Confidence

There’s a woman at the gym that i cross paths with often. And by often i mean pretty much daily. Our daughters are similar in age. We both nursed until they were 2. She is so dedicated, constantly training. We talk in passing about her workouts, and in a non professional sense- i just listen usually because she has methods she likes to stick to. But she came to me a few months ago burnt the fuck out. Life & training had her down, and she wasn’t getting the results she wanted. I listened. And i said, you are someone else inspiration, take a break or make a change if you need it, but don’t you spend your time comparing yourself to someone else’s results. We parted ways and went back to our normal exchanges. Yesterday, as we swam with our girls out of coincidence, she made a point to thank me for my words. Because it helped remind her to keep going.

Confidence is something we build from the inside. It’s not in a high heel or a new lipstick or perfect arms. It’s in you. Your light shining through. No one else’s. We are all so different and it needs to be embraced, not fought.

Caring differently

After i had Rowan, i learned to care differently. Not less or more. Just a change in direction. I no longer cared as much what i looked like, but rather how i felt. I no longer cared as much who i was with, but how they treated me. I lost my ability to give fucks about things like sleep, no matter how much i miss it, because time is different now. I hope to high heaven that i live to be a hundred and get to watch every part of her life unfold, but if i don’t, i care about her so deeply, that she will always know how much she is loved. I don’t care about going places, as much as i care about the experience we have while we are there. I don’t care so much about perfect pictures as i do about capturing moments i want to keep forever. I just care differently now.

Upside down life

Our world turned upside down last June. It’s been almost a year and i am overwhelmed with emotions. Grief is so consuming. My heart is broken for the loss in our family. I am sad and so very angry. My husband will never be the same. I’m overcome by selfish pain because my focus has been to care for my husband and sweet girl. As we come up on the anniversary, i am so filled with fear. Of losing my own husband. I spoke this weekend with a dear friend about how fucked up it is that i would never fear to lose him to another woman, but instead to the hands of death. I need him here. I still don’t understand how any of it has happened. I want to write a book called The Outsiders Grief. My loss is nothing compared to my sister in law, my mother in law, my husband, his sister. But it is here. It is a weight that flipped the world upside down. My daughter won’t know one of the most wonderful men I’ve ever met. I want to lay on the floor for a week. I want to turn back time more than anything. But i can’t. And it so consuming. Maybe if i wrote the book this summer, it would allow me some peace. A cathartic release about this journey. Life will never be the same. But i have to do something. I cannot sit and let it fester. Our lives have got to continue forward. Our marriage has become stronger. We have learned to speak, to understand, to ask for what we need. To give each other space but still hold on so tightly. It’s so consuming right now. I keep feeling like i am on a train track running next to the rest of the family- trying to keep mine running smoothly (and struggling to) while i race along next to them. I can see them all struggling as well, but i never have the right words. Are there “right” words after death? Is there any salve to calm such an extensive hurt. We have the ability to be so thankful that we were given the chance to know someone so wonderful. To carry them with us. To honor them. My donut obsession is an homage to my grandfather who made my life so wonderful. He died over 15 years ago and i still cry for the loss. That was a different kind of traumatic death. Not like this. This is different. Being a wife, a sister, a daughter in law is a journey in itself. But to struggle through loss and never feel like you know how to act or know what to say is….. something that drives my anxiety to a point where my body feels electrified. I will continue to do my best. To breathe. To find ways to be there, and care in my own way. Even if it feels like I’m on the outside of the window…. somehow it’s raining on both sides, and it feels like my umbrella just won’t open right now. The best i can do is the best i can do. I’m sending love to those falling through grief, struggling to breathe. Get up again, find joy after the tears. Let the water wash away the pain and then honor the life. Keep going.

