You’re Boston

Truth be told, I really struggled with this blog post.  For one, I haven’t written for a while, and in light of the events Monday in Boston, a blog post now seems too predictable.  Too “bandwagon”.  But there’s something very special and important I realized Monday night after looking at the full class list for Chrissy’s Level I and noting and participating in Jason’s sold out Spinsanity class – we have built ourselves a community and as a community, we grieve, we grow, we fall, we stand… together.

We are Boston.

But why?

If you’ve ever dreamed of the finish line, you’re Boston.
If you’ve ever suffered and stressed and lost sleep over a ride, run, or the like, you’re Boston.
If you’ve ever been at the start or finish line, cheering, you’re Boston.
If you planned, had a setback then a comeback, you’re Boston.
If you’ve dreamed, you’re Boston.
If you’ve ever had that dream stolen, you’re Boston.
If you have family, you’re Boston.
If you’re doing life alone, you’re Boston.
If you ever did things because someone told you “you can’t”, you’re Boston.
If you ever did things because someone else couldn’t, you’re Boston.
If you ever did things because you can and you will, you’re Boston.

If you’ve fallen, but you get back up, you’re human.

In these “uncertain times” (very Presidential, I know), let us be allowed to grieve, mourn, process, the unspeakable acts that occurred April 15, 2013.  Let us grieve as fellow athletes.  Let us feel sympathy for the families.  Let us send kind and positive thoughts that the runners will run again, somehow.  Let us hope that some form of justice will be served.

And let us continue to look ahead.  We must stay strong.  We must stay together.  We must continue to live our life the best we can.

We are good.
We show respect.
We will overcome.

See you at the studio.

I Can’t vs. I Won’t

 

In life, we are faced with two different mindsets. I can’t and I won’t. What’s the difference and where do you fall? Do you say “I can’t talk right now” even though you had to talk to say that? Or do you say “I won’t be there tonight” and take responsibility for your absence?

I CAN’T.

I can’t implies that you’re helpless. That you’re letting something else steer your decisions instead of making them on your own.

If you walk by a box of doughnuts and tell yourself “I can’t have that”, you’re giving too much credit to the power of food. You’re saying that the doughnuts have a barb wire fence around them and sticking your hand in the box might mean five less fingers. You’re saying there is an incredible force field around the box of doughnuts, preventing you from reaching in and grabbing one. So, are you sure you can’t have one?

If you hit snooze on your alarm instead of getting up the first time and say “I can’t get out of bed”, you’re giving your bed the satisfaction of winning. “I can’t” signals your brain that it has been defeated, outsmarted, outwitted. It says “oh well, maybe next time”. I can’t puts the blame on something else. It removes the accountability and points the finger. I can’t is evil. I can’t shouldn’t be trusted. If you start a sentence with “I can’t”, stop yourself. Are you seriously that incapacitated that you cannot do something? Or do you really mean, you won’t?

In the studio, the instructors can see an I-Can’t look on a clients’ face from outer space. Remember, there’s a difference between giving up before you’ve given everything you have, and giving everything you have and coming up short. The more times you give everything you have, the less times you come up short. The less you tell yourself “I can’t”, the more you embrace the workout and instruction, the more you will succeed.

I WON’T.

I won’t says control. It says power. If you walk by a box of dark chocolate caramels with sea salt, and tell yourself “I won’t eat that”, you’re giving yourself the power. You’re making a choice. You’re putting in the effort and the work and you’re saying, “not now, I don’t think I need that, I’m not hungry, I’ll go get a class of water instead”. You’re acknowledging the fact that while it would be very easy to reach in that box of chocolates and stick one in your mouth before anyone can see and give you grief about it, you’re sparing yourself that awkward situation and walking by. In that situation, I won’t says pride. It says I win.

I won’t says ownership. It says accountability. If you won’t do something, you’re making the choice not to do it. If an instructor tells you to sprint, and you don’t, what is holding you back? Did you just tell yourself “you can’t”? Or did you own it and say “I won’t”? Did you take responsibility? Or will you put the work in? “I won’t” gives us something to work with. “I can’t” gives us nowhere to go.

I CAN’T. I WON’T. I CAN. I WILL.

More than I can’t or I won’t is the power of I can and I will. If you read back through the history of our blogs, you will notice that many of them talk about empowerment. A common theme is taking control of your life – of owning what you’ve created.

Stop putting the blame on something or someone else. If you don’t want to put the work in, then call a spade a spade, put your big girl pants on, and let’s do this. Let’s go through it. But don’t hide behind I can’t.

