Reassurance

I’ve started teaching a beginner’s yoga class out of Foolish Things Coffee Shop on Tuesday mornings.  Right now we meet at 7 am every Tuesday.  It’s very much a come-as-you-are (fresh out of bed), pay-what-you-can (gratitude and effort) beautiful way to start the day.

I find most of my exercise choices to be spiritual experiences.  My favorite sport – running – is very much that way.  Whether I’m out in the morning with the sunrise welcoming new opportunities for the day or in the evening as the sun sets, reflecting on the accomplishments and setbacks of the day, it’s a mindful time for me.  Yoga though, in my personal experience reigns queen as a spiritual fitness experience.

I very much believe in the practice of setting intentions.  In yoga class, other forms of exercise, and daily life  What do you want out of your efforts today?  What do you hope to accomplish with your time today?  Why are you putting energy into this?  What do you need?  I think we get so rushed and settled into routines that most of the time we aren’t intentional about our actions.

My intention this week is reassurance.  I wrote last week about the uncertainty of change.  Transition periods often lasting longer than the actual act of transformation.  I’ve had a week to meditate on the changes in physical place, mental state and consciousness and I’m ready to embrace the start of the new season.  The next step is reassurance.

To restore confidence to; to remove doubt or hesitation from; to relieve from fear

What in your life needs some confidence?  How can you work towards that?  Talk to someone.  Make a plan.  Set a budget and track your spending.  Write things down.  See the progress.

What doubts can you let go of?  How would you proceed forward if there was no fear?

How can you support yourself?  Who else can you draw on for support?  Reach out for assurance from others.  Ask for an accountability partner.

How can you support someone else?  What can you give to help reassure others?

Often times the best way to get what you need is to give it to the universe.  Give someone a big hug today.  Give someone words of confidence.  Give someone some reassurance and you may find yourself believing it too.

It’s going to be ok, I promise.

Meet the Athletes: BenAnna

Time to introduce you to some new recruits!  Meet BenAnna – the third couple in what seems to be a trend in my Tulsa clientele.  I’ll take it – the couple that sweats together stays together 😉

Meet BenAnna (pronounced like a fancy but silly “banana”)

BenAnna

BenAnna

These kids are fast approaching their wedding (February 7) and are super motivated to not only get in shape but bring some inner-athletes back to life.

Ben: Ben used to be able to dunk a basketball.  Ben would like to do that again.  He’s also working towards looking and feeling great in that tux on his wedding day.

Anna:  This bride-to-be doesn’t have any weight to lose but wants to strengthen her arms for the big day.  Instead of setting that as a goal though, she’s decided she’d like to walk on her hands across the coffee shop where she works.

Goals:  Look and feel so great throughout the stress of wedding planning, and on the big day.  Make it to those challenging (and so interesting) fitness goals.  Anna is also very interested in the nutrition side of health (as everyone should be) and we’ll be incorporating some cooking and planning ahead into her routine.

Timeline: For life.  But quickly for February.

Action Plan:  It’s a challenge because Anna’s in school for half the week just north of Tulsa.  And when she is here, she’s working most of the days.

  • 2-3 days of at home workouts each per week
  • One “love birds” couple workout with me per week
  • One group workout per week

As time gets closer to the big day, right around the holidays, we’ll ramp up the intensity and nutrition focus.  For now we’re mostly focused on frequency and making it a routine habit.

They’re loving it:

#sprenkeled

#sprenkeled

Recipe: Daly Special

Y’all it has been a day.  I got back from Memphis last night with just enough energy from so much driving to get the new toy into the house, snuggle my crazy girl and crawl into bed.  Something about being in Memphis or being in the car or being around a bunch of people rooting for me had the productive engines on today.  I caught an incredible sunrise this morning on a run around the river with the Runnin’ Fools and then feel like I conquered the world through a series of business errands.

