Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hips Don't Lie

I get a lot of questions about mobility. Mainly from CrossFitters and Olympic Lifters who are wondering. We talk a LOT about being mobile and shit.

At any given time, you can probably walk into some CrossFit box where there will be someone using a foam roller and looking like they're being tortured/loving every second. The foam roller can be flirtatious.

But like training, if you don't have a plan and a goal for your mobility, you're on the fast track to nowhere.
Whether you're a crossfitter, an oly lifter, a runner, a swimmer, whatever,
you can lay on that foam roller all day and put a lacrosse ball in all the achy muscles you want, but if you're not working toward a goal, you're doing this shit wrong.

I know that you're doing it wrong because I was doing it wrong. I foam roll almost everyday and stretch, but I had no direct goals for my mobility. I was just like, "stretching will help me not hurt as bad", right?

Wrong.

Mobility has a purpose. Mobility helps prepare the body for movement and helps the body follow the correct path for movement, avoiding injury and imbalances. 
I know, I know. You're all, "Ace, I totally know what I'm doing because I focus on mobility twice a week and I don't have any injuries"

First, bravo that you don't have any injuries. 
Second, if you don't get mobile, you won't be injury-free for long. 
Third, mobility should be a part of your life every single day--just 10-15 MAX minutes is really all it takes.  
Fourth, is it really worth missing out on your next PR because you didn't want to stretch appropriately? (hint: it's not)

And then Matt Vincent and Shakira entered my life.

Matt is a badass Highland Games athlete where he throws extremely heavy shit extremely far distances. He trains at Red Stick CrossFit when he gets time and is possibly one of the nicest, if not one of the most intimidating, people. 

MattyV recently wrote up a programming specifically for mobility of the hips. Why the hips? Because that's where everything comes from: our strength, our power...and if your hips ain't right, nothing is right. 

So everybody, I'd like to propose a challenge. A MOBILITY CHALLENGE.

Here it goes:
Head over to Matt's shop by clicking HERE and purchase the Shakira Mobility Programming. It's $5--that's it. For 5 weeks of programming. 

Take a front, side, and back photo of you sitting at the bottom of your squat for before photos.

Follow the programming.

At then end of 5 weeks, take some front, back, and side photos for your afters and send them to me!

We will choose the most improved mobility and the winner will receive a $50 VISA gift card AND goodies that I'll reveal one at a time over the course of our 5 week programming!


Who's in? Let's get mobile!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Did you take your vitamins today?"

My mama and daddy are preoccupied with whether or not I took my vitamins.
My daddy especially.

Every time I call him, he always takes a second to ask, "and your vitamins? Are you taking them?"
I wasn't always the best vitamin taker. In fact, I don't think I took any until I noticed my mama taking them around 3 years ago. I mostly just blew off the question like, "yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm takin' 'em."

But 3 years ago, my mama was told by her doctor that she needed to start supplementing her diet with calcium and other micronutrients because she was starting to suffer from bone loss. There is nothing scarier than having someone you love tell you that their bones are literally becoming weaker and may not be able to support them anymore.

Bone loss, known as osteoporosis, is a widely occurring problem in both women and men and can lead to additional health problems.

Before, I had never even thought about bone loss. I'm strong right? I exercise, I lift weights, I run. But this is something that happens and can be prevented. 

Mama Nancy's fighting it. She's been having her regular checkups and has experienced no further bone loss (!!!!) which is great news. 

As for me, I'm taking my vitamins--especially my calcium--so that I can keep lifting, running, and having adventures well into my future. 

If you'd like further information about osteoporosis and how it can affect health, please click here

Make sure you're all taking your vitamins and promoting your bone health so that we can all be doing incredible things into our 80's!
Better be taking your vitamins!

Monday, July 14, 2014

"You should just say 'thank you'"

Growing up, I was taught to say "thank you". When is it appropriate to say "thank you"? 
When someone does something that you appreciate.

I find myself saying "thank you" a lot. 

"Thank you for holding the door."
"Thank you for posting that today, I needed it."
"Thank you for inviting me to lunch."

The other day, I was talking with a male friend about how much I hate going to the gas station. I hate it. Not because I hate getting gas (even though it puts a huge dent in my wallet) or because I hate going inside to grab whatever. 

I hate it because I almost always get unwanted attention. 

Recounting my last gas station experience, some man felt like it was appropriate to make some kind of suggestive comment about how I look/how my body looks/how he'd love to take me home. And then he looked me up and down like I was a steak.
That happens a lot of times to a lot of women.
It makes me cringe. 

I am not a thing. I'm not some item that he can just buy and take home with him because he purchased it. It is not okay to just say whatever the hell he--or anyone else--wants to me.
And then, when I reject him via ignoring him, he gets mad. 
"You don't have to be a bitch about it. I was just saying I like how you look."