Remember, you can make decisions. You have control. This is your workout. This is your life. Stop acting like it’s anything less than everything you have.

We’ll see you at the studio.

Getting Back to the Basics

We get a lot of calls at the studio from beginners wondering where they should start. Either they’re physically fit, but have never tried spinning, or they’ve never been physically fit and have never tried spinning, or have had a not-so-stellar experience with spinning, but wanted to give it another go.

I tell everyone the same thing – start with Level I. Feel it out and see how your body responds to it. If the workout is tough, adjust the resistance. If the workout isn’t tough enough, adjust the resistance. Remember, the quality of the workout depends on you, your brain (head first, then body), your hand, and how far you’re willing to turn the knob.

In the same breath, we have a lot of advanced riders. Machines, beasts, clients willing to tear themselves apart for 60-90 minutes, people who just can’t get enough of the pain juice we’re serving. Our advanced level classes are hard… or “challenging”… as we say. But, let’s call a spade a spade – they’re hard. And regardless of how high your pain threshold is, doing sprints for 60 minutes at 80% of your max HR, or a 10 of your max perceived effort, is going to bring the bionics down to their knees. It’s our specialty. Why? Because in life, we steer away from challenge. We veer away from change. But at the studio, we force you to face it head on. You stare every difficult set straight in the eye and the only way through it is to do it. Get to the other side.

If you’re an advanced level rider, or cardiovascularly gifted, where do you go from Bootcamp? Where do you go from an Advanced Interval Spin? You’re already riding through hell, what’s left?

Go back to Level I.

I consider myself an advanced level cyclist. I spend my summers out on the road, and I’ve used the studio as a training tool to keep my fitness rolling through the winter. This worked out well for me last year – I shaved a huge chunk of time from my century rides, and when I sprint with the group, I can hang with the fast guys. See, this stuff works.

As General Manager, part of my job is riding through the classes, making sure the clients are having a good experience, making sure the instructors are providing the necessary tools and instruction that equals results, getting feedback from you all. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself in Level I classes, and have learned a really important lesson – sometimes, you have to get back to the basics. Level I classes are the perfect opportunity to work on form, dialing in on your efforts, and having longer, focused sets.

I spoke with Chrissy after a Level I class, and I told her that was “tough”. I was consistently riding at 70-90% of my max HR. I went into the class with the mindset that I was really going to push it, regardless of the instruction, because I wasn’t sure of the workout I’d get from a Level I class. But Chrissy reminded me that Level I doesn’t equal easy. A Level I class isn’t a cake walk. The biggest difference in our Level I classes versus a more advanced level spin class is the amount of transitioning you do from position to position, and the amount of time you spend sprinting and climbing. But that work you do in between, that’s where the good stuff is, and that’s where the bread and butter of your workout lies.

Let me be clear – if you’re curious about spinning and are looking for a good place to start, I will always recommend Level I. Just because I said it wasn’t easy for me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be easy for you. My hand found the red knob a lot, and I must’ve had a tick that night because it wouldn’t stop turning the dial.

But let’s remember, spinning is what you make of it. If you want easy, you can have easy in any class. If you want difficult, you can have that in any class, too. And if you want to get back to where it started, back to focusing on form, a strong core, keeping your hips back and not white-knuckling the handlebars, I recommend you get back to the basics.

Re-introduce yourself to Level I. See if Level I is interested in going on a date and see where the night takes you. At the end, you may find that you want to see Level I more often, maybe take it out to dinner once a week.

Just don’t blame us when you fall hard and elope in Vegas.

See you at the studio, athletes.

Friday Fluff

1. Small business support shoutout goes to Brothers K Coffehouse on 500 Main Street, conveniently located a hop, skip, and jump from the studio. Not only do they have superb coffee, exceptional service, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, but they’re super generous. Brothers K Coffeehouse hooked us up with two huge canisters of coffee for our party in January. This provided many smiles for clients at the party, and clients in the morning. If you’re pumped and excited about coffee (like I am), then check them out. My recommendation is a medium Skinny Extra Dirty Chai (chai latte, extra shot of espresso, skim milk).

2. New instructors, new classes, new space, new faces! Coming soon – yoga, zumba, pilates. We’ve got a high-intensity cardio class called Cardio Attack on the schedule for February 19th. We’ve got intense interval classes. We’ve got new instructors Erwin and Paul. We’ve got Train Like an Athlete, a 75 minute class that challenges both your cardio and anaerobic capacity. Revolution Spin will soon be your one stop health and fitness shop. Get psyched!