Morning Magic

Morning Magic

First was the magnificent accomplishment of jumping off the family phone plan!  While I appreciate that it’s the more economical choice to continue to pay Verizon through the Bank of Mom and Dad, it just feels so much more adult to do it on my own.  And I know they’ll appreciate having most of their data back 🙂

That trip also allowed me to set up enough data for myself so that I can have a personal hotspot through my phone. Which means I’m writing this from the comfort of Casa Santa Fe instead of having to work online during the hours of Foolish Things.  Welcome back to the 21st century, Coach Sprenkel!

Thursdays are quickly becoming my night to cook and I’m ready for another recipe share.  I mentioned this one when I wrote about the Catoosa Blue Whale – it’s a perfect picnic salad and I easily tweaked it to feed just me tonight.  The recipe below is for a single serving (and named after it’s inventor, Mr. Ryan Daly).

The Daly Special

Daly Special

Daly Special

  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 half avocado
  • 4 slices pancetta
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp Brianna’s French Vinaigrette Dressing

The first step is to fry the pancetta.  I found a no nitrates/nitrites added brand at Sprouts (gotta be careful with these cured meats and their additives) and cooked up 4 slices.  It starts out kind of like prosciutto but finishes as crispy as you want it, like bacon.

No badditives

No badditives

Once the pancetta is cooked through, save the grease.  It’s not a lot if you’re just cooking for one and toss the chopped walnuts into it.  Stir them around over low heat for 3-4 minutes until toasted.

That’s all folks.  Then you just assemble the salad.  Leaves then tomatoes then avocado then pancetta then walnuts then a splash of dressing.  Creamy and salty are baller together.

 

Memphis Roadtrip

I’m sitting outside on the patio of my favorite cafe in Memphis – Cafe Ecclectic.  I’ve got a naked Rachel’s Wrap in my belly, a to go coffee on the way, warm sun on my face and a fall breeze playing with my hair.  This cafe is just a block away from the place I spent my four college years – Rhodes College, and just a hop, skip and jump from my forever second home, the place that put me on this coaching path – Inside Out Gym.

Memphis has changed a lot since I left.  It seems like mostly for the better.  Overton Square is about bursting with options for dinner, patios with string lights and music on the square.  There are more options for grocery stores and the Riverfront continues to be developed.  I still need to go down to check out River Fit in person and see how I can maybe bring some of those ideas back to Tulsa’s newest river project – The Gathering Space.

I’m here to pick up a new toy for the studio at home, which I’ll reveal as soon as it makes it safely there.  And to of course see as many friends as I can, and give just as many two-armed hugs in the less than 15 hours I am here.  I’ll peek into the gym and swing by St. Jude.  I wish there was more time to stay and play in Overton Park or run all along the river but there’s just not.

The drive east from Tulsa wasn’t bad at all.  I left around 1:20 pm, hit the Broken Arrow Turnpike and then 40 East.  It was a simple and beautiful drive – filled first with the colors of Oklahoma fields and then the greens of Arkansas’s mountains.  I’m a little concerned for the trip back just because I passed miles and miles of bumper to bumper traffic on 40 W on this side of Little Rock.  It had been stopped for so long that people were out of their cars chatting with strangers on the side of the road…not looking to repeat the Little Rock traffic experience of February, even if the weather is beautiful!

I rolled into Memphis just before 7pm and was treated to the most incredible sunset.  I tried to take some pictures but of course it won’t do it justice.  I have always loved the river here, and especially at sunset.  It’s magical and romantic and southern and familiar and comfy and inspiring.  Memphis you’re a treat, and I’m so glad to be here.

 

Roadside Attraction: Catoosa Blue Whale

It’s been a glorious fall day here.  I took Miley for a quick run around the neighborhood this morning after teaching a beginner’s yoga class at Foolish Things Coffee.  I’m staying inspired by my clients and nature today.  In just a few minutes, after this blog is posted, I’ll be on the road for the first time to Memphis from Tulsa.  I’m really looking forward to seeing some new parts of this region, visiting some sweet friends once I’m there and bringing home a fun toy for the studio 🙂 Stay tuned!

