Sometimes I’m an optimist to a fault

I’m an optimist dang it.

I swear I am. I’m just finding it hard to see the rainbows and lollipops right now.

If you’ve followed SCB for awhile, (thank you for sticking around. You seriously deserve a medal) then you are well aware the struggle is real within the injury world, that is also known as my life.

If you’re new, welcome! I promise to get back to telling lame jokes, cracking on my boys and being a bit more optimistic.

But tonight, I am not. And that’s okay. This is life and sometimes we just have to let ourselves feel crappy for a bit. Then eventually we have to put on pants like an adult or something, snap out of it and decide there is too much life to be lived and move on.

Let’s see if I can make a long story short… Since 2011 I have struggled with chronic tendinitis and sesamoiditis in both feet off and on. Though the right one has definitely the biggest punk.

Over the last year, and especially since hip surgery they have progressively gotten worse. Like, to the point where I can’t walk Bam for 20 minutes without each step becoming more painful. I have to take off my shoes and kick my feet up right when I get home.

In the morning, they are stiff and sore they feel like they are going to crack. After stretching and moving around they loosen up a bit, so I’m happy about that. Ha I am getting so old!!

Instead of writing a book, I’ll share a few highlights:

  • I have seen 4 podiatrists/foot & ankle surgeons over the years. One put me in a boot for 8 weeks last summer for no reason at all, which made the problem worse and also caused a circulatory complication. Kinda funny story about that I mailed his bill back to him with a very forward, yet firm explanation along with facts as to why I refused to pay it. He forgave the debt but stood his ground on his false diagnosis. Whatev.
  • I’m on my 3rd pair of custom orthotics and not even sure if they’re working. That dang money tree can spontaneously appear any day now.
  • 2 physical therapists have been my only source of relief and hope. Even if it doesn’t last long.
  • I haven’t ran consistently in over 2 years because of this & of course the whole hip thing.
  • I miss running so freaking hard.
  • I only wear Altras with high cushion and extra wide toe box. Even though my feet still hurt, these shoes are amazing. I can’t even imagine how worse I’d feel without them.
  • I don’t wear flip flops or heels or walk barefoot or anything fun like that.
  • Recently I stopped seeing my PT. While the treatment worked, it didn’t last long and I was right back in his office within a week. We both agreed it would be wise to get another opinion.
  • I am currently strength training like a champ, to rebuild the hip/quad/hamstrings because one day I WILL be able to walk & run pain free. I have no doubt.
  • Except if you asked me about an hour ago. I was swearing I’d eventually end up in a wheelchair and Mike would “accidently” push me down some stairs into the ocean and sharks would eat me alive. {I hope you are seeing our demented sense of humor here.} :)
  • I have an appointment with a specialist in a couple weeks. My PT recommended her. She is supposed to be the best around. My PT most certainly did not disappoint on the hip surgeon, so I am cautiously optimistic!!

I think that’s about it…

So for this evening, I’m gonna just chill in my comfy sweatpants, watch Netflix and promise myself tomorrow I will get my life together.

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Onward & upward.

Anyone else have a chronic injury punk? If so, please share. If not, you are one lucky duck!

Please tell me you’re a Gilmore Girls fan!

Anybody have a couple spare feet in a size 7 just laying around? I don’t even care if they’re old. They just need to work.

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Vacation part 2: Long Beach & Catalina Island

Ahhhh Long Beach, I love you!!

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We’d been to Long Beach back in 2008 and I remembered that I loved it, so I was stoked to go back. Only this time I loved it even more!!

We spent about 3 days wandering around The Pike. We rented beach cruisers and headed out to the lighthouse. I shot a lot of GoPro video, so when I find time, I’ll finish the vacay video up and share it with you guys. It was absolutely incredible.

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We stayed 2 nights on the Queen Mary, enjoyed supper one evening at Chelsea Chowder House which was fantastic! We could tell the Chef is very passionate.

