SERIOUSLY, Universe?

2014-11-26 001 2014-11-26 001I was on a really awesome streak up until the holidays.  I hadn’t been sick in over 4 years (anything more than a sniffle) and I hadn’t been truly injured in almost 15 years.

Both of those streaks crashed and burned over the past 2 weeks.

I already went on and on about my Christmas shingles episode, so I’ll spare you.

And yesterday, the injury streak came to a painful and undignified end.

Some background:

If you haven’t already figured it out, I am an incredibly stubborn person.  If I want to do something badly enough, I’ll figure out a way to make it happen.

Also, we are BIG Christmas people.  It’s our favorite holiday by far and we decorate the house, and bake cookies, and have big piles of presents, and, and, and…

Since we moved to Florida into a house with 17 foot ceilings in the living room, we also strive to get a BFT (Big F–king Tree).  The last few years we scored 11 footers and they were lovely.  This year, I actually contacted the tree farm where we buy our trees and asked them to find us a special tree.  They found a 13-foot tall Fraser Fir for us.

2014-12-05 001 2014-12-05 002When we went to pick it up, it took 3 big men to hoist it up on the roof of the car.  The head dude guestimated that it weighed ~250 lbs.  Even so, Nicki, Deb , and I were able to get it into the tree stand on our own and it was a GORGEOUS Christmas tree – the best one yet!!

Exit the holidays…

Yesterday was the day to take down the tree.  I never gave it a second thought.  Nicki came over from college to help and we went to work.  Deb unscrewed the stand and Nicki and I attempted to lift it straight up and out of the stand.  The tree seemed so much heavier than it was when it went up!  I lifted and all of a sudden – “POP” – I heard/felt a something pop in my lower back.  Then came pain – pain that dropped me to my knees – and all I could think was, “OH F__K – there goes my 70.3!!” (Pardon my implied explicative).

halifax2I got upright and Deb called our Chiropractor, but couldn’t get past the gatekeeper.  So, off we went to the ER.  I was so scared that I had really messed myself up, and was so mad at myself for doing something so stupid (or as my friend, Freddie, would say “stoopid” – with 2 “o’s”).  The ER was absolutely slammed and I sat in the waiting area for HOURS waiting to be see.  But I needed to make sure I wasn’t seriously hurt.

Dammit, I have a 70.3 to train for!!

6 hours later, I walked out of the hospital with a diagnosis of a pulled muscle, a muscle relaxer, and yet another monster co-pay… :/

Is it kind of sick that my first concern was how soon I could resume working out?

Luckily, the only thing that is restricted is running, but I can walk and use the elliptical instead.  Riding on the trainer is preferred for a couple of weeks.  Swimming is unrestricted.

This morning, I gingerly climbed on my bike on the trainer and spun for an hour – not hard or fast, but done.  Then, I did ~3 miles on the elliptical.

Today, I am really, really sore, but I have been sorer after the start of a new weight lifting cycle.

I’m going to count myself super lucky and see if I can’t start using the brain God gave me to THINK before I act!

Bullet dodged, and let’s call it pre-disastered for another 15 years, okay?


accountability8-p1I am a big believer in the power of accountability.

Actually, Accountability is one of the 4 foundational pillars of the platform of our company, Cheslow Achievement Group.

I have signed accountability agreements to accomplish all kinds of cool stuff:  Writing a book from blank page to publisher submission in 2 months, cutting alcohol out of my life for a year (still don’t drink wine at all over 18 months later), training for and competing in my first triathlon, building success habits in my personal and professional life that are really only a matter of making a commitment to do something each and every day until it’s a no-brainer.

Accountability was at the front of my mind when I hired Coach Pam over a year ago.  I respected her as a person and as an athlete and I knew it would kill me to let her down – boom – accountability!

So, over the past week while I’ve been cooling my heels waiting for clearance to get back in the training game after my Christmas Shingles, I’ve been looking over my half-iron training plan and wondering how in the world I will manage it all.

See, I am not so great at keeping commitments to myself.  I’m one of those people who tend to put themselves last.  I’m much better than I used to be, but still, when push comes to shove, I tend to put my own needs on the back burner and take care of those around me – making sure everyone is getting what they need.

I’m a care-taker, what can I say?  It’s what I do.

I may not keep the commitments I make to myself all the time, but I’ll be damned if I’ll break a commitment that I make to someone else – especially people close to me – people I care a lot about.

So, I know the power of accountability and I keep commitments I make to others… How could I pair these together to make my training cycle work better?  How could I add layers of accountability into my training plan to ensure I did what I needed to do – even when I didn’t feel like doing the work or when the work was inconvenient?

