Gearing Up for Hiking Season

by Tiffany in Enjoying Nature

Woman Hiking in the Fall

These days I am pretty much all about CrossFit but I have not forgotten my other “love”. Hiking. I got an email reminder over the weekend that my city’s annual Fall hiking series kicks off in late August and I am psyched. You basically take a guided or unguided hike through 10 of our 16 Metro parks. It is a great way to spend every Saturday for ten weeks…with your community, enjoying the changing of the leaves. I look forward to it each year. You get free refreshments after each hike and if you do enough of them you get prizes too. It is just another thing I love about Columbus, OH and just when that the Fall fun ends they start up their winter hiking series and you get to trek through snow.

I always make time for these annual hikes. Hey, it’s exercise and if you have a sedentary job (like I do) then it is important to keep moving. Walking is good. Hiking is better. It is good for your body and heart because it is interval training with periods of heavier effort followed by plateaus and resting points along the way. It’s good for you mentally too. There have been some studies over the years that have shown cognitive benefits of interaction with nature via hiking and walking. It can help you focus and ultimately be more productive. I do some of my best thinking on hikes.

As with most fitness gear I like to buy high quality. I may spend more initially but quality items last and I end up buying less and spending less in the long run. Sure I might spend $200 on a good pair of shoes but they still look brand new after two years when a pair from a big box store would have fallen apart after one season and they would have fit so badly I would have blisters. Go high quality the first go round and save your feet…unless of course you also need that pair of barefoot hiking shoes for low mileage hikes. Can’t go wrong with a few different choices, or so says this shoe whore. ;) My hubby used to give me hard time about how much I would spend on athletic gear but now that he is equally involved in these pursuits he has quickly come around to my way of thinking.

We also both love to shop at The Clymb for this reason. They carry the bands and gear we love at hugely discounted prices, try these out. We have gotten shoes, compression clothing, and thermal fitness clothing for amazingly low prices. It’s hard enough to stomach the fact that you NEED a pair of compression socks but paying $60 for those socks (a single pair) can leave you feeling faint. The Clymb though often has these socks for 50% off or more. Shoes go for equally amazing prices. The aforementioned pair of $260 shoes… knock those down to $130. My husband can attest to this. He and his workout buddies are always gabbing about some amazing deal one of them spotted on this site. I may have created a monster but a well-dressed one nonetheless.


I Resolve to Make 2013 Another Great Year

by Tiffany in Tidbits


I thought today would be a fitting day to not only get off my duff and come back to work/blogging after a ten day vacation but also to write up a post with my New Year’s goals for 2013. If you recall I had three goals or resolutions for 2012 with the main one forming a sort of theme… HAVE MORE FUN!!! Well I knocked that resolution out of the park.

Here is a picture of me thoroughly enjoying 2012…

Okay so that isn’t actually me that picture kinda sums it up though.

I took three trips with girlfriends (3-5 days each) that involved lots of parties and special events. One of those was to the Big Apple.  I had much fun indeed and came home with lots of free tech and other products. I met up with local bloggers and friends for lunch/brunch dates throughout the year. I got on a zipline with my husband, I took the kids to the beach, we did our annual winter hikes, I went on a slightly terrifying four-wheeling adventure, I attended several local blogger events including a tour of a hospital, a couple movie premiers, and a couple trips to the science museum. We actually just saw the exhibit with the dead bodies on display this month…that was super interesting! I went to the Arnold Sports Festival with hubby and The Country Living Fair with my mom. I got to borrow several cars for an extended test drive this year, went out for regular date nights, and I discovered a deep and abiding love for CrossFit. I have had a blast!

So goal #1 down. How did I do with  the other two. Not so well.

#2 was to make more money and I made about the same but because of all the aforementioned fun it feels like way less. The fun goal, our fitness pursuits, and our paleo diet all meant we started spending more.

#3 was to get more organized and that was mostly a failure. I did set up an organization infrastructure but I don’t use it that often.

