Primal Education: Function to Movement

Secretly, or I guess not to secretly now, I have this dream that I live in a world where there are 26 hours in a day.  I’m not wishing for longer ‘work’ days — truly — I’m talking about two bonus hours that exist separate to any other possible commitments, interruptions, or demands to just simply catch up on the world.  Extra sleep would be great, sure, but there is so much other consumable information out there that is constantly evolving, thought provoking, and currently stockpiling up in my blog feed that I just want it to reasonably fit into my life.  I have these long lists of bookmarked and flagged articles ranging from fitness trends, to clean eating, to lifestyle….you name it… that I literally binge read once or twice a week to the point that my head feels like it might explode.

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These days when I don’t get to read anything of particular interest or pleasure to me from 8-5, having these supplements to my development really caps off the day perfectly.  I use a few different readers, following my fair share of the larger industry publishers and (probably too many) individual voices whose views I respect and believe in, and a few that I don’t — which I look at as philosophical diversity.  It’s always a different perspective, a variety of information, and with the ones I really get into, either an integrated take on something so functionally relevant to what we do at MAD (and b:core), or something completely new that challenges my thinking.

Whatever the connection (or dis-connection) point, I love where each piece takes me.  This week I finally rolled across this post on the Whole 9 blog talking primal movements — or I guess I intentionally found that post after stumbling across this follow up on how the 7 primal movements in the first article are put into practice for balanced, total body progressions.  So much of what we do at MAD is based off of our 5 functions, creating a primal focus in every interval….and hopefully, if you’re paying attention, in every movement.  Our b:core training (barre certification from Exhale Spa) is deeply rooted in the same principles, in functional movement patterns, and the ‘why’ behind what we do and do not believe in.  Once again, rooted in kinesiology and movement principles, it’s all about the body, how it is assembled, how it moves, and what patterns are functionally sound to increase ability and reduce injury.  That’s kind of a mouthful, but essentially that’s what the goal is, and that’s what we strive to engrain in our staff, and love to learn more about from them.  We’re so crazy lucky with the teams we have for all businesses, and are constantly blown away not only by their knowledge and ability, but also their thirst for more functional knowledge to make them better at what they do.  That’s the true making of a fitness professional versus an instructor, and it’s such a hard thing to find in a small town like this.

In the last few years Dar and I have geeked out pretty hard on functional movement certifications and trainings not to mention a million hours of reading and practical implementation, so we’re pretty pumped to be bringing the best that we’ve found to Charlottesville.  From FMS to movnat, Strong First to barre by Exhale/Core Fusion, and of course the ___________ method being announced this week….we’ve essentially brought everything we believe in to one consolidated market, and we could not be more excited.  Stay tuned for some updates on each, including our latest adventures with the FMS screen and what it’s going to mean for our clients.

Charlottesville, you’re pretty freaking lucky — and we feel the same.  Now, if I just had those 2 extra hours to read my stories, my life here would be soon be complete.

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Getting Toasty on Core Branding

There are just some days when it all happens; days when a bunch of things come together to feed the energy back into your work-worn soul.  And that was mostly what today was for me.

fuel sweat grow: b:core methods branding

We’ve definitely not been at a deficit of action over here, but it can be a lot sometimes, and balancing the workload of my full time job with these seemingly full time businesses can sometimes just run my energy a little lean.  It’s a strung out balance at times, but it’s worth it for days like these and the countless days that will benefit from this push in the future.

Last week’s excitement stemmed from the finalization of our basic branding and logo/icon.  It seems so trivial, but for me it’s the most soulful element of our foundation and it was so important to feel connected to it.  Now, here’s where I just goop over our favorite brand designer, Carrie from Pink Toast Ink — she’s seriously awesome.  She was behind the re-branding of MADabolic just prior to our opening in Charlottesville, and just totally captures the essence of what b:core is about.

fuel sweat grow: b:core branding

It’s more than just capturing the colors and a ‘cool’ logo that matches up with the ‘vibe’ we’re going for; it’s about really digging in and communicating out the warmth, the essence, and voice of the brand — and of us.

When Carrie and I first sat down I showed her my pinterest board, and sent her a (rather lengthy) list of descriptors and elements of the brand.  I needed to connect to it personally, to have it extend from my own personal brand in a way that is authentic to me and can translate back into being authentic for the brand and the community we have here.