Lots of folks have asked us if staying on the QM was worth it and I’d say go for one night. It was fun walking around, touring the ship and taking in the rich history but looking back, I would have spent an extra night on Catalina Island. Just my 2 cents fo free though.

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Now, Catalina Island has my heart!!!!!

Not the boat ride there though. Gurrrr. I can get a little motion sickness in the car, so I took a “less drowsy” Dramamine and it wiped me out for the entire day. But I made the best of it and made sure to enjoy the time we had.

On our way to the freaking Catalina Wine Mixer sponsored by Prestige Worldwide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #boatsandhoes

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We heard people say one night is enough, but do not listen to those people. They lie.

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There aren’t very many cars on the island, mostly golf carts and all stop signs. At least I didn’t see a stoplight. So we rented a golf cart for an hour and did the self guided tour. That was one of the best decisions ever!

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After taking a nap at the hotel, which I NEVER do ha, we explored the town on foot.

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And apparently practiced for my new career…

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Keep it real Pony Boy.

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Share your summer vacation!! 

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Road Trip to SoCal Part 1; Manhattan, Redondo Beach & Universal Studios

Well, since I renewed the SCB domain, guess I should actually blog. Right!?

I hope you guys are doing well and enjoying the summer. We’re just getting back in the groove of things after a week in SoCal. It was a very special trip for us for reasons I’ll reserve from the blog, but I want to really write this post for Mike & I down the road and to share with you guys.

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We drove down to Manhattan Beach on a Friday, walked around The Strand, which is a long paved trail next to the beach. So rad! Then we went to a brewery for dinner and walked some more. I really enjoyed taking in the SoCal beach lyfe. Chicks in bikinis riding beach cruisers to dinner from the beach, flip flops with sand caked on them, local pups chilling outside restaurants waiting for their owners and beautiful, WARM sunrises & sunsets. Ahhhh those were so dang rad. Back in Monterey we have an Indian Summer so there’s usually a lot of fog in the morning & evenings during the summer so catching one is hit or miss.

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The next morning we met up with Emily & her ma for a walk along The Strand again. It never gets old!

We hung out the whole day. She showed us around her hood, favorite surf shop, brewery (seeing a trend?), where to get the best iced coffee in town and then to her house to chill out for a bit.

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While she made banana bread, we jacked her longboard and tried not to face plant or break any hips. Thankfully our mission was a success.

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We ended the evening with a picnic at the park watching the sunset. Gosh it was such an awesome day with fantastic peeps.

I’ll skip over how we didn’t book a hotel room in LA and went from Beverly Hills to staying at a hotel in Bakersfield and go straight to Universal Studios.

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We’d been a few times before, but it’s always fun to check out the latest stuff. We watched a mini Shrek in 4D movie clip which was really cool. They gave us 3D glasses and our seats moved with some of the scenes so it kind feels like you’re inside the movie.

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We went on a Sunday in the middle of summer so you can guess it was packed. If you go, I highly recommend kicking out the extra bucks for the front of the line pass. They are limited each day, so make sure you snag one early. Our cheap butts suffered through long lines, but it was still a good time.

The backlot tour was probably my second fav, next to Shrek.

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This is where they filmed some of the scenes from Back To The Future. Neat-o.

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Set from The Grinch.

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I forget which movie this set was from, but it’s a plane crash site.

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Not sure if I told you guys, but I freaking LOVE Dispicable Me, so of course I had to be a goofball and snap a pic with Gru.

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Well crap, thought I could fit the whole trip into one post, but it’s getting kinda long. I’ll do another post with the rest of the trip which includes Catalina Island(!)

Any other Dispicable Me fans?

Where did you vacation at this summer?  Or did anyone do a staycation? 

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Editing GoPro images with Snapseed & MIX apps

I’m in love with the GoPro and I don’t care who knows it. <- Said in The Elf voice realllllly loud.

A few months ago Mike & I bought a GoPro Hero 4 Silver partly as an anniversary gift to ourselves and partly to use on our upcoming road trip.

At first I wasn’t exactly sure if I liked it. I mean, my Samsung S5 takes some pretty rad pictures and video.

