2018 5K & Firetruck Pull to benefit Area 19 Special Olympics Virginia Athletes

Come join us at the Onancock Elks Lodge #1766 in Accomac, VA for the 3rd Annual 5K & Firetruck Pull to Benefit Area 19 Special Olympics Virginia Athletes!  The event will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday April 21, 2018 at 22454 Front Street in Accomac, VA.  You can visit the event page for more information.

If you are interested in the 5K, you can download a printable registration form by clicking on the following link:  Elks 5K Registration and Waiver.  Complete the form and return it to the Lodge with your registration fee.  I will be coordinating the run, so if you have any questions about it feel free to contact me at animalwhiz@yahoo.com.

If you have any questions about the Firetruck Pull, you can contact the Lodge or message me and I will find out the information for you.

This is a really great, fun event for all ages and supports a wonderful cause.  Help us make it the best yet!

 

Advertisements

TIME: The only thing ALL of us don’t have enough of

Time needs to slow down. No, really. I’m serious. It’s going by WAY too fast.

A lot has happened since I last blogged, which is why I haven’t blogged in so long…no time! If I could just get another 8 hours added on to every day I just might have enough time in a day to get everything done that I both need AND want to. Unfortunately, that will never happen. So I’ll just have to keep on doing the best I can.

SOULBODY

In May of this year I stumbled upon another group fitness opportunity, thanks to some info provided to me by my Pound Master Pro. It is called Soul Body Body Barre. After hearing about it I immediately had to learn more. I went to their website and looked around, watched the videos and knew that I had to learn how to teach this! A mindfully intense, full-body workout that pulls from the practices of barre, yoga and pilates, and incorporates a lot of body weight training. This particular class uses a ball and a body bar in pre-choreographed routines that are suitable for any and all fitness levels.

As soon as I heard about a training opportunity that was within a reasonable distance for me, I didn’t hesitate to sign up.

About a week prior to training, the instructor emailed information about the class, along with an instructional video to teach us the structure and choreography. I immediately got to work. I printed out my notes and started the video. I made it through the warm-up with no problem! Then the first real track came on. I made it through, but had to modify my technique drastically, and honestly started to wonder if I could teach a class like this. Then the second track, and third, and so on…Wow! That was one intense workout! I had a lot of work to do.

Well, to make a long story short, I went all-in and busted my tail to complete my training because I couldn’t WAIT to bring this to my community! After taking the certification course I had to submit a video of me teaching a full-length class as my “practical exam.” I had a month to submit a video after the certifying course, but I jumped right on it and one week and one day later my video was recorded! It did take me 2 takes to get one, but I did finally get it.

I have to share this little side note with you. After I completed the “final cut” video, I packaged up my laptop and when I got home the file was GONE. No joke. I panicked and just about totally lost my cool. Are you kidding me? I had to get some volunteers to be my class “guinea pigs” two days in a row, had a nearly perfect take and it didn’t save? I was almost in tears. But I took 5 minutes. Did some breathing exercises. Then went back to my laptop. I was able to find a cached file with the full length video. IMMEDIATELY saved it to my desktop, to my external hard drive, and to drop box! Crisis averted.

So I submitted my video. Within a day I received an email that I had passed! Celebration time! I was now certified to teach the class and couldn’t wait to do so! Now, to find time to teach the class. It was, and still has been, very difficult to find times to make this class available due to my current full-time job that has irregular hours, and I was already trying to find more time to make Pound available. I was also teaching a SPIN class on days when I was available too. And there’s all the running.

sbbodybarrelogo

Now you see why I need more hours in my day? And I don’t even have (human) kids.

We have managed to fit my classes into the schedule, but they each only happen once (sometimes twice) a week. I hope to one day be able to free my schedule up to be able to offer more fitness classes at regular and at a variety of times. I’m working on it…

CHOMPERS

Our oldest dog, Chompers, had to be put to rest on July 15th of this year. He had just turned 14 a few days prior. Chompers has had orthopedic problems his entire life, starting with Osteochondritis Dissecans when he was a 6 month old puppy. He has spent his entire life on joint supplements! About 2-3 years ago he started to slow down some and was diagnosed with arthritis in one of his front legs. He’s been on pain medication and NSAIDs since then. Eventually his back legs started to show a lack of proprioception (neurologic issues). We managed him by keeping him comfortable with medications, light exercise and lots of love. In June he really started to decline and by the first of July his back end was giving out on him altogether at times.

We had to make the decision when we were home with him one day and had to witness him have an episode where his back end gave out on him. He struggled to get up and was panicking because he just couldn’t. I started to wonder how often that was happening when we weren’t home. It would be selfish and unfair of us to not allow him to have a dignified farewell. So, after much discussion, we planned his peaceful departure.

The day of, things couldn’t have been more obvious that the time was right. That morning, Chompers was not able to use his back legs at all. I spent the entire day with him, loved him, cried over him, and took in every last bit of him that I could. He was my heart dog and I was dreading this day for years!

Chris came home and, after he spent some time with Chompers, we headed to the animal hospital. Things couldn’t have gone more peacefully. It was sad, yes, but it was also a great relief knowing that he was no longer in any pain. He will always be my “heart dog!”