So what does that mean for this year??? Well, if at first you don’t succeed…

My top goal for this year is to…

Make More Money

I want to keep the fun going and have already had to slow my roll to some extent and that just won’t do so this goal needs to be tackled again and put at the top. I also think we will be hit with some bigger expenses this year because our car may be on it’s last wheel, our son will have some medical bills/procedures due to a previously un-diagnosed birth defect, we want to get all three of our kids in CrossFit, and I have more “fun goals” for this year (see below).  I DO plan to cut costs where I can but in general I want to tackle this issue with an income increase.

Ways to cut costs would include joining my hubby on his cell contract when mine ends in (March), dropping my other gym membership when my two year contract expires (also in March), and renegotiating our cable when our current deal ends. Other than that I can’t cut much. Our most major expense is food. Paleo isn’t cheap but I am not willing to buy lower quality food. We already buy second hand clothing and furnishings. We don’t have high cost of living expenses (rent, utilities) and we save on entertainment by bundling services and buying prepaid/discount cards for things like Xbox Live memberships. We could do without our NetFlix sure but we don’t want to and as pointed out in one of my fave books All The Money in The World, pinching pennies like that can ultimately deflate you in your goals.

I blogged about how I plan to make more money with my business here. My hubby will also no doubt work overtime when he can.

Goal #2 is to

Have More Fun As a Family

Now that I feel recharged after a year of focusing on my own self care and fun I want to focus on bringing my family into the mix as well. It’s not that we didn’t have fun together in 2012 but it was not my focus. With my youngest finally entering Kindergarten I felt it was a good year to rediscover my own interests and pursuits and it was needed badly. It is rather like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first in the airplane and THEN putting a mask on your child. I had to take care of me first and I do very much feel like “Tiffany” again and not just “Mom”.

In 2013 though I plan to make sure my family is included in more of my adventures. I will likely forgo attending any professional conferences this year so that we can do something together instead. Though I must admit I already have an out of town press event scheduled in a just a couple days that will take me away from them. Oops! I want to rent a yurt in a state park, take a ferry across Lake Erie, see more children’s movies, go camping, and in general do a bit more traveling with my kiddos this year. To that end I already have some indoor water park passes purchased for January/February.

Also, as mentioned, I want to get a CrossFit membership for all three of our kids (ranging from $60 to $100 monthly, depending on age). Spending over $400 on gym memberships will be a stretch but working out together will be lots of fun!!

Goal #3 is to

Make My Husband/Marriage a Priority

I have a great marriage and it’s not like I am neglecting the man or anything but this year marks our 15 year wedding anniversary and over 20 years together. The man deserves to be one of my goals this year! Plus its not really about time so much as it is about making him feel loved and special more often. We already spend lots of time together. We go to the box together for CrossFit 5-7 days a week. I kick his behind in cardio/chipper based WODs and he kicks my butt on the weighted ones. We spend our afternoons together while the kids are at school doing everything from grocery shopping to watching DVRed episodes of our favorite shows. I often tell this man how much I love and adore him but I need to make some grander gestures and just give it that extra attention. Specifically this means more random acts of love expression, surprise gifts, hand written notes, packing his work meals for him, arranging more date nights and date weekends (sans children), and finding new ways to show this man I am as crazy about him now as I was when I was 16. If we can afford to go away together for our anniversary in August I will be ecstatic.

Goal #4 is to

Do More Philanthropic Work

This means blogging more about things along these lines and I will as a member of the Global Team of 200 but also getting involved more where I can personally. I want to volunteer often and find some charitable causes important to me and really throw some energy and resources in that direction. I would also like to get my kids involved as much as I can.

I think these four goals are more than enough to work on for 2013. As for organization…well on some level I will have to get better with that to accomplish the other three. Perhaps this year I can really rock goal #1 and have enough money to pay someone to organize for me. We shall see!

I also plan to post separately with some green goals…

What are your goals/resolutions for the New Year?