Then I searched Google and YouTube for tips & tricks and to see how other folks are using their GoPro. Holy smokes between that, and trying it out underwater, was all I needed to fall in love with this pocket size device.

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Then I read about a couple photo editing apps, which are now my current favorite photo editing apps;

Snapseed and MIX.

These apps can be used with any photo, not just GoPro, so literally anyone can turn a ho hum “good” photo to bright colorful life, full of texture and depth. #TWSS

Here is an unedited picture the GoPro snapped of Bam at the beach on a foggy evening.

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I used the HDR filter in Snapseed to add some color and depth. Then used the SKY filter in MIX to add a bit more color in the background. To get even more color & depth you can also layer a Instagram filter at the end. Whatever makes YOU happy.

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Same thing for these below.

Before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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Easy peasy, right?

Of course the original photo is just fine too. But these days, I’m digging lots of color and depth. To each their own.

The settings in MIX are highly customizable. You can use their filters or create your own and save it. Plus both apps are FREE. Like 5 finger discount free. Yah.

Also in case you’re interested, to get some schweet action shots, I use the time lapse setting on the GoPro and set it to snap a picture every half second.

Now, I’m off to get a bigger SD card for this dang GoPro. The obsession continues…

What are your current favorite photo editing apps?

GoPro users, any neat-o tips?

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Didn’t know how much I needed to hear that

Sometimes you need to have a conversation with someone who is just so, uplifting.

Today I was frustrated and a bit grumpy about a bunch of things. Nothing big, just a bunch of small, first world problems that added up and were making me unhappy. Dang it, I was having a really awesome week and it really bummed me out to feel this way. Which of course made things worse. Figures, right? Ha!

In the middle of all this, I had a conversation with a friend who listened to me. Let me vent, didn’t try to come up with a solution right away. He just listened as I went on and on about all these little insignificant things that were bugging me.

When I was done rambling, his words were nothing groundbreaking, but so perfect. He told me that I was allowing things & people to get to me. I’m in control over how I feel and I have the ability change it.

I already knew this, but didn’t realize how much I needed to hear those words.

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He reminded me that this feeling is completely normal and will pass.

Then somehow our conversation transitioned to future dreams. He looks forward to the day he gets to sit down over coffee at 6am with a few close business partners who share the same passions and collaborate. They will get to utilize their creativity, plan and dream really freaking big. Even with a new set of problems and challenges, the freedom that comes with it will be so awesome and rewarding.

His passion is so inspiring. Our 10 minute conversation was a great reminder to surround ourselves with those who share the same passions and let the positive energy and excitement feed off one another.

It also allowed me to put things back into perspective. Sometimes I allow myself to get sucked into the politics & tit for tat games of an environment without even realizing it. I have mad respect for folks who don’t sugarcoat things and aren’t afraid to call me out.

Dream really freaking BIG friends. So big, it scares the crap out of you.

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Happiness is the highest level of success

Lately I’ve been thinking about living up to my potential versus being happy right where I’m at. Do I really have to choose between the two? Should I want to take on more at the cost of happiness because that’s what we’re supposed to do?

I absolutely love my job. There is no other job or position I’d rather do than what I’m doing right now. If I retire as a bartender at Pebble Beach, that would be just fine with me. Things may change some day, but for now, that’s what I feel.

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With that said, recently I’ve been feeling like I’m not living up to my potential. It’s so funny and weird because my job is fulfilling and makes me happy. I get to bartend at a prestigious golf course, help provide an experience of a lifetime, and make folks from all over the world happy. Meeting celebs & high profile peeps is a fun perk too. Well, when I actually recognize them. Ha!

I am passionate about my job. I truly want every single guest I come in contact with to have an exceptional experience. I have a system down. From driving the course backwards, being a chameleon to blend in with different personalities, how to mix drinks and keep the pace of play moving, to the three questions I ask almost everyone. Just in case you’re wondering they are:

1) How’s your game?

2) Where are you from?