May challenge

It’s May first! I’m using it as a chance for a fresh start. Tomorrow, I will not only make food for my daughter. I will do more than drink coffee. Even if I’m not feeling well (I don’t usually do well in the morning with food) I will make myself a smoothie. I will get myself to eat and eat healthy foods. They are right here in the house. There is no reason I care for everyone else and then just leave myself to the wind. I deserve to be cared for too. So that’s what this is about. This challenge is to better care for yourself. If your long term goal is to lose weight, maybe that means you choose to eat out less during this challenge. Or drink less alcohol. One big thing? Get some better sleep. No laying in bed with the TV on or your phone being checked. Let your body have some down time this month. Be kind to yourself! Don’t worry, I want you to choose to workout too- so if that’s where your motivation is lacking, make that part of your month. Let your choices be driven by your hopes and goals. Take a picture of yourself today. Send it to me. When the challenge is over, we are going to compare the people, the one you were, and the one you became through better habits, and more happiness.

Kettle bell workout

Little total body for the calorie burn but the focus is on the booty and thighs.

Curtsy with curl and press x10

Plié (2 pulses) with single arm row x10

Curtsy with curl and press x10 on the other side

Plié (2 pulses) with single arm row x10 on the other side

Kettle bell swing x60 seconds

Heel Lifts x30 seconds

Pulses x30 seconds

(Give yourself an active rest with some nice inchworms or V ups)

Do it again, 3x.

Go!

Barre arms

You have so many options when it comes to barre arms. Here are the main sticking points though. Keep your weights between 1 & 3 lbs. Tiny movements or long series are meant for tiny weights, save the bigger weights for the big movements and longer rest breaks. I’m demonstrating 3 different positions you can use so that you a. Up your calorie burn, b. Don’t get bored, c. Keep the whole body working.

Start with push ups.

5 slow with wide hands, knees on the floor is totally acceptable.

5 regular count with wide hands.

5 tight hand/Pilates position so that elbow scrape your ribs.

5 with hands in diamond.

I’m happy to pst another video a different day to demonstrate.

Kneeling:

Knees should be fist distance apart and parallel. Toes can be curled under if it’s more comfortable to you. As you add in the lift and lower of the hips like I demo, you should be imagining your back sliding down a wall- your hips tuck under on the way down to keep them under your shoulders as best you can.

Parallel Chair:

Use the wall to slide yourself down so your hips are one inch above knee height, or as close as you can keep. Feet can be hip distance or zipped up. Heels high. Tuck your hips and press your low back into the wall.

Wide Second:

Walk your feet wider than your hips. Feet turned out toward 45 degrees (not a full turnout) so that heels are right under knees. Lower your hips down to knee height.

If one lower body option doesn’t work for you, try another. If you can do a little of each, do a little of each. If you can only do some arms with weights, do it. If you can’t do any? Focus on where the movement in coming from instead! Engage your body. Guess what? The push ups are just a suggestion. If they also don’t work for you- switch it up! These are options. Ways for you to play with your workouts. Want an exact workout to follow? Message me. I’ll make it happen. XO

Begin again. Always begin again.

As I lay here on a Sunday night, a basket of laundry in my peripheral vision calling me (very quietly) to put it away (I never really do) with SVU back on the tube, I reflect on the last two years of my life. They have been no doubt the best, and also that worst of my life. Tonight, at dinner, my sweet Rowan turned to me and said, “Daddy saved you, didn’t he, Mommy?” I blinked. And then said yes baby, I think he did. We have been keeping each other going. Quietly. Slowly. We have spent the last two years trying to get settled. Ive had a million reasons not to write or reach out. I’ll share them all, eventually.

Recently, I realized I need to start looking outward. I’ve taken the better part of the past year to just focus inward. On my child, my husband, myself. I changed my position at work so that I could keep my tunnel vision. It was what I needed to do right then. For my body too. A few weeks ago, my mind came back. It started to work again. Ideas. Passion. Like something broke back open.

Here I am. Beginning again.

My name is Irish. I’m a 33 year old Harry Potter addict who works out on the side. No but seriously. I have been a personal trainer, yoga, Pilates & barre instructor for over ten years. Teaching is my happy place. It’s how I share light (and pain) with those I love. My clients become my friends, my family. I want to share that with you too.

