Laid-back Fitness

Moving Around the Block

Once again, my favorite yearly mini-vacation was full of movement and exploration!  Block Island is the perfect place for Active Relaxation!  In fact,! I hope to organize some retreats there next summer!  It’s only 10 miles into the Atlantic yet you feel detached from the real world and can explore your wild side!  Here’s a recap of this trip’s activities:

  • The 1st Annual Blueberry 5k!  This was an impromptu family event led by yours truly after reading about the “high bush blueberries” being in season in July.  The trail was about 1/2 mile long and was about 1 mile away from our house.  I loaded up my camelbak with a couple empty containers and we ran out to the trail with visions of blueberries as far as our eyes could see…and we got just that!  Except, they were probably a week or two from being ripe.  Unfortunately we saw more mating beetles than ripe blueberries.  However, we were grateful for the ones we picked and we did harvest a decent amount of blackberries.  Overall it was a success!  Next year we’ll aim for later in the season…

 

Solid Crew!

Solid Crew!

 

  • One lap around the Block, any way, for time (kinda)!  The following day I set out for the big one of the trip.  Every year I look for new areas to explore, but this year I figured I’d try to go all the way around the island.  Plus, I wanted to go for my annual mountain bike ride so I eased my soft undercarriage onto that awful seat and set out from the house on High St.  I took the scenic route via Snake Hole and Block Rock Roads to the Coast Guard House.

After a short run to the beach, and looking both ways, I swam across the channel.  This took 2 minutes but for some reason I lost my cool for a second out there.  I’m blaming it on the fact that it was my first open water swim of 2014.  For some reason I thought I was being pulled by the current, but I ended up right where I hoped.  Oh well, I made it.  In case you didn’t know, open water swimming is definitely mental! After hitting land on the other side I attempted to run the beach but it was way too rocky.  Although I am confident in my “fast feet” technique, I didn’t feel it was worth turning an ankle this early in the adventure, with about 7 miles of beach running to go.  So I walked and took in the scene where I’d never been before, and ran when the beach allowed.  At times, I tried not to touch any sand by balancing on driftwood and jumping from rock to rock: The plan was to swim across Sachem Pond near the end of the Western beaches but I’m pretty sure it was fenced off and there were so many seagulls around the area that I just kept running until I passed the North light.  I came across a make-shift nautical monument and decided to climb: After reaching the top end of the Island I hit pavement for a little while before getting on the Clay Head trail.  On my way to the trail was a decent hill that always seems to take people off their bicycles.  Since I’m no stranger to hills, I ate it up!  Running on sure footing up a steady hill was so easy that I passed a guy on his bike.  “This is a good incline, eh?” he observed.  “Yeah, pretty good.” I didn’t want to make him feel bad and didn’t have the time nor desire to give him directions to Neuty. The Clay Head trail took me to Pots & Kettles beach.  From there I headed South to the Pavilion, about 2 miles of sandy beach running, to my checkpoint at the Town Beach Pavilion.  The 16 mile journey took me 2:25. Round the Block After meeting up with my family and taking Luke into the Atlantic, I got kinda bored and decided to make this a full lap of the Island.  So, after about an hour break, I ran down the rest of the beach before hopping back onto pavement and took it back to the house (about 1.25 miles). Gear for this adventure: vivobarefoot ultra pures (best summer shoes ever!), camelback, mountain bike, goggles, GoPro.  I wore the vivos on the bike, on the really rocky beach sections, and the pavement.  They were perfect for this journey!

  •  Grilling!  We did lots of this activity out there!  Here is the highlight of the meals we prepared:

Swordfish, Tuna, Kale with Onions & Garlic

Swordfish, Tuna, Kale with Onions & Garlic

  • Last day for a swim!  I felt the need to redeem myself from the ugly channel swim and get out there again.  As I did last year, I swam from the breakwater to the Town Beach Pavilion (about 2/3 mi.).  After landing on the beach I ran down to Mansion Beach to meet up with my family (about 1.3mi).  The water was perfect and the swim was redeeming!  The run felt great on my tight ankles and feet from the previous day’s journey.  A great way to cap off a few solid days of activity!

I already miss RI’s own paradise!  Two days later and the only memento is the soreness in my shoulders and tender sits bones from those first swims and rides of the year.  We’ll see you again next year!

Laid-back Birthdays!