3) Is this your first time playing Pebble?

I will also remind them to watch out for the birds, because they work for me. Those punks steal food, wallets, keys, even a Rolex watch once which is a legend around the course, to whatever they can get their beaks around. They even know how to open zippers. Seriously, somewhere in  birdland, a bird  has a nest full of really cool stuff. And I wanna be his friend.

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Pic: 7th hole

Inevitably the short conversation leads to a chuckle and some good luck wishes for and exceptional experience playing 7. (Our signature hole that is probably on a gazillion bucket lists)

As you can see, I love what I do. I often drive the course and think, wow, they pay me to come here and do this. #mindblown But let’s circle back to the potential side of how I’m feeling lately.

After doing some soul searching aka talking to Mike about it over coffee, the truth is, I am not living up to my potential and I’m not being challenged.

I LOVE a good challenge and there is still some work to do and things to perfect, but overall I feel like things are kinda stagnant lately. I have the capability to grow within the company. I just don’t have the desire to. I’m happy, so why not leave well enough alone. Ya feel me? And now the 23 year old Jacqueline is cringing. Ha!

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It’s ingrained in us to work hard, do more, get a college education, climb the ladder, strive for more, keep going, etc. Those are all good and awesome, but you know what? I truly believe that happiness is far more important than meeting or exceeding your potential. I mean, we are exchanging minutes of our lives at a job. Take a minute and let that sink in.

It’s a huge deal.

I’m not willing to exchange happiness for a prestigious title behind my name. Having bartender or beer chick is fine by me. Maybe this theory isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. And I’m pretty dang content with it.

Please feel free to share your thoughts!!

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Why I haven’t been blogging

A couple of you have reached out and asked why I left blogland.

Thank you for reaching out, but you do realize, I’m really not that cool, right?

In all realness, I haven’t been blogging because….. well….I just don’t feel like it. I don’t have some big crazy reason. I’ve just been enjoying the extra time in the morning with my boys, working on the golf course, visiting friends & family, drinking way too much coffee (yes, still), taking care of Mike which really means harassing him, and farting around the beach.

I don’t have any future plans for the blog…I haven’t given it much thought. But for now, I’ll bring you up to date on a few things going on ’round here. How does that sound?

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If we were having a wine date here are some things I’d share with you:

  • What is new and exciting for you? Any fun summer vacation plans?
  • Bam caught a snake while hiking with Mike. He’s fine, but the snake was not.
  • He still chews his butt and sits by the kitchen drawer around 5pm every evening for a bone. I know, exciting stuff. Oh and we’re talking about Bam, not Mike.
  • Pretty sure my half marathon running days are over, so I switched my focus to cycling and trying other sports. There are a ton out there and it’s been fun exploring new to me stuff.
  • I am stoked to start taking surfing lessons! Hopefully I follow through since I just decided this yesterday. Ha!
  • Can the 2016 Presidential election be over already? I’m over it. Especially Hillary.
  • Current favorite photo editing apps are Snapseed & Mix. If you dig editing pics, get these!
  • The GoPro is RAD. It’s been a blast taking pics & video especially underwater. The quality this tiny piece of technology puts out is incredible. If you’ve been thinking about getting one DO IT. All the cool kids are.
  • We finally figured out the whole migraine thing. It’s actually fibromyalgia.
  • The grandma hip is doing fantastic! Still a little sore/tight but dang near to my new normal. I am feeling so blessed and thankful.

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  •  I signed up for my favorite race of all, the Mermaid duathlon!! They also have a tri if you’re brave enough to do the open water swim in the Pacific. If that’s you, I bow down.
  • I just started training this week. If anyone would like to join me, use coupon code GOSCB10 and let me know so I can harass you.
  • My goal is to finish strong. No time goals, I just want to be fit and strong. Boom!

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  • The ole paws still do not want to cooperate which is the big reason I feel like the half mary ship has sailed. Some days they feel good, others they are punks. Altra shoes have been a huge help. I may have ordered another pair for work. Dear Lord, please save me from myself.
  • Other than that, life is so dang good. If it gets any better, Morgan Freeman is gonna have to narrate it.