2nd photo: photo source


I am Thankful

by Tiffany in Tidbits


It is amazing how often we can let life’s little problems blind us to all the wonderful things we have. In general I am a pretty thankful and optimist in my thinking about life but I think everyone can be guilty of getting caught up in all the things that stress us and cause anxiety and we forget to relish in the all the things that are good and right. On the eve of Thanksgiving I write out my annual list of all the things I am most grateful for this year…

I am THANKFUL to be 6 years cancer free.

I am THANKFUL for my family. It was a rough year this last one, with illness in the extended family but things are looking up.

I am THANKFUL for my husband…15 years married and 20 years together as of 2013. I love him more than ever.

I am THANKFUL that our journey with autism is not the struggle it has been in years past.

I am THANKFUL for the paleo diet. It has shown me a way to thrive like nothing else I have experienced.

I am THANKFUL for CrossFit. It has changed my life and given me a something really fun to look forward to each morning.

I am THANKFUL for my online friends, eco warriors, and green sisterhood and for getting to meet so many of these wonderful ladies this year IRL.

I am THANKFUL I was able to travel several times this year and have so many great experiences with friends old and new.

I am THANKFUL that we have good jobs and we do not struggle financially.

I am THANKFUL that I mostly love what I do for a living.

I am THANKFUL for the readers of this blog. You really are wonderful.

Have a joyous Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

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Fitness Friday – Exercising in Nature

by Tiffany in Fitness

This week has been completely amazing. So very invigorating and enjoyable. In addition to making it to five CrossFit classes this week I also managed to drop some pounds. You see I put on a pair of my favorite pants a little over a week ago and they fit just a bit to snug for my taste. I hopped on the scale and saw that I had gained 12 pounds over 2.5 months. I traveled quite a bit in the tail end of summer with lots of parties and social stuff going on. I was in New York yo! I had to eat bagels and cheesecake. Early fall was spent at festivals (with festival food) and in the kitchen baking treats. I was only eating 50-60% paleo. So yeah I gained some weight.  I am already very encouraged though. I feel great being back to my happy 90% paleo place and I lost 3 pounds in the first week. Booyah!

My CrossFit box is in the process of moving to a new location but ran into some last minute issues with the city. This left us unable to move into the new place as scheduled and we were not able to stay at the old place any longer. The owner wrangled us up a temporary home at a private residence with 3 wooded acres, a long winding driveway (perfect for running), and an 18 car garage that will hold us if it rains. Most of the workouts have been outside among the beautiful Fall trees and falling leaves. I have enjoyed every second of it. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Monday: Warmup was 5 minutes AMRAP 15 squats, 10 lunges, 5 pushups, 15 leg kicks, 10 arm circles, 5 spidey lunges. Skill was snatches with PVC bar. WOD: Buy in was 30 deadlifts w/fat bar (93 lbs). 2 rounds of 200 meter run with sandbag, 20 pulls on rower, 10 pullups, 20 shoot throughs on parallettes, 10 box jumps (20″), 20 GHD situps, and 10 rope pullups. Cash out was 20 hang cleans (73 lbs).

The deadlifts and hang cleans were done in the middle of the woods. So cool!

Tuesday: I felt a bit “off this day…almost like I was getting sick. So I picked way lighter weights than I would typically select and just muddled through. Warm up was 15 minutes AMRAP and teams of 3: 500 meter row, Squat PVC pass throughs while partner is rowing, front squats w/DBs while 2nd partner is rowing. Skill was overhead squats with PVC. WOD was 10 rounds of 10 unbroken thrusters and stiff leg deadlifts.

After this WOD I came home and took mass doses of fish oils and echinacea throughout the day. Felt all better by the next morning.

Wednesday: Warm up was 100 squat hang cleans w/medballs and 100 pushups. WOD was 100 GHD hip extensions, 100 ring rows, x3 200 meter runs with sandbag, 100 Kettlebell Swings, 100 medicine ball backwards toss (14 lb ball for all medball exercises).

