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Three Fast Ways to Meditate On the Go

Meditation was a tricky thing for me for a long time - as it is for a lot of people - given my high levels of anxiety and inability to sit with my own insides for more than a few minutes without going down the “every dumb thing I’ve ever done” shame wormhole.

 

After months of trying and quitting, I remember “successfully” sitting through a meditation the first time at Lake Tahoe, sitting in an Adirondack chair, staring at the lake and pine trees. While my mind didn’t exactly calm down, I slowly came to this brand new sense of my skin … filling out. Like - instead of being shrunken down inside myself in a thought prison, I somehow expanded into every cell of my own body and actually EXISTED. 

 

It was magical.

 

And lasted about 5 seconds that first time.

 

But what I learned was : meditation isn’t about escaping my thoughts. It’s about feeling myself exist.

 

I sit a lot more now -- 15-30 min at a...

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Breathing for Back Pain & Tension Headache Relief

Oh hello…it's Amanda - Annie has passed the reins off to me this week and we are going to GEEK OUT on some science this week. 

 

Do you love running? Love Kettlebells? Love to hate both running and kettlebells because of the sneaky little back pain that takes over a few days after? Yeah me too..

 

How about just life is hectic and crazy and the mere thought of that next zoom meeting triggers your headaches? 

 

With all the work you do in classes and your training sessions have you ever considered that your breathing patterns may be sabotaging your progress and indeed, triggering your next pain response?

 

Take a seat.

 

Place your hand on your belly and your other hand on your chest. (I’d tell you to close your eyes...but...you’re reading…)

 

Take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your nose. 

 

Do it again….

 

Now I have some questions for you.

 

  1. Did your chest...
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Strength Training with Back Pain

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

 

Confession: I hurt my back doing kettlebell swings.

 

In my defense, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing at the time, and I was doing hundreds (if not thousands) of them in a workout. But, as my soap box is KETTLEBELLS ARE SAFE! I feel it’s important to start here.

 

What I did wrong (other than poor form): I often kept doing the same thing I’d been doing, gritting my teeth and hoping it would eventually stop if I worked hard enough.

 

What I did right : I kept moving, other times choosing to do a completely different type of workout that DIDN’T hurt, because I knew...

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Three Ways to Eliminate a Tension Headaches

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

 

You’re minding your own business and notice that creeping, cramping sensation in the back of your head that slowly crawls its way to your forehead and eyes … like someone put a vise grip on your shoulders that’s somehow yanking on your skull… a tension headache is coming and you have a meeting coming up via Zoom. 

 

Is that just me?

 

Tension Headaches are absolutely no fun, and most of us spend too much time under stress and in front of a laptop, cell phone or Netflix subscription to avoid them! 

 

Because prevention is the cure, let’s start with...

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The Difference between Pain and Injury

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

 

Is it Back PAIN or a Back INJURY?

Have you said (or heard) any of the following lately?


“I have a back spasm!” 

“I injured my back doing kettlebells...” 

“I hurt my back running.” 

(or...the worst one…) “I tweaked my back unloading the dishwasher.”

 

Whether it’s a little tweak or a total shut-down spasm, back pain is never fun and can often bring your day to a screeching halt. The question is often: What should I do to heal a back injury?

 

As someone who’s championed her way through yoga classes, running workouts and...

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Motivating to Train Hard on Good Days and Bad

As of the writing of this blog post, I’m 23 weeks pregnant, working with our 8 year old to complete virtual school each day, running a growing company and hunkering down through the end of a Wisconsin winter mid-pandemic. Despite my 15 years of gym-rat status, if anyone understands “lack of motivation” or “lack of energy” to workout right now … it’s me. If that’s you too : I see you and I high five you.

 

Motivational swings are not just an isolated or situational thing for me. As a kettlebell athlete, instructor and sweat junkie, I’ve spent years balancing the tough workouts on my calendar with cyclical hormones, seasonal changes and the usual ups and downs that just come with life. Whether I’m training for a long run or race, or a kettlebell certification … some days the “YES! I get to workout!” just isn’t there. Other days, the mental drive is DEFINITELY there, but my body just isn’t...

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Train Smarter not Harder


I had this goal to run a half marathon in under an hour and forty-five minutes. I also want to be able to perform a perfect kettlebell 24kg press. Then there are these 3 courses I want to take. Wait. I haven’t read a book for fun in months, am I ever going to call my best friend back? There’s a recipe I haven’t nailed down yet…. Parker, you need to be let out AGAIN? 

 

How am I ever going to have enough time to do all of this?! Will it take months, years, moments? What If I devote an hour a day to strength an hour to running and then another hour to reading…? Should I cut my sleep short and just skip it once a week to play with my kettlebell? Why can’t this just be as easy as brushing my teeth twice a day?!

Oh boy. Now that I have stressed you out, let’s take a step back. 

Being focused on the Present

 

You’re a time traveler. 

 

We all are. 

 

Skeptical? Sit down. Close your eyes. Bring to...

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Identifying as an athlete

 

Identifying as an Athlete

 

I’m just going to come right out and say this : 

 

You are an athlete.

YOU! Are an athlete.

And you get to train, sleep and eat like an athlete.

 

Confused? Annoyed? Hear me out.

 

Here are pictures of athletes:

 

 

Here are other pictures of athletes:

 

 

Take a quick moment … close your eyes and go over the images you just saw.

 

What are your reactions to the first group? (The runners, the kettlebell lifters, the skiers.) 

To the second group? (The moms, office workers and grandma’s.)

 

Around here, we define athletes as humans who participate in a sport. Makes sense, right?

 

But here’s the really important thing: We consider LIFE a sport.

 

Life requires visual skill, the ability to manage gravity with some level of competency, communication and reaction/response skills. It requires strength, resilience, and breath work.

Life requires skill,...

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How to Change Your Emotional State



How to Change Your Emotional State

 

This morning was a doozy. My kiddo was tearfully struggling with schoolwork, conflicting contractors showed up to work on the same room and I was limping around on a hip that this pregnancy has apparently decided is suddenly and completely dysfunctional. Between the people who showed up at my house with no warning, the physical pain and the tears leaking out of my kid … my body felt clenched, strained and brittle. Emotionally, I was confused, angry and exhausted (all by 8:30 am.) The thing is -- I just really wanted to be present and curious about my kid’s experience, be confident in how I spoke with the men working on our house, and compassionate with my body while it adapts. So how to get from here to there?

Mindfulness practices teach the importance of recognizing and sitting with your current state of mind in order to be present. Positive Psychology teaches a process of immediately changing your thoughts and state to...

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Finding Your True North


[This week's blog post is from the brilliant mind of Amanda Bauer, our Functional Breathing and Running Coach!]

There is a little berm behind my home. I affectionately refer to this little path as “Snake Alley.” The apt nickname becomes clear during the summer months for…obvious reasons. Well, this nearly 1-mile track is my dog’s favorite path to meander through in the morning. She will sit down in the middle of the street and stare at me with indignant accusation in her eyes if we don’t take the “right” path towards Snake Alley. And when she gets there. Ho boy. Her little tail goes wild, she whines with impatient excitement as she sniffs around the thick tree line hunting for that perfect stick. 

 

This path lights her up.  

 

We usually sit on this little bank that faces a creek and the sunrise from this spot is heartbreakingly calm. I have made many important decisions sitting there, half in peace, half in quiet...

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