Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Taking a (gulp) Break

So the day came. The day when those scary 6 words were uttered...You Have To Take A Break. 

Last week I was sitting in my chiropractor's office when she broke the 'taking the break news' and as sad as it was, I agreed with her. I am still surprised at myself for even having a chiropractor. After a bad experience with one at 15 years old, following a (not so) tragic backwards flip-flop/neck incident, I vowed to never return. However, some  back pain that I had been enduring for too long prompted the first visit about 6 months back and I'm still in pain, but the pain is moving now to the front of my hip. (Wow, I sound like an old lady! The pain is moving to my hip! I never realized that in my early 30's I could utter those words, but I am!) My chiropractor has really helped, but I think that now as my skeleton is being re-adjusted, so is my movement. My body was taking a path of movement that it shouldn't have been, and through my muscle imbalances, I continued to push. Finally my body said, "nope, you can't do this anymore." So pain ensued and now I have to make a change. 

I LOVE High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. I love that I can get a workout done in a shorter amount of time just by pushing myself to my max in each exercise; I love how it gives me a rush of endorphins; I love being able to work every muscle in my body at once, making me feel like I'm getting the most out of my workout. I usually incorporate HIIT training into my workouts 3, maybe even 4 times a week (and I teach a 30-minute HIIT class at Nourish Northwest on Tuesdays!) and what I'm realizing is that this type of training could be the culprit to my consistent pain. Oh, and running as well. I can't forget that joint pounding workout, too. Unfortunately I need to push these hard on your joints exercises to the curb for a while as my bod realigns. 

I never thought the day would come that I would have to take a break because I thought I was being really diligent in switching my workouts up. I strength train, take yoga, run, do pilates every once in a while, and make sure to stretch and foam roll. But the thing is, if you are performing exercises with a body that is misaligned or has muscle imbalances, no matter what type of workout you are doing, it will eventually catch up to you. My muscles on the left side of my body have clearly had enough and now a change needs to be made. Maybe not forever, but definitely until I can get it in check again. 

So what are the next steps? Back to basics. If you ever find yourself in the situation I am finding myself, "take a break" doesn't necessarily mean quit working out. Maybe you need to take a different approach. Maybe you need to remind yourself where you started and begin again. Start focusing on core work and stability. Lower your weight load and re-connect with the smaller, stabilizing muscles to get you back on track. Meet with a personal trainer who can spot your muscle imbalances (me!) and work on foam rolling the over-active, tight muscles and strengthening the muscles that are weak. Maybe even just moving your runs to the elliptical or walking instead of running for a while will help do the trick. Maybe you are simply doing too much of one thing and you need to switch things up.

 I have decided that I will not be discouraged by this news, but excited to take my workouts to a new and different place for a while. I see it as a chance to reconnect to my body again in a way that I have neglected for a while. Sometimes it just takes some slowing down to get back on track. It doesn't mean that your workouts will be any "less than" it just means that they will be different. I'm sure on my journey back to stability I will still feel very challenged and I'm excited to see where this route takes me.  Be well!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Men's Fitness

Hey Fitness Friends! I created 4 workouts for Men's Fitness  that were featured last week. Check it out HERE! These programs are specifically tailored for working out in your apartment or any other small space because creating workouts that can be done anywhere is my specialty. After training clients at home in NYC for 9 years, small spaces became my gym. Woo! Enjoy the workouts and please let me know if you have any questions. I will be happy to answer any and all! BE WELL!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


So...I moved. I moved out of New York. It was just the next step. It's hard to leave New York. It really is. Especially when you spent 9 years of your life there. I still can't believe that much time passed, but it did and for the last couple years of living in NYC, I was done with it. New York is a great city and a huge part of me will always be there, but I just couldn't live there anymore. I started to feel like there was no room to breathe, no room to live, no room to exist. Each time I yelled in a stranger's face for no apparent reason; stood so close to someone I didn't know on the subway, closer than I would stand to my best friend; got pushed or pushed someone else while walking down the street; trudged through the snow and ice to get to clients; or endured a moment where I felt so claustrophobic a panic attack was sure to ensue; I was one step closer to losing my mind. I knew it wasn't healthy there for me anymore. I felt in my heart that it was time to leave.

After getting hitched in June 2014, my husband Scott and I started to seriously think about other cities we would want to live in.  Our place in New York was small and cramped. It was cozy, but we wanted more. We knew that as normal humans and  non-millionaires, we couldn't get ahead the way we wanted in New York and moving further and further out of the city just to have to trudge back in every day to save money was exhausting to us. We decided to start taking trips to places we might want to live to see how we felt there. We visited North Carolina in August where Scott is from and spent a weekend there; we headed to LA one week in October when Scott was speaking at a conference and I got to tag along;  and in November, we headed to my hometown, Chicago. None of these places felt right. It just wasn't where we were supposed to be right now. So where? Where could we go? Then one day, Scott got a call from a recruiter looking for a position in Portland, OR, a place that was never on our radar. Why not check it out? we thought. So we did. And while we were there in January as he was interviewing I thought, this is it. This is what feels right. I just knew that we were meant to spend any sort of time in Portland, whether it was a year or 10. And luckily enough, we both agreed on that.