In my opinion, she nailed it.  I’m so in love with the color scheme, how it ties into our design concepts, and even more so the potential that I see in it for the million things we have planned for the soul of this brand.

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Now that the identity, at the most core level, has been established, it’s finally time to settle in to the fun stuff.  Carrie’s continuing to make things even toastier over there in Pink Toast HQ, and it’s pretty much filling my heart up full.

Since this all happened last week, this week has been about finalizing some of our partnerships, strategic plans, and the final details necessary for the full blown announcement that we’re prepping for.

Welcome 2014: the year of coffee + anything you want

Welcome to 2014: the year of coffee.

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I’m pretty sure that’s not the official slogan of the new year, but if it went to a vote, I’d definitely support it.  I’ve  been getting more sleep lately than I have in a really long time, so I’m not nursing my favorite mud for any major reasons, but more for the comfort and warmth that it provides.

That’s kind of what I’m looking for this year: comfort and warmth.  So, if I can get a little hit of that each morning (afternoon, and evening…) to keep me on track, well, I’m going to take it.

The extended holiday season was something borne out of what felt like pure chaos, so for the last week or so I’ve been really pumping the breaks on 2013 to allow for a fresh and intentional start to the new year.

Fuel Sweat Grow: New Year

I think the hardest thing about pressing the reset button, or setting goals is, really, honestly, taking the time to figure out what you actually want.  We’re so programmed to want what we’re ‘supposed’ to want, what we think we ‘should’ want at whatever our particular age is, or what other people want for us.

I’m still working on the list of things I want to accomplish this year, but there are a few major things that I know I want to do for me, and either create or strengthen the habit(s) as a part of my forever lifestyle.   I used to break out my goals in terms of career, personal + health, but to change things up a bit (and because those aren’t easily decipherable categories these days) I’ve divided them into my three favorite life categories:

FUEL:

1.  Take a cooking class

2. [Better] Sunday preparation for the week of meals to keep things clean.

3.  Hydrate.  This means drinking 5-6 times the amounts, of water, that I drink of wine.  (This one is really a major learning and goal from the holidays, but I think it’s a worthy rule of any life experience.)

SWEAT:

1.  Master ALL of the MADabolic primal movements.  Or at least let myself believe I have for the length of time I need to KEEP MOVING during the entire interval.  (I can be an angry gorilla, right? right.)

2. Re-incorporate yoga + stretching into my life, 2-3 times a week.

3. Take a group class at a trampoline gym (and then buy a[nother] trampoline).

GROW:

1.  Take an art class.

2.  Take on at least three of the projects I’ve pinned to my Pinterest boards.  Even if just for the sheer entertainment of making the attempt.

3.  Make dates with myself.  I used to dress up in real clothes and take myself to coffee and shopping or a movie once a month.  I don’t know why I stopped, but I miss me.  I was pretty fun to hang out with.

The list goes on… and on, and on, but for now, that seems like a good start.

2014, I’m in this with you.  Let’s see OWN how this goes (coffee mandatory).

The Longest Week of [My] Summer

It’s not like Bug to be the face of canine depression, but even she couldn’t keep up with this past week.  [And perhaps she is jut a little dramatic.]

Bug: bored

Last week marked the second full week of being the MADness in Charlottesville, and it was a long one thanks to life AND the Memorial Day extension.

We kicked off week two with a growing group of now ‘regular’ faces, and great new-to-them intervals that will set their foundation of familiarity, and indoctrination into the MAD methods. We’ve had a number of full classes both weeks, and no empty ones, so I’m pretty happy with that start.

MADville

I personally kicked off my second week straight of taking classes with little to no rest days, and a continuation of the respiratory illness that I have been fighting (but not really doing anything about) since before we opened.  Exactly the opposite of the balance I believe in.

Now, let me be the public service announcement stressing the importance of taking rest days, and listening to your body.   The moment I stopped taking the time to really focus on my own fitness schedule (which sometimes means RESTING); eating clean meals over convenience food;  hydrating more than caffienating; and most importantly sleeping enough, I unbalanced my own scales.   When we hit crunch time for getting MADville opened,  I could no longer hear the warnings from my own body — except for the lung burning and rib crunching coughs that came out of it.

I now have a rib injury that is entirely self-inflicted… from coughing. So what’s the moral of the story? Be kind to your body.  Rest it, nourish it, and listen to it.  Sometimes the last thing your body needs is another workout, so take a day off.  And then, take another one off for safe measure.