 

Last week, I ventured outside of Tulsa for a little Oklahoma field trip.  Other than the small town stops along my route from Austin to Tulsa, I haven’t been anywhere in Oklahoma except this town.  I went with my friend Ashley to see her husband’s band – The Fabulous Minx – play at The Blue Whale.  Ash suggested it earlier in the week and proposed a picnic and concert evening.  How could I turn it down?

Catoosa is less than an hour east of Tulsa and the drive wasn’t bad at all.  Of course, I was just enjoying their company and Spotify playlists from the back seat but still, it didn’t seem to drag on.  We arrived at the Blue Whale, right off the side of the Route 66 road and parked in the gravel parking lot.  There were some other attractions there like a tamale stand and arc sculpture that weren’t open for us to explore.  But the whale was!

Welcome to the Blue Whale!

Welcome to the Blue Whale!

Ashley and I played on the whale while the boys set up stuff for the show.  She told me the tale of the whale, which I will now tell you.  Ol’ Blue is the name of the iconic whale that was built as an anniversary gift from a man to his wife.  Hugh S. Davis was his name and he owned the land with the pond on it.  For years people and kids played in the pond, using it to cool off in the hot Oklahoma summers.

Hugh was a fan of nature, having worked at the Tulsa Zoo before retirement.  In 1970, Hugh enlisted the help of his friend Harold (a welder) to construct the whale.  It took them 2 years and Harold helped out free of charge (that Okie spirit, I’m tellin’ you!).  Once the whale was complete, people just came to it.  They wanted to jump off the tail (much as I did) and slide off the fins.  The Blue Whale was closed for a while after Hugh died but has been a restoration project ever since.  It was a great backdrop to the concert!  Before the show started kids played and fished on the whale.  There were turtles, fish and snakes in the water but no one swam.  Ryan said people don’t really swim in the pond anymore (I certainly couldn’t have been persuaded, it was pretty murky and stagnant).

After sitting a bit on the tail with Ashley, we carefully climbed down and started our picnic with the rest of the bandmates and their wives.  It was a delicious homemade salad (recipe soon!) and beer.  I loved getting to hear the Minx play for the first time.  The girls and I lounged on the blanket looking at the stars and observing with (not sure exactly) what kind of emotion the underage kids smoking and drinking while their friends’ band played.  Once the Minx came on, we were up and dancing around to their rockabilly sound.  It was a great trip outside town and I can’t wait to see the Minx again.

If you ever find yourself outside Tulsa to the east, swing by Ol’ Blue for a free place to picnic and some funky history.

Whale tails

Whale tails

Time for Memphis!!

Inspiration

1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something.  2.  the drawing in of breath