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Credit Lisa Frechette Photography

We have been having a blast celebrating birthdays with kids of all ages!  Typically these parties are 2 hours of intense play!  Here are the details to consider for your kid’s (or your own) birthday party:

  • Parties are private by appointment.  You will have the entire studio to yourselves!
  • Rate is $100/hr with 1.5 hour minimum.
  • Included in the rate above are tables, chairs, and water.
  • We can provide food from local vendors for an additional cost.
  • We can provide invitations with all pertinent details for an additional cost.
  • Things to bring: proper attire for intense play inside and outside at our side yard obstacle course, any medication your child may need (inhalers, epi pens, etc.).
  • All parents/guardians are required to sign a waiver for their child.
  • All participants receive a free group exercise class!  Check out our schedule!

These parties are also great for field trips, scout groups, sports teams, etc!  Contact Ryan for more info!

 

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Credit Lisa Frechette Photography

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Credit Lisa Frechette Photography

Announcing the LbF COWs!

We’ve tried to bring you fun moves with our Movements of the Month (MOM).  Although they haven’t been published on here much, we’ve been practicing them diligently at the studio.  Now we bring you our Challenge of the Week (COW)!  These challenges will be done by our personal training clients at the studio, but can also be done at home or outside!

Here’s our inaugural COW:

Do 5 rounds as fast as you can while maintaining good form!

  • Waist/Chest carry: rock/log/person @ 50-70% bodyweight x 50′
  • Double KB push press @ 25-50% bodyweight x 5 reps  (substitute move – Pushups x 10)
  • Vert/depth jump x 10 reps
  • Rope climb: 10-20′ x 2 reps  (substitute move – Pullups x 10 or knee-ups x 20)

Here are some videos to help you out:

TM New England – Our Most EPIC Adventure!

Where do I start?  Three weeks later and although the Tough Mudder High is mostly gone, these memories will last a lifetime!  When we talk mud runs and obstacle races, we think about the physical challenge.  However, the highlights of this weekend were related to mental toughness and camaraderie!  After an 18 week training program, 9 of which were held in snow, the Infamous Neuty Osos, 38 (yes three-eight) strong, absolutely stole the show at Mount Snow!  Here’s a 2 minute recap of the training:

With a group this size, we needed to do a significant amount of strategic planning.  Thanks to Super Dave for helping me visualize our domination before we even took the course, especially at the Pyramid Scheme.  We also needed to have roles in order to get so many people through the obstacles quickly.  Thanks to our “base men” for powering us over the walls/hurdles and insulating us at Electroshock, thanks to the “flyers” for keeping us safe on the backside of the walls/hurdles, and thanks to the ladies for trusting us and being fabulous!

Here’s how the event went down from my perspective:

It was a perfect day on the mountain!  Temps were in the 60’s with partly cloudy skies.  After taking the oath, our sea of green shirts ran out of the gate.  The first obstacle was Kiss of Mud.  The barbed wire was low and ran uphill which made for a challenge.  Most of us push-pull crawled this but I stuck with the shoulder crawl technique.

We climbed some hills before taking over Glory Blades.

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And climbed some more before heading down to Funky Monkey.

Muddersection was anti-climactic but Arctic Enema was cold and shocking as always!

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For me, the 2nd greatest moment came at Walk the Plank.  After 3-4 non-jumps, our most FFabulous Oso, Kristen, made the leap!  She overcame a serious fear in front of the huge crowd.  It was one of the defining moments…

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Kristen wtplank

After Walk the Plank was our Tough Mudder” since we climbed for the next 2.5 miles.  We helped many a mudder at Devil’s Beard.  Another defining moment came at Balls to the Wall where two of our Osos overcame their fear of heights to clear the top of the wall and descend safely!  Pressing on, we looked like professionals at the Berlin Walls!  Our strategy of having roles and focusing on safety and efficiency really paid off here as our 38 breezed over them!  The climb continued and peaked at Lumberjacked where again, we breezed right through with the help of the 10-finger hoist technique.

We all knew that once we made it to mile 7 we would be OK.  On our descent we hit Pole Dancer before Pyramid Scheme at the base of the mountain.  This was another area where strategy paid off.  We had 4 basemen, 2 rows of flyers, and a top row of pulleruppers.  It formed and disassembled like a charm:

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After the Pyramid we had one final climb (there’s always one more hill!).  After we peaked we did the Warrior Carry before hitting the Legionnaire’s Loop.  Fire in Your Hole was a blast!

The group reunited there and moved on to the pinnacle of the event, staying together at Electroshock Therapy!  We practiced this a couple times in our Training.  From what I heard afterwards, I think I was the only one who believed we could pull this off!  Even “Start-line Sean” was surprised!  This represents what being part of a team is all about!  Against all odds, all 38 of Los Neuty Osos held together as 1!