3. Does anyone else weep during the instrumental jam section of this song (3:45-4:43)? No? Oh. OK. I don’t either.

4. Getting an entire day right. From sun up to sun down. You just get things right. You get them done. You eat good eats, you are productive at work, you make it to your workout and you workout like a boss. Make more of those days happen. Make it a habit. Make it so that’s the only way you know how to go about your day.

5. Good reads. A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey by Chrissie Wellington, a [several time] Ironman Champion, tells her story of struggling with body image, of finding her place in the triathlon world, of trying to strike a balance between her passion for social issues and her love of the sport, this book will transform the way you see yourself (this book is a truly great read for anyone).

6. Bless those that created dark chocolate. 70% or better, and I’m an unstoppable tank when given a bar.

7. Client burn. Client change. Client challenge. Several of you have shared your accomplishments lately with exactly how hard you are working in class. This is AWESOME to hear. We love that you embrace the workout. We love that you put yourself through it, and come out on the other side smiling. That’s what it’s all about – how YOU feel after a workout. So, continue to share with us! We want to hear all about it.

8. What did the 0 say to the 8? “Hey, nice belt!” (uhthankyou)

9. It’s Friday, you guys. Work hard, and get through this day. We appreciate you and look forward to seeing you tonight, tomorrow, and everyday after.

10. We’ll see you at the studio.

Putting the Happy Back in Happy Birthday

I know a man who’s turning 80 soon. Instead of hiding from his birthday, he’s having his assistant create a slideshow, highlighting his 79 years on this good Earth. His son is “going over the presentation” that will be accompanying the slideshow, which will cover milestones in this man’s life, achievements, the role he’s played in shaping the industry he was born into. People are flying in for this party from all over the country. His birthday is on Monday and by gosh, he is having his party on Monday, too! Not on Saturday, not next Friday, but on Monday! The actual day of his birthday. Unheard of! How will people sleep in? How can you celebrate something and not schedule a rest day immediately after? If I’m up after 11pm, I better be able to sleep in the next day!

Who is this man that, instead of hiding from his birthday, decides to celebrate it? Who is this man that embraces his age, his life, his accomplishments? Who is this man that faces the future with dignity and pride?

I didn’t think much of it when I heard of the pomp-and-circumstance that was going into this party. No, actually, I did. I thought about it, and then rolled my eyes. I thought about how over the top it seemed, how self-indulgent. How many of you have decided to celebrate your birthday with a slideshow of your life?

….?

I didn’t think so.

But, the more I thought about it, and I mean, I really started thinking about it, the more I began to wonder if there’s a lesson in this. How many times have you dreaded your impending birthday (like, eleven months before)? How often have you regarded your birthday as one more year closer to the Grim? On your 30th birthday, did you die a little inside? On your 40th birthday, did you pull the shades shut? Wear black and mourn your youth?

Maybe we can all learn something from this man who’s celebrating his 80th year alive (and looking forward to many more). Maybe, instead of shunning our birthdays, we should be celebrating who we are, what we’ve done with our lives, and what we’ve yet to accomplish. Maybe you think you don’t deserve to because there’s not much in your life worth celebrating. Maybe you think, hey, it’s just another day. Maybe you think no one cares. But maybe, MAYBE, the glass is half full. Maybe our lives really aren’t so bad, and our birthdays should be made a bigger deal than we’ve given them credit for. Maybe it’s time we’re less hard on ourselves, more prone to happiness, more apt to find the good in things instead of searching for every negative outcome that is most certainly present in ANY situation.

Maybe.

If we’re this down and out now, how will 80 feel? If we’re this far removed from what we want, who we are, and who we’re meant to be, it’s time for a change. If you’re not doing what you want to do, and the path to get there isn’t clear, then take stock. Figure out what you really want out of life. Figure out HOW to get here. Have an outlet. MOVE. Don’t stop moving. Don’t stay sedentary. Don’t stop planning, and for the love of everything in this world, don’t stop dreaming.

You are worth the celebrations. You are worth 47 balloons, and a cake full of candles. You are worth the trip you haven’t taken yet, your unused vacation days, and that new pair of shoes. You are worth it.

Get the happy back in happy birthdays, athletes.

We’ll see you at the studio.