I kept seeing a challenge on Facebook in my running groups – the Run the Edge 2,015 Miles in 2015 Challenge.  It’s a challenge to run 2,015 miles this year.


Broken down, that’s essentially running a 10K, 6 days per week EVERY week in 2015.  Coach Pam would KILL me!!!  It’s not in the plan – not even close!


But then I looked closer and saw that you could do the challenge with a partner, or with a team… Hmmmm….  A TEAM!!!!

Split 3 ways, that’s 672 miles over 12 months… I ran 573 miles last year – that’s doable.  Again, doing the math, it’s 2.15 miles, 6 days per week, each week in 2015.  THAT, I can manage.

So, I went to my team – the awesome ladies of the Swim Bike Mom Ambassador Team and asked if anyone was interested in doing the challenge with me.  Within 5 minutes I had my team – Rebecca Dobbins ( and Rebecca Reynolds (

So, there’s my accountability for reaching my running goals in 2015.  There is no way – barring losing a leg or something – that I would let these two ladies down.

Let’s the mile counting commence!!

What do YOU think?  2,015 miles in 2015?  Is it for you?  Check it out here – there’s even a medal and a t-shirt, if you want!!


Happy 2015! Got Goals?

Untitled-1_edited-1HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  It’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that it’s 2015!!  I will be FIFTY ( that’s 5-0) years old this year!  Crazy!

Earlier this week, I was writing a content piece for one of our online programs about the difference between New Years Resolutions and true goals.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my goals for this upcoming year over the past few months – looking at my personal goals for our family and my athletic endeavors, while being mindful of the balance that needs to be struck with our business – which is, quite frankly, exploding in a major way!  This is why I made the decision to defer Ironman Florida until 2016 – there is just no way to devote the amount of time needed to train for something like that AND manage our household AND give my all to our company – without being a total mental and physical train wreck on the other side.

8356198_sI gave up on New Years Resolutions a long time ago.  It was just another opportunity to wake up on February 1st and feel like an abject failure because I had given up by January 15th!  My New Years Resolutions always centered on giving up something:  Losing weight, quitting smoking, quitting drinking, cutting out sugar/carbs/gluten/dairy/blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…  I HATE giving things up!  And I wondered why I was never able to follow through with my resolutions.

See, there is a basic formula for success in anything in life is:

Success = Burning Desire x Belief x Expectancy x Action

And the thing we have to realize is that if any one of those terms is missing (a 0 on the scale from 0-10), then our chance of success is also ZERO!  I did not have BURNING DESIRE to “give up” things, so that variable was a “0” – the math holds – ZERO chance of success.

34141757_sThe past few years, I ditched resolutions and made real goals!  My goals are about bringing things INTO my life, not removing things from it.  It’s an entirely different consciousness.

Do I still want to lose weight?  Hell yes, I do, but I reframe the goal… Now, it’s about achieving my optimal racing weight so that my performance is optimized, not just about shedding pounds.

Now, most of the time, most of my goals scare the crap out of me, because I have absolutely no clue HOW I an going to achieve them.  But I choose things that I want badly – as badly as I want to breathe.  I BELIEVE I an achieve them and I EXPECT that I will achieve them.  And then, I take ACTION toward them each and every day.

And guess what?  I have achieved pretty much every goal I have set for myself over the past couple of years – baby step by baby step – one day at a time.  As I was setting my goals for 2014, back in the Fall of 2013, I knew I wanted to run a half marathon.  I was not a runner, and when I tried to run I found I was plagued with injuries.  I didn’t know HOW to run or how to train to run properly, so I hired a coach who did know – someone who had already achieved every goal I aspired to in the athletic world.  And workout-by-workout, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by month – with Coach Pam’s help and guidance – I ran my half marathon, and it was awesome.  And then I went on to run a few more AND even my first full marathon last year… I kept moving forward each day until I crossed the finish line.

And that’s what we all have to do, right?  Decide what we want to accomplish… Make it a big, scary, juicy goal so that it inspires us and drives us to keep going… Go as far as we can see and then when we get there we’ll be able to see how to go farther… And never, ever quit!

GCTLogoBeach2Battleship-Iron-Distance-TriathlonIn 2015, my athletic goal is to conquer the half-iron distance triathlon – 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running.  I’d really like to do it in under 6-1/2 hours – under 6 would be amaze balls!!  I have 2 half-irons on my race schedule, and training starts on Monday.  Just keep moving forward and trust my coach, trust my body, and keep loading the hay in the barn.

I wish you all the happiness, health, abundance, and prosperity you can stand in the New Year!