It’s interesting to me the stark difference in these two definitions for the same word.  There’s a proper grammatical term for this which I can’t remember (sorry Mrs. Thacker).  At first glance these two definitions for the word “inspiration” seem miles apart.  They are actually quite related.
I’ve been thinking about inspiration over the past few days.  Inspiration in the form of the first definition.  Recently with the big transition from Austin to Tulsa, arranging things in the house, recruiting new athletes for the team and challenging the current ones, I’ve lost sight of my personal inspiration.  I’m not trying to make excuses but I’m coming clean to all y’all.
In the almost six weeks I’ve been here I’ve skipped some workouts, eaten delicious chocolate chip cookies for days in a row, and had more to drink than in almost my entire two years in Austin
I’m telling you this, not to discredit myself as a fitness professional but to try to explain a deeper desire I have for all of you.  I hope, more than having a perfect diet, more than never missing a workout and more than being a perfect size 2, you realize that this “healthy lifestyle” will have ups and downs.  There will be good phases and bad phases.  Peaks and valleys.  Seasons.  But more than anything I want you to be able to let go sometimes, but still come back to what you know makes you feel good.  And to want to come back to what makes you feel good.
Over the past few days I’ve started to find inspiration in the season change.  Summer is slipping slowly into fall.   Although there is a date on the calendar when this seasonal change occurs, in real life it is a slower and less pronounced transition.  Each leaf takes it’s time turning from green to warm.  Soft to crisp.  A few 90 degree days slip in between the 60s and 70s.  The only thing that comes out full force at the first sign of fall are the boots and orders for pumpkin-flavored things.
I am transitioning into a new life.  New city.  New friends.  New clients.  New routines.  New spots.  New trails.  I shouldn’t have expected to adapt to it instantaneously.  I certainly got here and hit the ground running with the house, and the business and other jobs to make ends meet.  And in that mess I lost my personal commitment and daily intentionality.  But, just as the season doesn’t arrive on the day the calendar dictates, I have not fully arrived despite August 9 being my moving date.   As fall creeps in on September, I’m feeling the moving and settling season slip into a comfortable and routined phase.
As summer continues to slip into fall I’m committing to more intentionality.  More time in the morning with myself and my writing.  Regular running (4 times per week), weights (2-3 times per week), yoga (as needed).   Walks for Miley.  More eating at home, both for health and wealth purposes.  These are the daily things that will help me breathe life into my bigger dreams of continuing to inspire people to live their best lives.  To make the small but scary changes out of old habits.  To work towards my personal studio.  It’s time to end the transition and welcome the new season.
Your transition into fitness and health doesn’t have to be all or none.  This journey will have its seasons too, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is superhuman or bullshitting you.  I’m not here to do that.  Hold tight to whatever it is that inspires you.  A superstar athlete.  Your younger brother who won’t let go of a childhood dream despite repeated injuries.  Your boss who keeps her head up despite a sick husband and hospitalized daughter.  A friend who is unhappy in her situation so is facing fears to make change.  Your clients who show up day after day ready to work hard and get better.  Inspiration is out there – find yours and hold onto it, take a deep breath and exhale that inspiration into your dreams.
Inspiration in the Transition

Inspiration in the Transition

 

Meet the Athletes: The Carpenters

I’ve talked about the Carpenters a lot on this blog.  I give them credit for moving me to Tulsa.  It sure didn’t take long for me to recruit them to the team!

Meet Katie and Justin Carpenter:

IMG_3080

Justin and Katie on a visit to ATX

J. Carp – Justin is owner of Foolish Things Coffee Company and spends 12+ hours a day making sure it operates in the perfect way.  He promised his sister he would have a six-pack by the time she gets married in February.

Katie Carp – Katie co-owns two companies, the coffee shop and Ever Something, a beautiful event styling company.  She doesn’t have any weight to lose but wants to feel stronger and I even talked her into training for the Route 66 half marathon!

Goals:  Justin – lose weight, have a six pack, increase running speed.  Katie – gain strength, run the Route 66 half marathon, reduce knee pain.

Timeline: For life.  But a more immediate date of sister Anna’s wedding in February.

Action Plan:  Since these two put so much time and sweat into their small businesses, they don’t have a lot of time for fitness sweat.  I design workouts they can do at home or at work and keep it short and intense.

  • One private session per week each tailored to their individual goals
  • One coached run per week
  • 2 written running workouts per week
  • One group workout on the weekend

It’s been fun seeing JK (as they call themselves) bring their inner athletes back to life – Justin played football for Wheaton College and Katie was a high school basketballer with me, as well as on Wheaton’s golf team.

Sprenk does a great job of individualizing my workouts for my goals and takes the pressure off of the numbers, encouraging me to focus on other kinds of progress gains.  I like that she’s encouraging but let’s me bitch through the hard workouts

IMG_4110

Coffeehouse workouts

Coach Sprenk is the best trainer I’ve had.  I’m seeing results really quickly and love that I get the same amount of sweat and challenge that I used to have in football.  She’s knowledgable and patiently answers all of my questions about diet and why we’re doing what we’re doing.