You’re Different

Sometimes, blog ideas have been lingering in my head for years. Sometimes, I read an article or listen to the news and have an opinion on a pressing, hot-button issue that is relevant in today’s world. But lately, more often than not, I find that the inspiration for the blog comes when I’m spinning in class, right along with our clients.

If you were in Adam’s Spin & Strength last night, you know it was brutal. Adam, best known for his climbing drills in class, was really hammering away at us because a.) he was covering for Jason and as many of you know, Jason might as well be BE a hammer, and b.) you only have 35 minutes to spin in a Spin & Strength class before you get off the bike and work on conditioning, so every one of those minutes means something.

We’re approaching the end of the spinning portion of class, we’re at the last song which is the second song in a two song climb, the lights are low, and it’s amazingly balmy in the studio considering how freakishly frigid it was outside. We have approximately two minutes left. The tension is high and we’re climbing at a higher than normal tempo (probably maintaining somewhere between 65-70 rpms with high resistance). My legs are screaming. I can feel the burnout happening. The acid is flooding my legs, literally flooding them. And then Adam says something, and it’s amazing you can comprehend anything at all when you are fighting so hard to maintain your speed, your power, but he says, “you’re different, and it has nothing to do with physical ability, it has to do with mental toughness”.

Boom. Just like that.

You’re different.

The majority of us have probably been told this before for whatever reason. For me, it’s because I’m incredibly detail-oriented, I remember things vividly, I care, I push, I suffer, I cry without hesitation during those montages before holiday football games (you know what I’m talking about). That makes me different to a lot of people.

But when Adam said that last night, and I suffered through the last two minutes of class (the spin portion anyway, the conditioning work was another 20 minutes of suffer), I realized that’s what makes this studio and our clients so gosh darn special. You’re different. You push. You don’t quit. You are constantly changing, and engaging, and ready to fight. The more you attend our classes, the more you respect and trust the instructors, the less apt you are to fight against their instruction, and instead take what they say as law for 60-90 minutes with the promise that you will come out on the other side proud. Different.

You come to class, and our instructors remember you, they remember that song you said you liked or the burpee you said you didn’t. Our instructors remember your ability (both your perceived ability and your actual ability as we see it). Our instructors are tailoring their workouts to you. They’re walking around the room, they’re looking you in the eye, they’re telling you to go harder, to break past your mental limit, because you can and they know you can. That’s what makes US different.

We’re not a big box gym. We’re not prepping your post-workout smoothies. We don’t have a lap pool or a sauna (although, that can be debated… have you been inside our spin studio after class?) But we’re different. And we care about what we do, who’s doing it, and how they’re doing it. And we care about how we, as a collective community, can be better. Even more different.

Embrace your differences.

We’ll see you at the studio.

Courage to Confidence

Anytime a new client joins our studio and attends their first class with us, we understand it takes a certain amount of courage to make the decision. Whether that client has been active their entire life, or maybe their first class with us is their first step towards a new life, it takes courage.

The courage to make the decision leads to the confidence to act. To get in the car, or get on the train or ride your bike, and actually make the journey to the studio. To endure 60 to 90 minutes of a routine crafted by our instructors, dedicated to making you feel as confident as you want to be. The confidence to look yourself in the mirror afterwards and realize it took a certain courage to do what you did.

If scheduling the same classes you always schedule takes no courage, then make yourself attend a class you’ve never attended before. Only a Bootcamp and Gun Show rider? Try Pedal & Pose or one of our 90 minute rides. Riding at Level 1 for a while now? Sign up for a Calorie Burner class. Never lift a weight before? Then take advantage of the many options we offer that incorporate spinning and strength work.

When your body has hit its limit, your mind often wants to follow. If your body says, enough, your mind says OK. It takes courage to tell your body to keep going. Even when it wants to shut down, it takes confidence to push. And it takes a lot of confidence when we are riding at 120%, down to the last ounce of energy, the acid burning in our legs, and when the sprint or climb is finally called off, realize that our face hurts more than our legs because we were just making the most incredible grimaces known to man.

Make yourself get back to the place of feeling uncomfortable. Why would anyone want to feel uncomfortable? Because when we get comfortable, we get lazy. We stop challenging ourselves because we get set in a routine. We stop seeing change, because we stop challenging ourselves. So our bodies and minds get used to it. We go on auto-pilot. We forget that feeling of butterflies in our stomach when we are faced with something new. And because we forgot how to challenge ourselves, we turn away from anything that dares to break the routine we have set for ourselves.

