Archive of ‘Refine Method’ category

Post-Injury Learnings + My Husband’s Viral Tweet

While I was injured for a few months, I learned something: Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should.

What I mean is this: When I’m taking Refine classes, I get stronger. And when I get stronger, I’m able to lift heavier kettlebells, use heavier resistance on the pulley system and do the advanced version of any given exercise. And I go from two classes a week, to three, to four. But I don’t think it’s right for me and the way I am built to always do more more more. I already know I can get the benefits of the class without it – my problem is that the class is so much fun I WANT to do more. I crave it. I feel proud when I can use a heavier bell or add an extra resistance cord. But just because I can doesn’t always mean I should.

Don’t get me wrong – for many people, that is the entire point of exercise! You get strong, you move to the next level. But with my injury history I’m only now realizing that that isn’t right for my body. I have a very small frame – maybe that’s why, I don’t know. But I can tell you that I’m already noticing improvements in my strength from just going to Refine once a week (and not using much weight yet). Of course, everyone reaches a point where they have to do more – faster reps or heavier weight – to continue gaining benefits. But I can be more mindful about how I challenge myself.

For example, when I talked to Brynn (founder of Refine) about this, she suggested that when I am ready to pick up a kettlebell again, instead of racking them by my shoulders, I hold them with my hands, hanging down. Or I continuing to avoid exercises that just might not work for my body (like jumpbacks) and keep substituting them with ones that do, even if they’re not quite AS challenging (like med ball wall slams). I’m still boosting my heart rate and moving constantly and gaining strength – that is good in and of itself!

Plus, the benefit of a class like Refine is that I’ll always have an instructor ready to offer me a modification or alternative workout when an exercise doesn’t feel or look right. And one thing my Physical Therapist said that sticks with me – go with my gut. I’ll know when something doesn’t seem OK and that means I should stop right then and there. If I have any doubt about an exercise, don’t do it. Which makes me especially glad to have such great instructors at Refine to offer alternatives.

After the marathons, I’m sure I will go to class more – but I don’t think I will go more than three times a week again. I think I need to recognize my limits and remember that exercise is a personal thing. Just because my friend can take class five times a week and be awesome doesn’t mean I can, and that is OK. Just because I *could* do an overhead press after the last time I came back from my neck injury doesn’t mean I should have – clearly, since that brought on the recurrence of my injury. I need to recognize the limits of my body and remember I am still reaping the benefits of the class.

So much of exercise is learning what works for YOU – and that will always be different than what works for someone else.

I’m so far from type-A it’s laughable, but for some reason when it comes to classes I love, I get into this mindset where I plan my life around going X times a week. So many months off from my injury seem to have freed me from that, and I really value the extra free time to see my dog husband and dog.

Speaking of husband, we were sitting outside on a pier eating my favorite breakfast from my favorite Jersey City cafe Sam A.M. when he came across a funny article about the Kanye + Kim wedding. He wanted to take a photo but neither of us had a pen with us for him to place a little mark (he does this so he can easily identify when other websites steal his photos). We tried to figure out how to get Larry in it, but couldn’t find a good way and so he just snapped the photo and tweeted it. And then went viral:

With over 10,000 retweets and being picked up by multiple other sites (most who credited him, we can identify those who didn’t because his version has that crinkle in the corner). There is no real point to this story other than to express my excitement that a tweet Andy sent while we ate breakfast went viral. The real question is: How can we get rich?

Other news:

(1) Today is National Running Day! Women’s Running has a special offer in celebration of the day – just $1 an issue!

Me, my grandma and my Aunt Dale

Me, my grandma and my Aunt Dale

(2) Last night I went to the kickoff session for the American Cancer Society’s Team DetermiNation NYC Marathon team at the Hope Lodge. The Hope Lodge is a facility that offers lodging at no cost for cancer patients being treated in Manhattan. As part of our team efforts, we will be spending time there with patients, reminding us why we are all working so hard to raise money for ACS. My constant reminder every day is my Aunt Dale, who died almost two years ago from kidney cancer. I’m sharing my fundraising page here again because I appreciate any donation at any amount to help me reach my goal. Thank you! 



10 Bullet Points, 5 Updates, 2 Marathons

1. I already wrote most of my very first Bellingham Bay Marathon Training: Week 1 post! Since I’m still in the middle of week 1, I have a few more workouts to do, but I’m so excited that I actually couldn’t wait to blog about it. This has never once happened in the history of this blog. I’m in full-on can’t stop staring at my training plan mode, and I have to say – it’s nice to be back.

2. On Monday I went to my first Refine class since February. This is because of my asshole neck injury. I’m finally doing better and I can take Refine as long as Brynn (the founder) is right there making sure I’m not doing anything that seems dumb. I know some things not to do – anything overhead, pick up a kettlebell – but she can spot the others. She stopped me from climbing planks (which I was about to stop on my own, I think. It didn’t feel right) and sprinting in place, because my neck was like ‘HA bitch!’

3. The thing about not going to Refine for 3+ months after going consistently for 3+ years is this: I lost all my thigh muscles so at first my clothes fit better and I was all “YEAH I’M HOT I DON’T NEED TO WORK OUT” but then a month later my middle area got soft and all spread out and not only did I not like the way I looked, but my clothes started getting tight again. Just in a new way. A worse way. Also, I probably should have been wearing a full size bigger in the first place considering how much better the jeans felt when I lost the muscles. TL;DR: I’m out of shape and now that I am not so injured, I will get back into shape.

4. I’m trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  I was on an awesome track and after two companies in a row got bought out by other companies, I found myself on a broken track. And that was four years ago. It’s time to get back on the awesome track once again, if only I can figure out what exactly that is. On that note, how the hell has it been 10 YEARS since I graduated college?! I still feel like I am in high school.


In memory of my Aunt Dale (far right)

5. One month after my goal marathon, I am running the NYC Marathon with Team AOL to raise money for the American Cancer Society DetermiNation. This is my fundraising page – know everyone asks for money, but I really appreciate ANY donation at any amount. Deciding to do this was tough – I agonized for weeks. In the end, I decided to sign up for the $3,400 fundraising commitment for the following reasons:

  • I am running in memory of my Aunt Dale. My aunt died in August 2012 after a long battle with kidney cancer. My grandma and cousin also had kidney cancer, by the way, so this really hits close to home. My Aunt Dale fought so hard and remained positive the entire time. Her positivity during her ordeal is inspires me and motivates me to raise money for ACS, and I will be proud to wear her name on my shirt on race day.
  • I have some unfinished business with NYCM! I didn’t realize how much I wanted to not only finish what I started in 2011, but actually experience the miles I was too sick to remember at the time. I’d like to get the real NYCM experience. I’m not running with any goal time – this is purely to enjoy the experience and have fun while keeping it meaningful and close to my heart.
  • The main reason I didn’t want to do NYCM again – waiting in the cold for hours before the start – is not an issue when you raise money for charity because you get to hang out in the heated VIP tent.
  • Networking/making friends – Not only do I want to meet more people at AOL to network with and become friendly with, but I’ll be meeting a lot more people who are also on the ACS DetermiNation team at team runs and events.
  • Team support – There are group runs twice a week, and additional events. While I likely won’t make it to most of the Tuesday night runs because my weekday runs are generally interval-focused, I will go to the weekend long runs. I like the idea of a built-in network of people to run with, including a coach, and getting to know people as the miles fly by.

I’m working on some fundraising ideas both on and off the blog. If anyone works at/has connections to brands that would be willing to help by donating an item for an auction or raffle, please let me know! I’m excited to get started – I welcome your advice on fundraising ideas and of course any donations.


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