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 Please tell me how you are doing? Seriously, I really wanna know!

If you could no longer run long distances, what sport(s) would you try?

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Refuge

I kinda sorta figured out how to use the GoPro Studio to edit our vacation video clips. It took longer than I’d like to admit and it’s verrrrrrrry amature, but we are happy to finally be able to see our vacation clips in one video. Then us nerds used Chromecast to watch it on the tv. There is no hope for hoodlums like us.

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If you are interested in making fun of my mad editing skillz, have at it.

After the nerdfest ended, we got out of the house for a bit. I wanted coffee and when we got to Starbucks I could see sunny blue skies, so we went for a drive to Carmel Valley. PS if you don’t sprinkle the vanilla powder on your coffee, I feel sorry for your life decisions. #justsayin’

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Have I ever told you guys about “June gloom”? If not, summertime on the Monterey Peninsula is our winter. It’s basically foggy & cool (50’s & 60’s) from June – August. Then Indian Summer kicks in sometime in September, tourists season dies down and it’s just the best time of year to come visit. Well, it’s kinda always a good time to visit, but you know.

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It has been foggy since we got back from vacation, which is fine and all, but this girl is solar powered. As we were driving through Carmel Valley which was sunny & 70(!), I remembered I had a gift certificate to Refuge! I have never been, it’s been on my bucket list forevah and I had the afternoon free. The stars have aligned!

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Refuge is a relaxation spa that has a eucalyptus steam room, dry sauna and several outdoor pools at varying temps.

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They have the most amazing rules ever: no appointments, no talking, no cell phones, no cameras, no kids, no noise, no yelling at Bam to stop chewing his butt. I may have added my own rule in there…

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There are several pools & spas at different temps surrounded by Gods country. The idea is to warm up in the sauna or steam room for a few minutes, then dip into either a spa with temps of an icy cold river or of the Pacific Ocean, relax in a warm or hot spa then relax in cozy chairs by the fire or zero gravity chairs in the sun room. Repeat 3-4 times or do whatever you’d like.

I have a really hard time chilling out. I love being active all the time, it’s tough to slow down, but the entire time I was there and when I left Refuge, I was totally relaxed. The only thing that would have made my experience even better is a glass of wine.

How cool would it be to to plan a long hike at Garland Ranch then spend the afternoon here? It would be the ultimate girls day out!

Who’s in?

Do you have a girls day or night out? What do you do?

If you have a GoPro, tips are very much welcomed!

**This post was not sponsored, I just wanted to share a rad place with those of you who live here or are planning to travel through. Stop in, then feel free to send me love notes and coffee.**

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12 post injury confidence building tips

As long as I stay out of my own way, everything will be just fine.

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Since hip surgery back in December, I lost my desire to run. Even while hobbling around like a grandma a few days post op, I never doubted I’d be able to run again, but I never expected to finally be able to, and not actually want to. It’s just so weird to feel this way.

Many times while on vacation a couple weeks ago, I told Mike how great it felt to hike injury + pain free for the first time in many months. How I just wanted to transition to hiking and not run any more. Happy for me, yet beside himself, he said “you want to run, you are just lacking confidence. You’re afraid of getting injured again.”

Ouch, that kinda stung. Dang it, why does he have to be right?

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I hear confidence building post injury is pretty gnarly to overcome. Actually being perpetually injured, I know all about this. And it sucks. It takes so much patience and will to get back into doing what we truly love. But so, SO worth it.

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Just like running, building confidence is more mental than physical. I don’t have all the answers, but I can share some things that have helped me get back to something I hold close to my heart and am so passionate about.