We lose the courage. We lose that part of ourselves that says you can do it. If we lose the courage, we lose the confidence. If we cannot make the decision to change, to challenge ourselves, we will never have the confidence to act, to do, to overcome the obstacles in our way. If your obstacle is maintaining a sprint at an 8 effort, running a mile, or making new friends, get uncomfortable. If your obstacle is fear, stare fear in the face. If your obstacle is keeping you back, find the courage to be confident. Get uncomfortable and don’t you dare look back. Behind you is who you once were. But ‘future you’ has big plans, so get courageous. Get confident. And get onboard.

We’ll see you at the studio.

An Open Letter to My Inner Voice

Dear Inner Voice,

You and I go way back. In the womb, floating around in my mama’s stomach, keeping me distracted. When I was a toddler, getting into trouble, learning to use the potty (and thinking how amazing it was that instead of going in our pants, where someone cleans up after us, we go in this thing called a toilet, where we then have to clean up after ourselves), when I started growing up and thinking that the solid ground was my trampoline, I could jump from anything and land on my feet, and telling me that performing cannonballs from the roof is a good idea. We often talked when I was a teenager, all awkward, learning to be social, becoming social, and then making stupid decisions. We talked it out though… I made better decisions from then on.

As I got older, you became less supportive. You nagged. You found nothing positive to say. You were relentless in pointing out flaws, faults, misgivings. Whether they were my fault or not, they were always my fault. Didn’t matter that I inherited big hips or my big forehead from my parents (and called it a “five”head instead of a forehead). Didn’t matter that sometimes, you get the shit end of the stick thanks to genetics.

I went to college and destroyed myself. I destroyed myself emotionally and physically. I stopped caring so much. I didn’t value my body, it was just a tank that carried me from one place to another, from one party to another. And there you were, telling me that another drink wouldn’t hurt, or another piece of pizza, or drinking 3 or 4 cups of black coffee and nothing else that day. And after all that, and feeling terrible, you chided me. It never stopped.

Until now.

In class, sometimes the instructors will tell you to ride to the music. They’ll say “find the beat”. And your cadence slows, or quickens, to the beat of the music. Everyone rides in rhythm. With the beat as your guide, it feels safe. Like being cushioned in the music is comfortable. But then, the instructor will say “get on top of the beat” or “get ahead of it”. And you’ll have to find the strength and endurance to ride above the music. Ride above the comfort. Push and fight to stay on top.

That’s what it felt like – to live a life guided by you, my inner voice, and then find that while comfortable, it was safe. I was living my life like I was riding to the music. But more than that, it was starting to hurt. The negativity was starting to hurt. Telling me that my bad decisions were good, until the guilt and shame set in, then hearing from you how much I should be guilty or shameful… it has to stop.

After a lot of soul searching, I’ve learned to tune you out. I finally got ahead of the beat… of you. I no longer live a life guided by you. And as a result, because you are as much a part of me as they air I breathe, you changed. Maybe you did some soul searching too. Maybe you finally realized that kicking someone while they’re down does just as much damage to you as it does to them. Maybe it finally clicked that lifting someone up is a critical part of development. Of functioning.

I’m glad we’re working on this new relationship. I admit that after years of hearing the negative, the positive is hard to hear because it’s still new. It’s like a weak magnet. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it falls off the fridge. But we’re getting there. Eventually, you and I will finally live in harmony. We’ll finally find the balance between being supportive and being supportively critical.

Yours,
D

Get above the beat. Get out of your comfort zone. And take the control back from your inner voice.

We’ll see you at the studio.

Resolve Not to Make Resolutions

How many times have you been asked what your 2013 resolutions are? What do you say? Maybe you answer:

Lose weight.
Keep in touch with friends, family, your dentist.
Spend more time working on you.
Live in the moment.

When you declare your resolutions, what do you do? Write them down? Post them on Facebook?

And then what happens? How long does it take to forget the promises (because that’s what resolutions are – promises) you made to yourself at the end of December? Maybe March or April rolls around, and you hit a roadblock, or maybe work suddenly dumps on you, and you find yourself living moment to moment, just getting through the day, forgetting to call Sarah back, no longer keeping track or scheduling your workouts, and the time you promised to work on you is limited to quieting your nagging inner voice over your morning coffee.