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I’m not sure if we will ever replicate this experience!  Every group is special, but this one was F*cking Fabulous!  I am so proud to be part of this team!  When I think about how I get to be their leader, I just shake my head and smile!  It is an honor and privilege to train, hang, and mud with an incredible group of individuals!  See you at the next one!

Tough Mudder Summer – 3rd Edition!

It’s back!  Although all of our classes are awesome, nothing beats a hot summer night at Neuty!

JOIN LOS NEUTY OSOS!

12 Weeks of Hills and Skills Get You Ready for Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet!

Tough Mudder Great Northeast!

THURSDAYS 6:30PM RAIN OR SHINE!

Neutaconkanut Hill aka Neuty aka The Gem of Silver Lake!

6/5/14 – 8/21/14

$199 (includes sick racing shirt!)

Special Rates for Current Osos: $149

REFER A FRIEND FOR A 10% DISCOUNT!

What does it look/feel like to run the hills/trails at Neuty?  See below:

Trotting down from the Summit:

Up and Over the Natural Marine Hurdle:

If you do this training, you will be in the best shape of your life!

TM NE 2013 Finish

Los Neuty Osos Celebrating the 2013 Conquest!

Don’t think you can handle this?  Explain why to this guy!

Bacon and Kimchi!

A couple weeks ago I prepared one of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever made!  I stole this idea from one of my favorite dishes at my favorite new restaurant, Public Kitchen in the Renaissance in Providence!  The owner is a client at LbF and we talk a lot of shop during our sessions.  The chef there is into the WAPF philosophy and makes his own fermented dishes and broths, among many other amazing items!

The dish is called bacon and kimchi and came highly recommended!  It lived up to the hype and now it’s a staple whenever we dine there!

I decided to make my own.  Here’s what I came up with, from bottom to top arranged in a nice big bowl:

  • Steel cut oats – I soaked them in salt and whey the night before then cooked them according to the Nourishing Traditions Porridge recipe
  • Sauteed onions in bacon fat – this isn’t part of Public’s dish but I figured it would work…it did!
  • Homemade Kimchi – we always have some going in our fermentation cabinet
Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi

Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi

As I said this was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever eaten!  I believe the fact that I was probably 20 hours fasted and came from Neuty had something to do with it, but I’ve made it again since and it was still awesome!

 

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Bacon, oats, eggs, kimchi

Before

Before

During

During

Clean Bowl Club

Clean Bowl Club

 

Labor of Love (and a little pain)

Now that I have done the “knocked up” and the “pregnancy recap” posts, I figured I should post about the big day – the day that I gave birth to the most amazing little boy named Luke Donato McGowan!

The day after my official due date, Ryan and I chatted about how it could be a while and we agreed not to stress about our baby’s arrival.  I went to bed around 11 pm that night but couldn’t fall asleep.  About 90 minutes later I started having contractions.  Right away they were 4 minutes apart lasting about a minute.  We stayed in bed for the first couple hours and then moved downstairs for the rest of the night.  We walked around the house and moved in all kinds of positions to manage the contractions.  I tried laying down but that did not help at all, what did help was when Ryan squeezed my hips – a technique we learned in one of our classes.

I went through a period in between contractions where I would get the shivers because I was so cold, but then would get hot and start having convulsions – they SUCKED!  Oh yeah and to make things even worse I got sick a couple times! :) Eventually that all passed and around 7 am I decided that we needed to get to the hospital!  As soon as we got into the car the song “Best Day of My Life” by the American Authors came on!! :) Things became surreal and intense!  I told Ryan that we had waited wayyyy tooo long!!! (In other words, I was in “transition!”)  As I walked into triage my contractions were about 2 minutes apart!

After checking in, I was asked if I still wanted to go to the Alternative Birthing Center.  Here is where I paused. I knew in my head that I wanted to do the ABC but if I was only a few centimeters and I was experiencing this much pain, then there was no way in hell that I was going to go through with it. BUT if I was further along then I would go for it.  When the nurse examined me she announced that I was 8 cm!!!  “Whoa!” or “Holy Sh*t!”  Not sure what I said…“Call my mom!” I told Ryan.

It felt great that we stuck to our plan of laboring at home for as long as we did. Now in the ABC I was checked again and measured at 9 cm at 7:45 am! I was so excited and thought “ha this kid is going to be pushed out of me in no time!”  WRONG!!!! I then stalled to the point where my contractions were up to 10 minutes apart. Until about 10 am I was in the most pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. I screamed and yelled and prayed. I asked for an epidural, drugs of any kind, and then for a c-section, because I didn’t care how he came out at this point I was just in so much pain! Lucky for me I had a great nurse who never coddled me.  She gave it to me straight: if I did get any medication, it would either slow things down or might not even kick in before birth.  So medically I received nothing, just a lot of encouragement and support.