Here I am coming back from one of my sandbag runs…

Thursday: Warm up: Buy in was 200 meter run with medball overhead (14 lbs) then 10 rounds of max L sit on bar, max L sit on rings, and max L sit on parallettes. Skill was 5 minutes hang cleans and squats cleans with medball. Buy out was another 200 meter run with medball OH. WOD was 200 meter walking KB overhead swings, 500 meter row, 30 GHD hip extensions, 20 bench presses (65 lbs), and 50 medball toss (16 lbs).

I blistered my hands pretty badly on this day so I bought a pair of gloves for future classes!

Friday: We did a crazy “Fran”kenstein WOD today. It was terrifying alright. Warm up was 100 spidey lunges, 100 crab walk steps, 100 side plank steps. Skill was overhead squat and thrusters form/practice. WOD was 100 meter run with barbell overhead and 21 overhead squats. Drop bar and run back for weights, farmer carry weights back to bar and then 15 statue of liberty situps with weights overhead. Load up bar with weights run back to do 9 toes to bar. Run back and forth from barbell to bar doing “Fran” 21-15-9 thrusters and pullups. 150 meter walking lunges with overhead barbell, 9 Burpee Box Jumps, Break down your barbell, 15 Sandbag Thrusters, 200 meter run, 21 MedBall tosses. I used a 42 lb barbell which is kinda light for me but hey it was a rough week and those lunges are killer!

I am looking forward to a restful weekend and at least one more week of workouts in this awesome temporary location.


Fitness Friday – Good To Be Back

by Tiffany in Fitness

It has been weeks since I posted an update about the Go Green Get Fit Challenge I started in early summer. All throughout August it seems my fitness goals just fell to the bottom of my priority list. I did some traveling, spent lots of time with extended family, and allowed way too many sleepover parties because I knew that once school started, it would just not be possible.

Now that school is in session I am back to making fitness a top priority again and it feels really, really good. Well, mentally at least. Physically I am kinda hurting this week!!

On Tuesday the warm up was a 200 meter run, pvc pass throughs, and stretches. WOD #1 EMOM 10 minutes – Two Turkish getups w/Kettlebell and sumo deadlift high pulls rest of minute – 20 pound bell. WOD #2 5 minutes perfect pushups and 6 minutes mobility. WOD #3 was 7 minutes AMRAP 5 stiff leg deadlifts, 10 regular deadlifts (52 pounds/kettlebells), and 5 burpees.

On Wednesday the warmup was 8 minute AMRAP 100 meter run, situps, squats, burpees, toe touch back bends, and lunges. WOD #1 5×20 Push Press (33 lb bar) and 5×20 ring rows. WOD #2 was 15 minute AMRAP 200 meter run w/sandbag, 200 meter row, 20 zercher squats w/sandbag, 20 burpees, 20 situps, 20 backsquats w/sandbag. 20 pound sandbag.

On Thursday the warm up was 2 rounds 100 meter high knees skip, 10 squats on wall, 2 minute wall figure 4, 2 minute banded shoulder stretch. Skill was 3×10 wall ball with 2 second pause at bottom (14 pound ball) and 5×30 second plank on rings. WOD was 200 meter run, 10 burpees, 200 meter row, 100 meter run, 20 burpees, 100 meter row, 50 box step ups (20 inch box) with medball and 50 medball slams.

On Friday , since my arms were so thrashed, I decided to swim and I attended a high impact water aerobics class at my other gym for one hour. I may do that again tomorrow.

One really FUN thing about CrossFit of late is that I am attending the classes with my husband and my 6 year old (photo above). The kiddo plays in the play room while the hubby and I sweat. It has been awesome to spend that time together each morning. :)

What about you? Now that school has started is it easier or harder to get some fitness time? For me it’s MUCH easier!

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* I’m one of 30 bloggers participating in the 12-week Go Green, Get FitChallenge as part of the EcoMom Alliance Sustain YourSelf™ Program presented by PlanetShoes.com.