Sunday, October 9, 2011


This is kind of a big deal for me. I wanted to do this 5 years ago, but my very intelligent and patient husband made me wait and do it right. Smart man because now I get to enjoy it and not be stressed out about it. I opened my own gym. Yes, FitNeighbor, LLC, now known as Tangletown CrossFit has a home.

I found a space approximately 3-5 minutes from my house, and it is in the beautiful Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood called Tangletown (hence the name).

One of the draws of FitNeighbor was that classes were held outdoors. This was awesome because we really took advantage of the Minnesota weather when it cooperated. It wasn't so nice when I had to find other options when the weather did not cooperate. Now that I have an indoor space, there is none of that stress. AND, we will take class outdoors when the weather gets nice, promise!

The website is and we are located at 4632 Nicollet Avenue South, just 2 blocks west of 35W in Southwest Minneapolis. Come on by for a free class (if you have never been) and check it out!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Who is that Person in the Picture? I Don't Recognize Me.

Yep, that's me. I feel like I was a totally different human being then. I was fast, disciplined and had the eye of the tiger. Where did that go??? Sometimes I miss training and racing. Especially for triathlons because I loved the variety(well, except the biking part). When I see large groups of runners on Saturday mornings I am so glad that is not me. The drudgery and the achey joints later. No good.

I do miss the bonding though. When you run with someone for 3 hours, that is quality time! I bet when I trained for marathons with my buddies, I spent more quality time with them than their spouses did. You get to know these people and they become lifelong friends.

I have evolved to doing other things and I think that is good. I hope to continue to evolve and find new things to do and new skills to learn. Five years ago I never thought I would be doing Olympic Lifting! I just imagined those dudes in the olympics lifting 700 pounds in those crazy wrestling suits - yikes! It's been a blast. Who knew?

As the Lululemon Manifesto goes: "Do something once a day that scares you"...what are you going to do today?

Do you want to be doing the same things five years down the road?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Strong is Beautiful!

Hey, I got a secret. Don't tell anyone. I lift really heavy weight and I don't look like a man. Agh, relief. I have been holding in that secret for so long it feels good to get it out. Not only that but dead lifts don't hurt my back, squats don't make my ass huge and I don't do bicep curls.

Over the course of the last 3 years, my strength work has gone from 0% of my workouts to about 70%. The time I spend working out has been cut in half. I have never felt more confident in my body and I am almost the big 4-0!

I have been taught by the best on form, rep scheme, % weights to use. I have seen my dead lift 1 Rep Max go from 195 to 250. My hips are my powerhouse and can clean, jerk and snatch pretty well. I am certainly not built to do olympic style lifting but man, is it fun!

What is my point? Are you going to the free weight area with an idea of what you should do? You get through 2 sets of the 3 0r 4 you should do and call it a day? Yeah, that's not gonna do it for you. I realized that strength work can be fun. My current passion is to get people (mostly women) to build strong, beautiful bodies that they are proud of! If you are not quite sure how to make it fun, then come see me!

Now for a little kid promo - look Willie doing overhead squats. He's loving it! His form needs a little work but guess what, he did this on his own - we were cleaning out the garage and I looked over and he was doing this!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Extremists! Ugh!

Okay, I was originally looking for a picture of me when I was crazy obsessed with triathlon, but couldn't find any I liked, so who doesn't like a chubby toddler running through the sprinkler with a 5 pound diaper? However, this picture does prove a point - take time to enjoy the simple things in life.

Finding the balance between life, hobby & work. Isn't it something we are all striving for? It is a constant process that I am not sure I will ever achieve, but I do know that I am happy and that is important. I am lucky, I have an awesome husband who I still find super hot who has a good job, two healthy kids that I enjoy 90% of the time and a great dog. I have a roof over my head (with a brand new basement I might add), clothes to wear and food to eat. Those are the basics or might I say, simple things in life.

Going back to my first sentence, there was a point in time when I was an extreme triathlete. Yeah, one of those (they are not all like that, but most are). You know, the ones you don't want to get stuck talking to at a party? I got sucked in hard. I loved it while I was there. I didn't realize I was missing so much around me because "I had" to get that bike ride in. So my post today is on extreme behavior and how I struggle now with people who exhibit it. I also hope that anyone reading this isn't offended by anything - I've been there.

There is the argument that if you aren't really into anything 100%, then what are you passionate about? Does your passion have to consume you day after day, year after year? Once I realized my behavior, I took a step back and learned that I wasn't that happy in that place. I was driving my husband crazy making him feel low on the totem pole compared to my sport - not a good thing. It was very toxic for me. However, I do like to move (exercise) but not in the extreme (everyday for hours - AND, I like my weekends off!). So I had to find another outlet.