I will be posting workouts. Sometimes 5 minutes of stretching, like today. To be kind to yourself. Because no matter what your fitness goals, that is so very important. I cannot tell you how much kindness & happiness can change the body. Kindness to yourself, and happiness in your body will alter your appearance. You will read my rants about this.

Sometimes I will post challenges. Ways to push yourself, to find creativity in your workouts to keep your mind alive, and your body progressing.

Sometimes, like today… I’ll be thinking about the need to begin again. To have the courage to keep beginning again. No matter what. It’s ok to take time when you need it. Pause. For minutes, days, months…but you have to begin again. You have to wake up and try again.

My name is Irish. I have anxiety, chronic migraines and nerve damage in my left shoulder. I am hyper-mobile in many of my joints and have been working for years to find the correct way to workout to care for myself. I’ve taken this search for knowledge, this search, and translated it to helping others. The greatest majority of my clients who see me in person, come to me for help with pain. Pain management tends to be like a puzzle. Each piece has to be found and put together the right way to find relief. I pride myself in being part of the puzzle for so many.

My pain also helps me see the world a little differently. Perspective is so very important. My anxiety skews it from time to time…but the workouts help.

My name is Irish, I love donuts, perusing the ‘we made too much’ section of Lululemon, drinking too much iced coffee and leaving cupboard doors wide open so that it looks like a crazy person has been in my kitchen always.

I started teaching because I liked the workouts and benefits of yoga and Pilates, but I could not find anyone who had a message that resonated with me. The explanation of how my body was supposed to find what it needed was….. lacking. There was not enough. I wanted more. Different. So that’s what I became. I became the instructor I was looking for. I teach classes that are meaningful to me.

This life is meaningful to me. I’m not a super nice person. I’m not a cheer leader. My teaching style has been rebellious, and sometimes compared to a dominatrix. I don’t have all the answers. I’m on a quest to find them and share each one.

Trying Gluten-Free (Again)

It’s no secret that our bodies change with age. We grow, wrinkle, slouch, gain aches and pains, grow hair where we don’t want it… Time can be cruel. But that’s just to our outsides really. Recently, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the havoc gluten can wreak on a seemingly innocent victim. Aches, pains, swelling, headaches, blurred vision, stomach issues and migraines just to name a few. Very similar to the side effects of aspartame, which if you haven’t given up yet, I urge you strongly. I am not a nutritionist, I am not a dietician. I am a person living with chronic pain who has sought the advice of experts in this field. I am currently on day 2 of living without gluten. My words don’t come together the way I want, but otherwise I am feeling quite well. I had been on a hard stint of pain that escalated after a meal heavy in gluten. I believe it’s time to try again. I have done this before without any result, but I believe our bodies our constantly evolving. Certain foods become harder to process, either due to age, too many preservatives or just because it plain doesn’t want to anymore. Share with me your story. Tell me what you changed in your diet that made the difference, whether it is in pain, irritability, discomfort or aesthetics (sometimes leaving something out of your diet allows you to finally process food the right way instead of storing it). Did a book lead you to it? Wheat belly or the China Study perhaps?

 

Fake it till you make it

There have been a lot of times in my life where the mantra Fake it till you make it, has come in handy. When learning anything, when trying to get better at anything, when trying to get through a hard time… The situations are limitless because you are limitless. There are occasions where I have to teach but I feel like garbage, I fake it. I act like I’m fine and I do actually feel better when the class is done, it’s like I tricked my brain into forgetting my allergies were terrible. When I start a new pose, going toward it with the determination to conquer it but not really knowing if I have the strength to accomplish it… I fake it. I just do it. Even for a short time until it eventually gets easier. When my self esteem is low and all I see in the mirror are flaws, I pull myself together as best I can and pretend to be confident. No one sees your flaws like you do. Fake it, pretend you like the way you look, pretend you don’t see the little things like a hair out of place. Your confidence makes you beautiful. Not perfect features.

In most things in life, you need to have the courage to try, to learn and to grow. And sometimes that means you need to fake it till you make it. Put yourself out there.

Do not be your harshest critic- it’s silly! Life is too short and you are too lucky.

Be well. Be good to yourself. Be good to others. And always have the confidence to try.