Instead of hanging out in the sun and officially living out the end of summer by a pool or at a vineyard, I spent the last few days of the week indoors hugging my survival kit.

cough bin

I’m not great with idle time, typically, but when I found myself with a few hours of unplanned freedom (thanks to Dar and April for picking up my classes) I took the opportunity to get reacquainted with the kitchen and the last remaining ingredients in the fridge.

Per usual, there was a salad, and this one consisted of a bed of romaine and kale, topped with tomatoes, cucumber, purple onion, and roasted pumpkin seeds.

salad

The main dish was split into two options to create some great leftovers for the rest of the week on both fronts.

I browned some ground turkey with onions (in coconut oil) and threw in zucchini and yellow squash with it.  In two different pots/pans.

Pan number one housed this base combination of ingredients, and kept things simple.

ground chicken scramble

In pot #2 (or #1, depending on how you look at it) I had the same basic foundation (ground turkey, zucchini, onion, squash) with a few added plops of whole foods pasta sauce and two containers of free range chicken stock.

ground turkey soup

 

This was possibly the most simple solution I could come up with to fill my need for some fresh soup, and it totally did the trick.  The rainy weather helped me to love on this soup a little more than normal in August, and was the perfect answer to soothe my cough (and spare my ribs).

Since ready-to-eat protein in the fridge is a complete necessity around here, I threw the last remaining steak from the Wolf Creek Farm’s cow share on the grill and called it a meal.

steak

With good food in me, and rest under my belt, the rest of the weekend managed to shape up into a little more mobile few days, still taking the time to rest and refuel when necessary.

I took time off from my own sweats to let my body heal, and instead enjoyed watching the athletic pursuits of others around grounds at UVa, starting with Men’s Soccer on Friday night at Klockner Stadium.

UVA Men's soccer

I haven’t been to a soccer game in a few years, so it was awesome to return and just relax in the stands.  Saturday, after the 8:30 and 9:30 classes, I managed to fit in a ‘quick’ 3 hour nap before heading over to Scott Stadium for the first Football game of the season, where we actually beat BYU.

UVA Football v. BYU

The only slight bump in the game was the 1st half evacuation of the entire stadium due to an impending thunder storm (lightning included).   In case you were wondering what that was like, it’s pretty much like mass confusion, but if you’re ever faced with this scenario where it’s a seemingly low-level emergency, remember this: be the first out.  Why? Because you’ll get the best seats in whatever building you decide to take cover in.  That’s what we did.

This was the scene from my super cozy seat after the space had filled — not too shabby.

Rice Hall

 

The rest of the weekend followed suit with some good relaxation time, some more new client faces getting MAD, and a restful transition into week three.  Also, I went grocery shopping, so things are just about back on track.

MADville is Open + I’m Back on the Blog

Hey there.  It’s been a while.

The last couple of months have been beyond packed, prepping to open the MADness in Charlottesville.   As we got down to the wire, I had to unplug for a while, but I’m finally (almost) back to normal.  And you know what that means — we’re finally up and running in Charlottesville.

MADville

It was an incredibly long road (relatively speaking) to finally get here, and given that fact, it was even more exciting to open the doors and share our MAD lifestyle with Charlottesville.  Plus, I absolutely love how our space turned out.

MADville desk

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There is something so vulnerable, raw, and simultaneously empowering about opening the doors to a business that you’ve invested so much of your energy into.  This past weekend was exactly that, but so much better.

We offered four days of free preview classes, and had 200 people come through the door- some familiar faces, and some brand new.  We were lucky to have one of our business partners, Georgi, up from Charlotte to coach and help bring the brand alive.

MADville preview week

One of the things that I have always loved most about Charlottesville is how active and vibrant the community is.  Runners (both marathon and recreational), yogis, triathletes, swimmers, rowers — we have it all, and an overflow of active individuals driven both by competition, and an inner drive for well-rounded health.  That’s exactly what our brand is about.  Our programming was developed to feed that need of the athletically minded and to enhance the performance of competitive and elite level athletes .

MADville

This week was our first week of official business, and I could not be more humbled and excited by the response of the community and all of our clients.  Our clients have brought in so much energy, and so many friends, that it actually feels like we’ve been open for months.