I cannot begin to say enough words about the company who took care of Chompers afterward.  I entrusted Agape Pet Services to have Chompers cremated with his ashes returned to me.  As I sought the perfect urn for Chompers on their website, I saw this glass crystal cube that you could have your pet’s image etched into it.  It looked really neat and I already knew which picture I wanted to have etched!  My all-time favorite picture of Chompers from back when he was 4 years old.  I had to have it.  And I found the perfect urn.  The company was great to deal with, ordering was easy and everything was absolutely perfect upon arrival.  Thanks for taking care of my boy Agape!

The etched crystal & Urn


RODAN + FIELDS

It’s now been a few months since I’ve been teaching both Pound and, recently renamed, Soul Body Barre Unhitched. All of my time is spent now working my full time job at the animal hospital, teaching group fitness classes, trying to squeeze in some miles whenever I can, keeping current on my class choreography, every day chores and the dealings of life, and occasionally I’m able to sneak in some entertainment with my love. No time to spare. I need more hours in my day!

Then a friend starts talking to me about her business as a skin care consultant with Rodan + Fields dermatologists. It sounded quite interesting, especially the part where she said she was able to free up some time from a job to do what she really enjoyed, which is teaching a Spin class to people with Parkinson’s disease (pretty cool, I know!). She asked me if I was familiar with R+F and I said of course, they’re the Doctors responsible for Proactiv. She started to tell me more about the business and asked me if I’d be interested. At first I was not. But then I thought about it some more. If I did this, I just might be able to free up some hours myself to be able to do what I really WANT to do. Even better, I could earn more money to help pay off bills, to be able to afford to visit my family in the midwest more often, and to fund my many hobbies (like running). And, what a great complement to group fitness this would be! Helping people feel their best on the inside AND outside! The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had nothing to lose to give it a try. I know R+F, and I know they’re product lines do what they claim.

RodanandFields LogoSo, yes, I am now trying to launch and grow my own business and I’m loving it!

I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but over the past several years my passions have changed. I am still very passionate about animals. But I have become more passionate about making others feel their best through group fitness and run coaching, nutrition advice and now premium skin care. My ultimate goal is to, over the next 5 years (give or take) flip-flop my job and my hobbies.

It seems to be working a little bit since I now have time to sit down and write a blog post!

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about Rodan + Fields, feel free to contact me!

So that about sums it up.  That’s what I’ve been up to, and if all goes well, you’ll be hearing more from me soon!  Until then, hug your pets and live your best life.

Summer is a time for Relaxation, but yet is always so busy…

Thankfully, not just with “work,” but also with much devoted “family time.” This is my excuse for the lack of blogging for the past couple of months. I keep thinking I’ll have more time to sit down and “think” and write, but the fact is, I have much LESS time to do so. The weather is too beautiful to be indoors so we spend the majority of our at-home time enjoying the outdoors. As it should be.

I’ve also been testing 2 products over the past few weeks that I promise to post reviews about! Both have been proving to be quite successful. The only hints I will give you are 1) one product is made by a dog product company that I already adore and will make your dog able to join you during outdoor activity more frequently, and 2) one is proving to be a savior for a dog showing thunderstorm phobia. So be on the lookout for those reviews in the next 4-6 weeks. I want to test them a bit more and I should have time to actually sit down and think at some point during that time frame.

Meanwhile, I am going to continue to enjoy this beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia weather we’ve been having with my family.

I hope you are all having a fun-filled, relaxing and enjoyable summer.

~AnimalWhiz >^..^<

5 weeks to my first half marathon

Only 5 weeks left until my first Half Marathon (finally)! Today I ran 12+ miles, of which my running buddy CJ was able to finish the last 5 miles with me. He is almost 9, so I only allow him to run with me for up to 10Km. More than that is just too much. And when the weather gets warmer, unfortunate for him, his distance gets much shorter. Today he joined me at mile 7 and we ran for 5 and walked the last half mile.

Not only am I preparing for my first half marathon, but two weeks from today is when I go to get my POUND certification! I’m really excited about this because I really enjoy Pound, and I am looking forward to sharing the fitness phenom with others.

I’ve been asked to teach Pound at my local fitness facility during the month of April. It’s so soon! There’s no way I’m going to be ready to teach a class by April! But I have been working on songs and routines and think I might just be able to come up with something in a month. Playlist is set, now I just need to get the routine set…in my brain…so set that my nerves won’t F*%k it all up when class time rolls around! So I agreed to do it.

Why do I do this to myself? I’ve got a half marathon I’m training for, I’ve got tons of fundraising to accomplish for the Run for the Animals between now and my half marathon, and now I have to learn a Pound routine and have it ready to go by April! And there’s a trip to visit some friends in PA smack-dab in the middle of all of this. Oh, yeah, and I have a full-time job. I do this to myself because it helps to motivate me to get stuff done! Yes, sometimes I get stressed out, but nothing so serious that a beer or three can’t take care of.

