Are you on the #RoadtoRio?

Are you on the #RoadtoRio? I love love love the Olympics! It's one of the few times in sporting, aside from the World Cup when I think it's actually a true world stage for athletes.

Sorry to the Patriots and the Red Sox. I love you, but you're not World Champs, by any stretch of the imagination.

But the Olympics! Yes please.

Since early July, when the swimming and track & field championships have been on TV (along with the Copa Europa for futbol and Wimbledon) it's been such a treat to kick back in the A/C and watch amazing athletes just own their talents. Or in some case (I'm looking at you Michael Phelps and Serena Williams) D O M I N A TE. 

When I watch athletes of such caliber, I'm always wondering about their off season workouts and nutrition plans. 

(Here's a couple inspirational videos I've always got queued up of Julian Edelman, Serena Williams, Misty Copeland and Michael Phelps.)

Crazy pants right? Those off season, in the dark workouts are unreal. And it just makes me bow down even more to the temples of bodies of our Olympic Athletes. 

While you nor I aren't going to the Olympics in this lifetime, know that 497 World Class Olympians take USANA supplements. 

Dorky, but I kinda feel like part of me, deep down inside, somewhere (!) is an Olympian.

Why on earth do I eat baby food?!

I run, I bike, I hike. 

I need my food to be E A S Y.  Easy, like Sunday morning. 

I've gelled, I've gu-ed, I've done all variations (and then some) of processed, gross, sugary gel packets on runs and rides. While they work and keep my energy up, I always felt like they were lacking something.....something natural. 

A few weeks ago, I grabbed some baby food pouches (do NOT ask me how I wandered into this aisle of the supermarket) off the shelf. For those of you who don't have kids or whose kids have long since outgrown mushy baby food. Lemme tell you, this industry has come a loooong way.

Packets are BPA free, great marketing, bright colors, yummy flavor combos (I'm 100% certain no kid in my generation was eating quinoa at 6 months old.)

Full disclosure - this isn't something I would recommend to someone doing an Ironman or the Tour de France.

But for you and I, out on a ride, hike or run - get yourself to the baby food aisle. Make sure to read the ingredient list and ONLY get brands and pouches that have fruits and veggies. No other added shit okay?

I've been riding with them a couple times now and love them because they  are super easy to open and consume on the bike. And I can just tuck the pouch back into my jersey when I'm done. No mess, no fuss. 

They've also been tossed into my Nathan hydration pack for a hike and provided some appreciated real nutrition when I reached the summit. 

So for those of you looking for an easy supplemental tag-along for your next ride or hike, get yo'self into the baby food aisle. 

Why do you run like you do?

The other day a dear friend asked me why I run and workout like I do. 

What a good question. To be honest, not one I've thought about. 

Have you ever stopped to think about why you do what you do?

Why do you run? Why do you walk daily? Why do you keep that date with your fitness trainer?

I hear resounding answers of "to exercise, to stay healthy, to lose weight, to move my body." Yes, I hear those responses loud and clear. 

But why else do you exercise?

All those reasons are damn good reasons, but sometimes they aren't enough. They aren't instant gratification (which is more of a reason for us to do anything, let alone exercise.)

You don't hit the gym 3x a week year round to starve off heart disease in F O R T Y years. 

I move my body daily because honestly, it's something to do. 
I move my body daily because it's free entertainment. 
I move my body daily because it's a social activity. 


Truth be told, I'm single in Boulder and have time on my side. I know that most of you barely make time to read this email, let alone workout for 30 minutes. So perhaps that's not why you might exercise.

But me? I'm always prowling for something to do and someone to do it with.

New to Boulder and needing to make friends, running is something social to do, a way to meet people and learn the bike paths and running routes. 

As I don't have a +1 or kids, my weekends aren't filled up with things I have to do, or place I have to go (things that inevitably come about with having a partner or other littles in your life.) The weekends are all mine to do with as I please. 

So running or hiking up a mountain, or going for a 50 mile bike ride, is something to do. It passes the time. And the more the merrier!