It took a long while before the job offer was settled, but when it came through for Scott, although I went back and forth in my head about it, my heart knew it was the right choice. So, he decided to take the job, we raised our champagne glasses to Portland, and packed up the East Village apartment that I spent 4 years out of the 9 in. It was the place where I turned 30, where Scott and I started our relationship and planned a wedding, but most importantly, it was my first and only lease in NYC that I didn't sublet or share with a roommate. It was a place where I felt like, yeah, New York, I got this. It meant a lot to me,  and I expected to feel some sort of loss about it. But I really didn't. It was time to pass the torch and start a new adventure. And away we went.

Two friends of ours, Dan and Leslie, were getting married in San Diego and it was right around the time we planned to move in March. We decided the best way to start our West Coast lives was to take an adventure and plan to rent a car to drive up the coast as our belongings were moved across the country on a truck. We'd have to wait for the moving company to get there anyway, so why not use this time to really explore where we would be laying down new roots?  We would start in San Diego and take our time over 5 days to explore California into Oregon, ending in Portland. We were also excited that the road trip would start on Scott's birthday and end on mine just 5 days later.  It really felt like we were starting our new lives literally at a time of (re) birth.  We rented our car, booked mainly airbnb homes in 5 different cities up the coast, and hopped on a plane to the other side of the country, never return to our apartment! I couldn't believe it was happening. No more subway rides, no more shitty cold NYC winters and hot and humid summers, no more feeling like I could never get ahead no matter how hard I tried...It was time to get some fresh air!

Me, doing a handstand in our empty apartment in New York.
The wedding was fabulous.  My New York Urban Family-- a group of friends who garnered the name because we all became each other's family when we had none in the city--rented a house together to share in an "Urban Family Vacation." Most of these friends have since moved out of New York, so it was a treat to be reunited. When we first started our vacation, I was still having anxiety issues, and I didn't know why. Was it PTSD from New York? Okay, so maybe a little dramatic, but I honestly got to that point. I knew that I really needed the space and time to heal from a lot of heartache I suffered in my relationship with NYC. And now was the time I got to heal with my "family."
Urban Family

At the wedding, I was honored to be invited to sing a duet with one of my best friends, Josh, accompanied by Dan's brother Tom.

We played bags. 

And we danced.

Then we said our good-byes and started our 5 day long road trip up the coast. Which was unreal.  Now I'm going to share our trip with you via photographs. 
Off we go!

Pismo Beach

Morro Bay
Limekiln State Park
Monterey Bay
Santa Cruz
San Francisco 
Running through a Redwood! 
Scott amongst the Redwoods. 
Elk--Just outside of Eureka, CA
Me on the Northern Coast

And then we got to Portland! 

I did not take this photo. It is borrowed from

We arrived late-ish on March 27th and my birthday was the next day. All of our belongings that were on the moving truck hadn't arrived yet so we had to kick it in a hotel for a couple days. On the 28th, we said good-bye to the rental car that we shared an amazing journey in and celebrated my birthday. We enjoyed a run along the water to explore more of the city and at the end of the day, a delicious dinner followed by a gift from the Hotel Lucia: Portland's famous Salt and Straw Ice Cream. 

So now I'm here. In Portland. It's been 6 weeks and I'm trying to figure out my new life. As you might know, I'm also an actress and I've been lucky enough to continue to pursue that passion here. I secured a talent agent and I've auditioned for some theaters. I've been working hard on a digital series I co-created called Kid Friendly*, back in New York. I've been taking yoga, exploring new workouts, running along the Willamette River, hiking with my husband every weekend in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, meeting new folks, reconnecting with an old friend from 10 years ago who lives here (and her wonderful husband) and generally trying to slow down a bit. I haven't been too successful at it, but I'm trying. Oh and I'm also training some clients back in New York via Skype (which has been great) and I'm trying to find some new clients here in Portland. If you need one, please contact me!

I was hoping to write about what I've learned so far as I've been out of New York for almost 2 months, but there's not too much to share yet. I guess I still need some more time. But I can share one vital gem that I've learned and it's this: when you feel like you need a change in your life and you're lucky enough to get the opportunity to do it, do it. Make the change. I think that we know in our hearts what we really need. Always. And if you're willing to listen to your heart, it will tell you things you've been trying to ignore because you've been too scared. Your heart never lies to you and it will push you in directions your head isn't willing to take you. I knew I needed fresh air and some space to grow. I needed new opportunities and a place for our little family of two to experience less stress. I'm so grateful each day that I get to be here in the Pacific Northwest to grow and experience new adventures. I hope I can share some new ones with you soon. XO and Be Well.