Oh, yeah, and I’m still taking classes for my AFAA certification too. But I have until November to get that finished…

We are given this one life. I am trying to make the most of it. For myself and for others. That’s what makes me go. If I don’t get all of it accomplished on my schedule, I hope that I am given enough time to accomplish whatever it is that I am here to do!

So you say it’s too cold for a run…

Aside

It’s no secret that I am a fair-weather runner.  I adjust my running schedule based on the weather forecast.  I don’t have a treadmill, nor do I really want or need one.  I just have to pick and choose my battles when I run!  I will and have run in the rain, sleet, snow, heat, humidity and (the most dreaded for me) wind.  But if I don’t have to run in crappy weather, I won’t!  Or at least I’ll scout out the nicest days of the week and make those my run days.  On my off run days, I will often cross train at home with a Jillian Michaels DVD, POUND DVD, or I’ll do my own thing, like this:

An easy & effective workout to keep you conditioned between runs

An easy & effective workout to keep you conditioned between runs

Use this and let me know what you think and/or how you feel afterward.  Was it too easy?  Too difficult?  Too boring?  Just right?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  >^..^<

For the Love of Run

As a kid in a tiny town in Northern Illinois, I did a lot of running and bicycling because all of my friends from school were several miles away.  Where I lived was considered the “boonies” so, to visit my friends, I’d hop on my bike and ride into town (about 5-7 miles, but it felt like 20+) and back, or I’d run and make my Mom pick me up from Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  I was also active in school sports, namely basketball.  I don’t know how many of you are familiar with basketball, but there’s a lot of sprinting that goes into the game, along with the dribbling and shooting of hoops!

Unfortunately, I was one of those kids that was easily influenced by others and by the time I was 18, I’d taken up the awful habit of smoking.  It started out as it usually does; one here, another there as I was hanging out with my friends.  Then eventually it developed into a habit.  A nasty habit that I was not proud of and tried to break myself of at least a dozen times.  Along with the smoking came the lack of willingness to do other physical activities, like running.  By the time I was a Junior in college, I was smoking a pack-a-day and not really doing anything in terms of physical activity other than walking to and from classes, daily routine stuff, and working my full-time job.

Fast-forward to 2008.  My long-time boyfriend (still happily un-married; another blog post at a future time) and I moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia from Southern California.  We went from the Mojave Desert to the beautiful green, surrounded-by-water Eastern Shore.  It was like I belonged here!  It reminded me of my childhood home in Northern Illinois; a small farming community where the majority of the people are very friendly and sociable, only this place is warmer and surrounded by salt-water as opposed to fresh-water.  This new environment made me want to get out and explore!  But I was so out of shape; I wasn’t overweight, I was just not very physically fit and was unmotivated.  Cue the motivation.

In order to get my diet and nutrition on track, I signed up for Weight Watchers.  I had a few pounds I could stand to lose, but I really wanted to learn how to 1) eat right and 2) control my portions.  No matter what your opinions may be about Weight Watchers, it was great for me.  It was step one to gaining control of my health.  Not only did Weight Watchers teach me how to control what I eat, but the meetings and the other members were very supportive and helped provide me with the much-needed motivation I was looking for.

During the time I spent at Weight Watchers, I also started getting active again by walking.  We live 1 mile from the water, so I’d leash up the dogs and we’d head down to the end of our neck and enjoy the beautiful view.  The dogs could run off-leash and explore the shore so they were having a great time!  I eventually started incorporating short bouts of running into my walks; I’d walk for 5 minutes then run for 30 seconds to a minute, and walk some more.  I would often get short of breath because of the smoking.  Stupid cigarettes.  I wish I’d never started because quitting smoking is not easy!…

After numerous unsuccessful attempts at quitting smoking, I was finally successful in 2011!  With the help of running and an electronic cigarette by blu, I was able to curb the addiction and then the habit.  The more I ran, the more I wanted to run; the less I smoked, the more I was able to run.  So, running kind of saved my life in a sense.  And I’ve been keeping up with it ever since.  I literally love to run.

Allow me to introduce myself…

My name is Beth and I am an animal enthusiast and a runner reborn.  Professionally I work in the animal care field.  Personally I enjoy running and general fitness, I am an active supporter of local animal welfare, and I am a beer connoisseur.

Animals have always been a big part of my life.  For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with them.  I was that kid that would try to save any and every little critter that happened upon me, whether it needed “saving” or not!

Running is something else that I enjoyed as a teen and in my early twenties, but I let that hobby slip away somewhere around Sophomore or Junior year in college.  I used the “I don’t have time” excuse and once the habit disappeared, the running ceased.  Until about 6 years ago.  That’s when I realized how unhealthy I’d allowed myself to become and decided it was time to get my health, and my life, back!  We’ll delve into my personal history in a later blog post.

As for the beer.  I just truly enjoy good beer.

My purpose for starting this blog is primarily to help keep me accountable for the things I say I am going to do, and make sure I am practicing what I preach.  I’ve tried journaling and that just didn’t cut the mustard because there was no one else but myself involved in ensuring I stayed accountable.  By opening up to the world there are endless wonderful people involved in helping me reach my goals, both personally and professionally.