Another example is all of these crazy foodies that are so knowledgeable about nutrition, which is great, but then they come off as elitist snobs. Example, Whole 9 and their followers. This is a food cult, seriously. I swear they would rather die than consume a french fry. When the new food plate came out replacing the food pyramid, they were in an uproar! I know and agree that it's not much different than the food pyramid, just more user friendly maybe with the same content? However, if we could get 80% of Americans to follow "the plate" then we would see major health improvements. Can't we celebrate an effort towards improvement? Whole 9 can't and really, they are missing the point. You might recall that I followed Whole 9's Whole 30 Nutrition Plan. I had to add booze back on day 17 so I am certain they would classify me as an alcoholic.

Have you gone off your rocker? If so, take a step back and reevaluate. Then take more time to enjoy the simple things in life - run through the damn sprinkler!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Find Something you Suck at and Change It....

It's okay, I am fine with folks watching me stumble through something. I can think of two specific instances in the last two years where people said, "Wow, you really suck at that."

The most recent is the sledgehammer. The photo above was taken this past weekend at a Women's WOD (WOWOD) where we had to wheelbarrow, swing kettlebells, jump tires, hit tires and push our buddies on the prowler. Badass stuff. Last summer when I first took hold of the sledgehammer it was ugly. A few people were outright laughing at me because, well, it was really funny. Especially when I went to my "dumb side". Now, I have to say that I workout in a very supportive environment so the laughing was all in good fun.

I decided to take this challenge by the horn and practice. I practiced last summer and was able to put those skills to functional use when we did demo on our basement. I spent a lot of time breaking up our concrete floor and boy, did it feel good! AND, they aren't laughing at me anymore (for the sledgehammer anyways).

The other instance where I sucked was cross country skiing. There were many witnesses but one dear friend (Kara Thom from MamaSweat) stayed behind with me to help me get through the course. I haven't been back at it yet but I guarantee you I will.

What do you suck at?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Track Season Has Begun!

Wednesday Morning Crew (minus a few)

This year marks the 6th year that I have held track workouts at Washburn High School. This year, we have practices every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 6 p.m. Doing a track workout is a little like giving birth - you kind of forget how painful it was so you do it again anyways.

This year is the first time I am collecting money. It's not much. Kind of embarrassing to request such a small amount ($5 for the whole season) but it is a start. See, I don't hold these to make money. I do it for completely selfish reasons (so I am motivated by others to run hard at the track) and if others get the same benefit, then fantastic. So the money is going to be donated to Washburn High Athletic Department. Yes, a chance to give back!

These run workouts kinda scare the crap out of me. Every week. I know it is going to hurt and OMG, can I hold these paces? If you don't have that kind of workout in your routine please join us. You need it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Houston, We Have a Triathlon Problem! Okay, Not Really.

I don't have any REAL problems at the moment (unless you count the drug dealer in my neighborhood a problem). But, in my quest to set goals, I have a triathlon problem. I did my first triathlon back in like, hmmm, 2000? Jeeez, can't even recall. I won my age group on a used bike that I hadn't ridden (because I didn't have a bike and hadn't trained for that part yet) and left my goggles around my neck for the duration of the race. I was hooked.

I was decent at something that I didn't train that hard for. I bought a bike. Did more races, got more age group wins, decided to go elite and fared well. During that time, I sold my first bike and upgraded(splurged) to a fairly nice triathlon bike.

Here is my triathlon problem: I. don't. enjoy. biking. I dread it and practically barf thinking about getting on a spin bike. So, since my New Year's resolution from 2009 (and continues to be forever) is: if it is not fun and I have control over not doing it, then don't. Okay, so the exact wording was more like, if there are certain things that annoy me on a regular basis and I have control over changing it, then change it! Same concept.

I enjoy getting into the zone. Running, swimming, crossfit - you can zone out. I can't do that on a bike. You always have to be on. Dude, when I get a break from my kids, I want to be off!!

This doesn't mean I won't do anymore triathlons. I might participate in some sprints but I can guarantee you I will not have gotten on my bike prior.

Now here is the opposite of a problem: I love to run. I zone out. I feel good doing it and I can be fast. So in looking at my goals, I think I need to do some different things. A 50K possibly? I know I can do that. How bout a 50 miler? Hmmmm, that is questionable, so I guess that is what I need to do. We will see what 2011 brings!