • My workouts for weeks 11 – 15
  • Switching-up Workout Style
  • Rest Week & Life

Part 4 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training where I covered:

  • Life Happens
  • My workouts for weeks 16 – 21
  • Full Body Workouts – Mostly Large Compound Lifts

These two blog series converge at my vacation!

Vacation Training

I did research on local gyms around where we are going to be staying, however most of them are private clubs (personal training or group classes only) or Cross-fit Gyms. The couple of big-box-gyms I found are a little far from where we are staying.

This is a good time to switch things up for a week. Who wants to go on vacation and do the same types of movement and lifting as when they are at home? I’m loving the idea of breaking-up the monotony.

My plan for vacation is to continue to put forth a consistent effort to still get in movement each day by doing some hiking, swimming, and or kayaking.

I want to take this time to do a plug for a lady I love and follow on YouTube, Jen Heward, who has a Home Workout Kit that will also travel well. I’d love to purchase this to use while on vacation, but if I decide not to spend my money on this now, I will in the future for sure.

I’m still kicking around the idea of taking my traditional resistance bands with me. I’ve not decided yet.

I also have not decided how much or little I will train while on vacation. To be prepared, I have some body-weight circuit style workouts that are perfect for vacation or training at home.

6 Days of Body-Weight Workouts

Day 1 (Repeat 1 – 5x) 

Day 2 (Repeat 1 – 5x) 

  • 10-15 Push-ups
  • 12 (per leg) Walking Lunges
  • 15 Jumping Jacks
  • 30 sec. Plank
  • 8 Hand Walkouts
  • 15 Air Squats
  • 18 Slow Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Glute Bridge

Day 3 (Repeat 1 – 5x) 

Day 4 (Repeat 1 – 5x) 

Day 5 (Repeat 1 – 5x) 

  • Dips
  • 15 Air Squats
  • 15 Jumping Jacks
  • 15 Push-ups
  • 12 (per leg) Single Leg Deadlifts
  • 6 Side-to-Side Hand Walkouts
  • 12 (per leg) Alternating Reverse Lunges
  • 45 sec Plank
  • 12 Single-leg Glute Bridges

Day 6 (Repeat 1 – 5x) 

  • 12 Single-leg Glute Bridges
  • 45 secs of Jumping Jacks
  • 30 sec Side Plank
  • 15 (per leg) Forward Lunges
  • 10 Hand Walkouts
  • 20 Air Squats
  • 60 sec Plank
  • 15 Push-ups

When I return, I’ll be starting Weeks 23 – 27 of my regularly scheduled training; to be shared in Part 5 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training coming in August.