Finally it was GO time! After 1.5 hours of pushing harder than any kettlebell workout imaginable, Luke came into this world!  The funny part here was as his head (finally) emerged, his eyes were open and he was facing Ryan.  At this moment Ryan was supposed to help with the delivery but froze in awe and had to be reminded of his duties by the midwife.  I wish we got a picture of his face at that moment!  Luke was placed on my chest immediately.  At that moment I felt only love, absolutely no pain at all!

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I am proud of myself for getting though it (even though there were times I didn’t think I could) and am SO PROUD of my husband!  With the love and support Ryan gave me I was able to deliver our child. I honestly could not have done it without him!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I feel the classes Ryan and I took with Kaeli Sutton were the best thing that we could have done. As she stressed in class, it was my/our birth and we should decide how things were handled.  While her class helped prepare me mentally, I believe that staying active in my pregnancy enabled my body to deliver naturally.  Now 2 weeks postpartum I feel great!  I have tons of energy and our little man is eating and sleeping like a champ!  I’m hopefully not speaking too soon because we will never know what Luke has in store for us! All I do know is that we are very lucky!

Thank you everyone again for all of your help, support, and most of all the outpouring of love that we have received!  We are truly blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people like all of you!

-Much Love
First Laidy!

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Pregnancy Recap!

Where did the time go? It seems like I just posted that I was “knocked up” and now I am about to pop!  The last 39 weeks have been awesome and I cannot wait to meet our little one!  I just want to know if it’s a boy who will be climbing anything/everything and lifting heavy things or a little girl, who I’m sure will take on some of the heavy lifting and climbing, but hopefully want to do her hair and nails too! :)

I want to share what this whole experience has been like for me and what I did to keep myself sane, in shape, and most important, happy! First I feel extremely blessed with how my pregnancy has turned out!  I never got sick and for the most part kept doing what I do on a normal every day basis. Before getting pregnant I worked 50ish hours on my feet, worked out twice a week, got a massage and acupuncture once a month, saw the chiropractor once a week, and took my juice plus everyday. I am still doing all of this except the working out thing, which is now more like once a week… and when I do I am still lifting and swinging!
25 Weeks

25 Weeks

The “Pregnant Kettlebell Complex” at 30 weeks!
38 Weeks

38 Weeks

I passed on the pre-natal vitamins and went with Juice Plus, Cod Liver Oil and a iron supplement (from whole foods).  I also started to introduce a B-complex and Isotonix OPC-3 based on Ryan’s recommendations after I was dealing with some back pain.  I have noticed that I have a lot more energy and the pain went away!  I always take them in the morning before breakfast which is usually a cup of Ezekial or sprouted grain/flax cereal and a little whole milk (raw when we can smuggle it).  I’ve also been doing raspberry leaf tea at night in the hopes that it strengthens my uterus, among other benefits.

As far as skin care, I’ve been using coconut oil to keep my skin supple.  My belly is definitely out there at the moment but stretch-mark-free:).  The uses of coconut oil for mom and baby require a separate post altogether.  Stay tuned!

As far as education, the books that I liked the best were: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (a great break-down on the birthing process as told by well-respected midwife, Ina May Gaskin, Thanks Lynn!), Baby Wise (sleep training, Thanks Rick!) and Baby Bargains  (compares every friggen baby product known to man kind and lets you know which is the best for your money, Thanks Gina!).

Reading is great, but we also wanted some practice.  My midwife gave me Kaeli Sutton’s name.  Kaeli is a Duola, a massage therapist, and yoga instructor who teaches a unique birthing class to help prepare couples for what lies ahead. We took three semi private classes with her and I think it’s the best thing Ryan and I could have done!  We feel as confident and ready as we can to get this whole birth thing under way. She taught us about the different stages of labor and what the mother goes through, breathing techniques, and different positions for the mother to labor in to help manage the contractions.

We hope to stay at home as long as possible while I labor and then go to the Alternative Birthing Center at Women and Infants.  Who knows what will happen?  One of the take-home messages from working with Kaeli was that this is my birth!  Come back to the breath during challenging moments and ultimately do what I feel is best for me and the baby!  So no matter what happens, I hope to walk away feeling like I did my best and I (or we) was the one making the decisions.

I also want to say thank you to everyone for all of the well wishes and kind words!  It means so much to us to have you all in our lives!  We will keep you posted!

