A Week in Charlotte: sweats, eats + great friends

We’re back from Charlotte and already hitting the ground running.  So you don’t miss out on the ‘fakecation’ week, here are the highlights split up in our favorite categories: sweat + fuel (with a little growth sprinkled in between).

Tuesday and Wednesday were the designated Fight Gone MAD days, and they were just as killer as ever.  The interval lengths and movement combinations are paired with serious intentions of making your whole body work, and the intervals are planned just perfectly to take you to that edge.  Both are constantly changing so adaptation is not exactly an option — in a good way.

fight gone mad

Thursday was a rest day for the whole crew, and then Friday was a Flywheel day for Dar, and a long awaited solo run for me.

I have not been running as much as normal lately, or really much at all, which I think has been great for my body, but I needed a little time with my music and some solo thoughts for a while.  It was exactly what I needed, and I took a round 2 run on Sunday back in beautiful Charlottesville.

I’ve got to say, I always have the highest (and most chaotic) planned workout schedule when I head into Charlotte, but this trip I took more time to unwind.  Even Bug got in the pool, despite her constant uncertainty about water.

bug pool

The rest of my time was filled with great food, friends, and meetings about exciting new ventures.  Among Thursday’s highlights was dinner at Soul Gastrolounge (one of my favorite local spots) with some of my favorite Charlotte ladies, business owners, and Fight Gone MAD addicts; Sarah, owner of Social Dress Shop, Carrie of Pink Toast Ink, and Erin of Erin McDermott Jewelry. We’ve got a few fun announcements and a new collaborative side business that we can’t wait to launch, so stay tuned for that.  Disclaimer: it’s not food or fitness – the only food is that which we consume while we meet, and the only fitness conversations are about Fight Gone MAD.  All that considered, it will still be amazing.

Since Soul serves a number of small plates and sushi options, here’s a look at what was enjoyed.  Which is to say, everything.

1. California Roll.

Soul sushi

2. Chimichurri Beef Skewer (with some amazing cilantro based sauce that I am yet to fully deconstruct to reconstruct)

chimichurri beef skewer

3. Guacamole Stack, which might just be the best thing I’ve ever ordered.  Anywhere. Ever.

guacamole stack

My dinner was accompanied by several awesome glasses of wine, and the brilliant conversation of this small think-ubator we’ve assembled, and was the perfect combination at the end of a long day.

Friday morning I stopped in to a local jewelry trunk show at Flywheel to check out Erin’s latest creations, and picked out a ‘congratulatory gift’ from her for our Fight Gone MAD announcement.

erin mcdermott

I love it (first of all) because it goes with my everyday style, but mostly I love it (the way that I love ALL of my Erin jewelry) because I always think of her when I’m putting it on.  Erin is one of the most generous and genuine people in the world (my world at least) and I am SO very grateful for her and all of the support that she has given over this last year of new life/career development.  It has been huge.

The rest of the day was filled with good food and friends, starting with a simple afternoon out by the pool, and a salad using the remnants of some other meal ingredients.


Dinner was a ‘business’ meeting with our partners at Roosters, which has to be another favorite of mine.  Great wine, plus amazing clean food options.  I took zero pictures of food, and only managed this one ‘team’ photo, sans the other 50% of the team, as we waited to be seated.


No food, just wine – the picture shows nothing but says it all.

I had the hanger steak (medium!) with a side of asparagus, beets, and string beans.  It was awesome (per usual) and was the perfect compliment to the ever-loving, ever-flowing wine that is vacation mandatory.

Saturday morning brought the much awaited Fight Gone MAD photo shoot with Dar (and cameo appearances by Matt and Cristina after the 10:30 class).  My good friend Courtney Linnehan was the Photographer (she’s legitimate, and awesome at what she does) and on top of getting some great shots, we had a damn fun time entertaining ourselves for a couple of hours.

After the photo shoot (pics to come soon) we grabbed lunch with 28 to Life guru and Fight Gone MAD original, Cristina at Bad Daddy’s.    The best thing about Bad Daddy’s, aside from the tater tots and sweet potato fries, is the amazing salad menu and create your own salad options.  Dar and Cristina ordered the same salad with mixed greens, nuts, avocado, tomato, apples, olives, and a burger on top.

bad daddy's big salad CYO with a burger

I also created my own, but went a different route: romaine, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, walnuts, and chicken with their lemon-greek vinagrette.

bad daddys big salad w/chicken

They were all awesome, and if you’re trying to eat on plan (28 to life, or just clean in general) they are amazing options. A total example of how to successfully eat at a restaurant, without over indulging or leaving hungry.

Saturday night was a big stay-in dinner with some good friends, old and new, including our hosts for the week: Bill and Gwen.  We brought some of our favorite grass-fed, local, beef filets down from Charlottesville which were awesome with Gwen’s cucumber salad, tomato avocado, and a dab of rice.

dinner spread

We spent several awesome hours sitting around the table debating, discussing, and most importantly spending time with each other. It was the perfect last night in Charlotte, and one of my favorites of the whole week.

dinner table

Sunday morning we packed up after breakfast, and made it back to Charlottesville just in time for me to get in my second run of the week (outside, yeah!) and a trip to the grocery store so there is food in the fridge.

It was an awesome week away, but I am so happy to be back home.  There are tons of tangents and additional updates to come — all worth the wait!


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