And yes, at the end of the day, it feels so good to move my body, to oil my joints, to stretch my muscles when I spend a lot of the day sitting. 

Why do you exercise?

Will you commit with me?

All my friends who know me well, know I'm a morning person. They always make jokes about how early I get up, how by 10am my day is half over and if I ever sleep. 

My morning routine is well known and everyone assumes that I've run a half marathon by breakfast.

There's a reason they tease me about this.

For the most part, it's true. I am up early.

My day does seem to be half over by 10am sometimes (!)

And I usually do workout in the mornings. 

But for the last few months, I've been off my game. 

I've been a bit lazy in the mornings, not desiring to get up, face the day and seize the moment. 

I've let my meditation practice slip, as has my visualization and morning compassion practice. 

And I've been okay with that. I like change and needed a break in the routine.

My morning meditation spot while in WY over the weekend, staring at the backside of the Tetons.

My morning meditation spot while in WY over the weekend, staring at the backside of the Tetons.

When in reality, I love being the person who gets up at the same time everyday, no matter what. I love my morning meditation practice. I love being awake before the world and relishing the quiet time when I'm absurdly productive.

On May 30th, just a week or so ago, I decided to recommit to getting up early (5am), meditating for 10-15 minutes every morning and doing one thing on my to-do list before breakfast.

It feels so good to be back on this track again.

My head is clear. My mind is open. I'm awake! I'm sleeping like an Olympic Champion. I'm feeling on top of the world. 

And it all came about because I re-committed. To myself. 

Will you join me in committing? What one thing have you been wanting to do because you know it's a really good idea for your sanity, your health or your peace of mind? 

I'm not suggesting you try something new. I'm encouraging you to recommit to something that you used to do, but have let slide. 

I've got just over a week under my belt of re-embracing 5am wake ups and 15 minutes of morning meditation. I'm committed until June 30th. 

Make a decision to commit with me and leave a note below as to what it is.

Let's do this.  

Hugs,

Johanna

What I say to myself when I need a pep talk

Lately I've found myself running up some serious hills.

Perhaps when I start at 8100 ft and run 7.5 miles up to 8900 ft that is actually a mountain and not a hill?!

Anyhow, clearly the lack of oxygen this high above sea level clouds my brain enough to say yes to adventures like this. 

I'd say who does things like that except Magnolia Road, what we ran up isn't only famous for being one of America's best running roads, but it's also where Olympic champions + the CU Cross Country team trains. 

Hallowed grounds fo' sure.  Below is a picture I put up last week on Instagram of my run up Magnolia. 

This run gave me ample opportunity for some self talk. I was breathing heavy. My calves were SCREAMING at me. I thought my lungs were going to burst. I'm 110% certain I could have walked faster than I was running. I just wanted to lie down and stare at the sky, forget running. 

So what's a girl to say in moments like this?

Lately I've been self talking while running with this phrase, 

"You'll finish faster if you keep running." 

And while that may just be practical self talk, it works. 

So does this one,

"Just one more step."

What I love about that one more step phrase is that it totally shuts down everything else in my brain and I singularly focus on the present. Nothing more nothing less. 

Staying positive is one of the best things you can for yourself be it in a race, while training or trying to stick to a goal. It's where the magic happens. If your brain isn't on board with the idea, concept or events, you seriously diminish your chances of it happening. I mean, it's hard enough to do most feats that challenge us and pull us out of our comfort zone. So why add to the challenge with disbelief and negativity?

I've got lots of different mantras that I cycle through depending on my mood and current state of existence, but those two above are what's been working for me lately.

April Gellatly inspired me to write about her mantras. She shares her personal mantras and the power of self talk HERE.

This is what she shared which really resonated with me. So much so that it's now up on my dry erase board. 

Be here.

Don’t be anywhere else.

Positive.

Confident.

Quiet Mind.

Quiet Soul.

Raging Passion.

What do you say to yourself to get you through tough times?

Leave a comment below. I'm always open to inspiration!