DISCLAIMER!

Our legal department has advised me to make the following statement: do not try this at home!  All of the pictures and videos seen above were conducted by trained professionals in a controlled setting.  None of the moves done during my pregnancy were “first attempts” and therefore I do not find them to be irresponsible.  That being said, I do not recommend rope climbing, turkish getups, or swinging from anything while pregnant if you do not have experience doing these activities before you got pregnant.  Please be smart, but you can still have fun!

Let’s Move Like Kids and Eat Like Adults!

Another post for the simple not easy archives!  With an exorbitant amount of information concerning diet and exercise, it’s easy to be confused/frustrated/apathetic/etc.  We’re here to simplify things for you.  The latest LbF guide to healthy living is detailed below:

Move like Kids!

When did you move the most in your life?  When did you enjoy moving the most in your life?  For most of us, these questions conjure up fond memories of recess, making forts or obstacle courses, or playing until the street lights came on.  Why do we get away from that?  Why do we always complicate things?  Kids are the best movers around and they don’t even think about it!  They move fluidly, intuitively, and often.  Let’s be like them!

  • Use our surroundings to create a workout.  Even better, let’s not think of it as a workout, let’s just move and challenge our bodies for a while.  Great natural exercise equipment includes: rocks and logs for lifting and carrying, hills and trees for climbing, fallen trees for balancing, small bushes or low fences for hurdling, soft grass or sand for crawling or tumbling.

Snowy Oso Carry

  • Move naturally.  I loathe the term “functional training.” Doing unilateral-hyper-reverse-power-lunges on a bosu ball may be impressive but what function does it serve?  Kids just run, crawl, climb, jump, etc.  Let’s try to match them!  Notice their posture, tempo, and how they use gravity and momentum to their advantage.

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  • Play outside.  We simply feel better after moving outside.  The air’s fresh.  The sunlight warms our skin (and is much quieter than fluorescent bulbs).  Wind provides natural resistance.  Terrain with rocks, roots, ups and downs require more skill and awareness than the belt of a treadmill.  Think you’re fit?  Try to keep up with a kid on a playground for 30 minutes!

Thurs Oso (1)

  • Do it with friends.  Kids are masters at making up games and ad hoc rules.  Let’s emulate them, or have them design the workout!  Plus friends act as accountability partners.

Osos Sand Dunes

Eat like Adults!

Usually I’m against “growing up” but in this case it’s called for.  We all know food is the most significant factor in our overall health, yet so many of us eat like we’re still in the elementary school cafeteria.  We don’t have a 9 year old’s metabolism and by now our digestive system has some wear and tear.  Let’s do as we say kids should do:

  • Eat vegetables and some fruit – preferably local, seasonal, and organic whenever possible.
  • Properly prepare nuts/seeds/grains/etc. by soaking or fermenting them.  It’s easier than you think!
  • Don’t fear the fat!  High quality olive oil, coconut oil, and real butter contain important fat-soluble vitamins.  Terms such as “cold-pressed”, “extra virgin”, and “unrefined” are typically good.  Avoid products that are “hydrogenated”, “hydrolyzed”, “refined”, or sound like it took a serious science project to process them.  
  • Do your homework.  Choose products from happy animals.  Back in the day you probably just bought “eggs“.  Now you have to figure out whether you want “free range“, “cage free”, “vegetarian fed”, “omega-3″, etc.  Unfortunately “natural” doesn’t really mean anything these days.  Look for “organic”, “pastured”, “grass fed (and finished)”, etc.
  • Indulge sensibly.  Except for the holidays, Superbowl, and maybe Halloween, choose treats that contain some beneficial health properties (e.g. red wine, dark chocolate, 1-2 beers, whiskey, high quality cheese, etc.).
  • Or simply put, eat food that contains LIFE!  It requires some preparation, cooking, and explaining to people who eat “normal”, but it’s worth it!  This video gives some perspective starting at 2:30 but especially at 7:10.

Bold r Dash on the Beach Training!

We had a blast last year at Misquamicut Beach!  This year we’re going to Scarborough!  To get Team Laid-back Bizness ready for Bold r Dash on the Beach, we are heading to our own beach on Saturday mornings at 0930.  Here are the details:

8 Weeks of Sand and Skills to get you Ready for

Bold r Dash on the Beach 5/3/14

3/8/14 – 4/26/14

Saturdays 0930 at LbF

(meet at the studio before a short run to the beach)

$99 includes T-shirt

$75 for previous Laid-back Bizness members!

Refer a friend for a 10% discount!

Sign up now!

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LBB

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