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 12 post injury confidence building tips:

  • Adjust your goals. Maybe that half marathon feels overwhelming, so start training for a 5K and work your way up from there.
  • Look into doing a triathlon or duathlon so crosstraining will feel more natural instead of something you have to do. I recently signed up for a duathlon woot woot!
  • Try a new sport. For me, it was pool running and it’s something I still do and love.
  • Cross train. Cross train. Cross train.
  • Take a new fitness class. I got into spin class after hip surgery and loved it.
  • Focus on things you CAN do.
  • Slowly ease back into running. I started with run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes for 30 minutes.
  • When you can run again, my physical therapist has me running on a dirt trail. It’s so much easier on your joints & feet.
  • Take your pup with you. Watching Bam take the lead and occasionally look back to make sure I’m keeping up makes me smile and forget about the fact that I’m sucking air during a slog (slow jog) at sea level.
  • Be consistent. You will slowly build confidence each time you run. Just be smart and don’t overdo it.
  • Stay out of your own way. Don’t allow your mind to take over. Let your body guide your progress.
  • Pick up some new workout gear!! Pieces you love, feel good and make you want to work out!

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PUMA gear I’m rocking in case you need some ideas:

ST Watch Me Leave T-Shirt Lightweight, breathable with a low back so rock your cute, strappy sports bra.

Clash Long Tight <-My absolute fav! Super comfy, catchy pattern & colors. Perfect for running, cross training and basically living it them.

Pulse XT  Super comfortable, lightweight, yet supportive. I wouldn’t recommend these for running, but they would be perfect for cross training & walking.

Shout out to PUMA for designing gear that runs true to size!

And just in case you need a little more encouragement to take reclaim your passion, here’s a little perspective.

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People say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Truth is you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it. – Unknown

Be thankful for things you have right now friends. <3

We learn so much from others, so please add your tips in the comments!!

Anyone else rocking PUMA gear? If so, what are your favs?

Runners, what is your biggest challenge right now? 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.

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I’m a little hesitant to share this with you guys…

Since we got home from vacation, I’ve found it difficult to transition back into the slower pace of life. We were up in the 5am hour, car fueled up with coffee in hand before 7am every day, ready for our next adventure. We didn’t book any hotels, so there were no plans, no time or mileage constraints. We just did whatever we felt like, which turned out to be a lot more than we both thought. It was seriously the best trip ever.

Not wanting the feeling of vacation to end, I’ve been hiking almost every day since we got back. Bam is loving it as well.

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Sunday we hiked Pinnacles National Park with some friends. Mike & I didn’t expect it to be so intense (for us), but the views were amazing. Looking at the trail map, we did a strenuous trail. It was more of a mix of rock climbing on steep, narrow ledges. Our friends picked it and we are pretty sure they were trying to kill us, but we lived another day in our little lives.

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Here is the data from that hike/rock climb according to my Garmin Vivoactive:

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If I wear my backpack, that means I’m still on vacation…right? 😉

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I’m a little hesitant to share this with you guys, but I have completely converted to Altra Running shoes. As a long time Mizuno lover (with much love for them to this day), my podiatrist suggested I to try something new after being injured off & on for so long. His first suggestion was Hoka’s and after a few days of wearing them, they were not comfortable. The ankle came up too high and they didn’t fit just right for me. After hearing so much about Altras, and picking Heathers brain about them, I decided to give them a try.

HUGE difference. They are unlike any other shoe I’ve ever worn. Super cushiony with support and I feel like I could walk forever.

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As a last resort, I had custom orthotics made and between the two, my feet haven’t felt this good in a very LONG time. I averaged 9 miles of walking, 4 days in a row in Vegas and even bought another pair while we were there. We also hiked a ton on vacation and I swear I couldn’t have sustained that level of activity without them.

I was a little worried how my feet would do transitioning to zero drop shoes, but other than sore achilles a couple times after running, I have done really well. I emailed Altra about it and they suggested I alternate shoes while transitioning. Worked like a charm.

In case you are wondering, I have the Torin 1.5 and Olympus.

**Altra Running did not sponsor this post. I bought both pairs with my own, hard earned scrilla. I simply love their product and wanted to share it with you.**

Have you tried Hoka or Altra brand shoes?

If so, what do you think? Do you have a summer vacation planned?

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