MAD pricing

Tomorrow marks the official end to our first week of business, and we’re kicking off the morning with a full class.  It feels good to look at that in the system, but I can tell you it feels even better when we’re in the middle of a full, energy laden, and intense interval.

Now that I’m just about caught up with everything to be just marginally behind in life, I can catch up in all of the amazing meals, community finds, and updates that have been held back.  Also, don’t be surprised if you see the blog get a facelift — I’ve been getting antsy with it, and I feel like fall is a good time for a style change.

 

Welcome Back to Chicagoland

I can’t remember the last time I took a legitimate vacation away from work, constant internet connection, and phone dependency.  What originally was going to be a work-focused trip to Chicago with Dar quickly transformed into an extended weekend away with some great friends, and amazing weather – with business sprinkled in to the daytime hours.

Chicago: River + City

Despite the early flight time, long travel hours, and airport lethargy (I’d be great at traveling if it weren’t for the travel part) – we were there by 12pm on Friday, right in time for lunch on the river.

We sat right outside with a table RIGHT on the river, so close in fact we personally met all of the fine folks that were parking their boats and shimmying up to the restaurant for lunch and drinks.

lunch on the river

We were bought a round of drinks courtesy of one of our new friends, and had an extended conversation with the restaurants owner about Chicago, fitness, and his previous home of 10 years: Charlotte!

Friday afternoon drinks: Lunch on the River

After a long morning of travel, this was exactly what we needed.  After lunch, in the spirit of vacation, we did our own vacation rituals and listened to our own personal needs; Dar went to the hotel and took a long nap, and I adventured around the city and got my nails done (with a few extra turns and city street wandering).

edna ring

When I travel to different places I usually bring at least one special piece of jewelry that at one time belonged to my grandmother (my mom’s mom, Edna May).  She was always taking trips with her girlfriends, taking in new cities, cultures, and I think just space out of what seemed like a super static life.  I totally get that. There’s always something freeing about traveling to a new place and thinking about what could be, what additional experiences and communities could be built – ultimately helping to re-instire, direct, or even simply appreciate the life back at home.

This trip was a lot of that for me, and it was awesome to have a little piece of my grandmother there with me, adventuring and seeing my world from a different vantage point.

After my adventures around town it was time for dinner, and a little check in back with our Cville lives since Anita + Uday (two of our favorite bootcampers AND and neighborhood organizers) were in town to take over Chicagoland with us.   They organized a progressive dinner tour on Friday night with our first stop at Bin 36.

BIN 36: chicago

This first stop was the ‘wine + appetizer’ stop on the dinner tour, and it proved to be perfect for just that.

wine flights

I chose the ‘some like it sweet’ wine flight, which was awesome.  Dar was actually the only flight of reds, but we all chose different pairings.

table of wine: Bin 36

The second stop was David Burke’s Prime House (steak house), with more wine, and steak.

chicago: steakhouse

Huge steaks.

Prime House: Filet

And three amazing, enormous, sides of food for the group.

The asparagus was awesome: tender roasted w/a poached egg in the center.

asparagus w/poached egg

Spinach Gnocchi with a fresh spinach center and a cream sauce.  I dripped off a bunch of the sauce, leaving just a light glaze on top for flavor.  Unreal.

spinach gnocci

I also need to go back to the beginning and make note of the exceptional rolls that they have – like a sweet pastry puff with asiago cheese toasted on top.

wine and rolls

 

So, it’s pretty safe to say that the weekend started out with a little less health + fitness than normal, and a little more eating + drinking.

The trend only continued the later we pushed into Friday night with dessert at Sable (the gastropub at Hotel Palomar), and even more fun with the whole group.

dessert at sable

 

The top dessert was the Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake with bourbon ice cream, and the bottom was the Cookies and Cream Ice Box cake.

By 11:30 (or really 8:30, but who’s keeping track?) my eyelids were struggling to stay up, and despite being the youngest of the group I was the first to call it a night.  In my defense, it was really 12:30 my time…

So that’s the start to the Chicago adventure – and a great start to the sequel of last October’s epic Chi-town trip.  The rest of the weekend was even more eventful than the first half, which will be apparent in the next post!

Anyone else secretly (or not so secretly) want to live in Chicago, if there was no winter?  Seriously, if the winter were just half as brutal I think I would have to live there – since that’s not seeming likely I guess I’ll just have to work on my half-year plan to live there in the summer.