My point is this – saying you have “resolutions” is a lot like saying you are on a “diet”. The words “resolutions” and “diet” already carry with them loaded meanings. They already have preset implications, and to some people, they feel they are already predisposed to failing. We tell ourselves we need to go on a diet and immediately, we equate diet with sacrifice, with starving, or eliminating an entire food group, or we think we have to deprive ourselves and as a result, our cravings grow, we lose control, and we’re in a deeper hole than we started.

Resolutions can have the same effect. We make promises at the start of each new year. We think to ourselves “2013 is going to be the year where I really focus on x, y, and z” and then when it doesn’t happen, or life gets in the way, our resolutions take a backseat and we get to December, planning out our resolutions for 2014, and the pattern continues.

Instead of making resolutions, decide to make a change – a lifestyle change. Decide that a promise isn’t enough. In order to change, you need to act. Resolve to ACT this year. Resolve to DO. Resolve to never settle. Resolve to fight through a bad day, and decide that one bad day doesn’t have to equal a bad week, or a bad month. ACT. DO. CHANGE. If you don’t like the way 2012 turned out, change it. Evaluate where the missteps were, where the holes are, and FOCUS on those particular areas, to start with. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a notebook full of promises.

If you resolve to change your life, the decision is bigger than a resolution. It carries with it a different implication. It means you are in control. We often let resolutions run our lives. The very idea of having a resolution becomes bigger than the actual thing you were resolving. Start 2013 by not making a resolution. Make a change. BE the change.

You’ve come this far, and we’re proud of the work you do everyday.

Happy 2013, Athletes. We’ll see you at the studio.

Friday Feature: Five Friday Favorites

Why? Because SWEATING IS AWESOME.

1. Sweating

You may think you look wrecked after a workout, but we think sweating is possibly one of the greatest things ever. You worked hard, and you look like it… so does the floor… and the bike… and the towel you can wring out… and everything you touch.

2. Recipe

Crispy Quinoa Sliders

Ingredients:
• 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
• 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
• 1 cup cooked chickpeas
• 1/2 cup freshly grated provolone cheese
• 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup chopped carrots
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 large egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 12 whole wheat English muffins
• 2 avocados, sliced for topping

Add quinoa and stock to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes or until can be fluffed with a fork. You can do this ahead of time or even the night before (and store quinoa in the fridge) so the quinoa can cool.
While quinoa is cooking, slice the green onions, chop the carrots, mince the garlic and grate the cheese. Place it all in a bowl, then add panko and mix. Coarsely chop the chickpeas and add to the bowl. When quinoa is finished cooking, add it to the bowl and mix well until incorporated. If needed, let cool or place in the fridge for a few minutes to cool.
Add in beaten egg and egg white, salt, pepper and mix well. Form into patties (I really squeezed a handful of quinoa together and smoothed it into a round, it may take some squeezing and form to get the patties to stick) that fit the size of the buns you have. <- this will differ!
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add 5-6 quinoa patties and cook until deeply golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Gently flip and cook 5 minutes more. Remove and continue with remaining olive oil and patties. Serve with sliced avocado.

3. Plank

In our bootcamps, you probably have either experienced the straight-up plank, or plank variations (or both), maybe a 30 second plank, or something considered torture with a 3 minute plank. This is definitely not only a Friday Favorite, but a 365/24/7 favorite. This simple, yet gut wrenching move (yes, gut wrenching… by the time you get to the plank at the end of a bootcamp, you have to reach way down deep inside that special place of courage to get through it), builds a strong core, activates your glutes and hamstrings, and helps sculpt your shoulders. Aside from the physical benefits, it is a mental challenge and helps you focus in and fight to stay mentally clear and confident.

4. Bananas

Quite possibly, the best pre- and post- workout fuel, bananas rule. Have you ever tried banana soft serve? Take a frozen banana (hypothetically, you are someone like me that freezes bananas that are turning brown because you cannot stomach them fresh at that point), put it in a blender with a little coconut almond milk (or any type of milk, but trust me on the coconut almond milk), and if you’re feeling really saucy, add a tablespoon of dark chocolate peanut butter and a ¼ cup of low sugar, low fat granola.

You can thank me later for that. That is all.

5. Alchemist – www.teamalchemist.com

We have been working with this small Colorado based company for several weeks now, creating our cycling jerseys. Not only is their product top-notch, super sleek and sharp, but the customer service is outstanding, their HOMEGROWN line is made in the USA, AND made from recycled materials in a solar-powered plant. Whenever you are able to patronize a small business (especially one going the extra mile to help protect the planet), please do so. Even our small business loves working with other small businesses because the partnership is worth it.