To this story, my male friend said, "You should just say 'thank you', he just wanted you to know you're attractive."

WHAT THE HELL.

This is wrong. 
I should not have to be subjected to inappropriate comments and then say "thank you" like it's okay. Like I appreciate being talked to like that. Because I don't.
There's a difference in being complimentary and being disrespectful.
"You are lovely" does not equal "aye, girl, I like that ass".

Gender roles suck.
As a woman, I'm expected to just say thank you because women are demure and genteel. Where if a man were receiving unwanted attention, it would be perfectly fine for him to aggressively reject that attention. 
If I reject that attention, I'm labeled a bitch.

I will not say "thank you".
I will not let anyone think it's okay to touch my body without my permission or talk to me in a way that is derogatory or demeaning.

I am not a thing. I am a person who is deserving of being treated like a person. 

I will not say "thank you" because I don't appreciate what you're doing.
I will not say "thank you" because I strongly suspect that people would change their behavior if they realized that #YesAllWomen deal with this treatment. Even your sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts and friends.

I will not say "thank you" because I don't owe a thank you, much less any of myself to you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's not you. It's me.

Dear Reebok,

I hate to do this to you. Really. I swear it hurts me more than it hurts you and I'm doing this for your own good. But we have to break up.

I want you to know that I worked really hard at this relationship. I did. But things just aren't working out. I was dedicated to you. I was all, "oh, I LOVE reebok! They're the official apparel for CrossFit!" so I made literally every effort to support you.

But you don't support ME, Reebok! And I can't take it anymore.
Let me explain. 

It started at last year's regionals. I bought your black, skinny strapped sports bra. You know the one with the little CrossFit triangle on the back and the "Reebok CrossFit" written in the neckline. So cute. I took out those weird little soft mold cups (wtf are those, anyway?) and I wore it really proudly to the 5 am workout and everything was good.

Until it wasn't.

Our workout consisted of something involving box jumps and toes to bar. There could have been other movements, but honestly, I don't remember what they were and I don't care. What I do remember? Those eeny-meeny straps letting my boobs MANHANDLE that bra until the damn thing was at  my waist. Have you ever tried to do box jumps with your sports bra hanging out like a belt?! 
I was having to stop every 3 seconds to pull it up. I seriously considered chucking the damn thing and just winging (jiggling?) it.

I decided it was time for a break in our relationship. I was so mad at you.
So I took my nice, new, $60 bra and let it sit at the bottom of my sports bra drawer (Ace, you have a sports bra drawer? Yeah, I do).
For the rest of the year. 


This is the bra I'm talking about. Y U NO STAY ON ME, BRA?!
Fast forward to this year's regionals.
I worked the event again so Reebok was really generous and gave us discounted apparel. And I was like, "AW REEBOK! YOU DO LOVE ME!" so I decided to welcome you back into my loving arms. I bought a cute regionals tank and some cute shorts...and then I saw them. NEW BRA DESIGNS. 

Gone were the days of skinny strapped bras! These new sports bras had thick straps. Some had double straps. I rejoiced! But not one to get beside myself, I approached with caution. I tried one on and, at the suggestion of my friend Kat, I came out of the dressing room and did a burpee. AND IT STAYED PUT. 

Had my double D prayers been answered? It appeared so, Reebok.
LOOK AT THOSE STRAPS, Y'ALL

I wore my bras all through regionals. I was jogging up stairs, running around like a chicken with my head cut off on the floor, doing all the things! And I was impressed with the bras.

But we both know this was a temporary fix to a much larger problem in our relationship (see what I did there?)
I got home and wore my brand new purchases to the box. 6:30 class. And sure enough. There I was adjusting. Pulling and pushing. Desperately trying to keep my dang boobs in my bra. And then there was the running--the SPRINTING. I almost flashed approximately 4 people and a dog on a 400m. run. 

It just wasn't working out. And I knew that this was going to be another purchase that sits at the bottom of my sports bra drawer. 

I can't do this anymore. The frustration. The power struggle. Who will win today? Will it be you or my bust line? Who even knows anymore? We can't keep score like this! 

I'm exhausted, Reebok. I can't support you and me by myself. It's time I moved on and found something with a more restricting lycra blend. 
I hope you understand. 

And if, one day, you ever develop a more mature fabric that knows what it's goals are and meets them. Give me a call.

Until then, this is not a farewell, just a "see you later".

All my love,
Aislinn

Monday, July 7, 2014

Wins+Losses


About a week and a half ago, I got an email from a college friend asking questions about blogging.

One of his questions really made me think.
"What are the wins and losses you've experienced in blogging?"

I guess I've never thought about it like that.
Wins and losses.
If I looked at my blogging "season", would it be a winning one?
How do I define "winning"?
Is it getting more page views than other people?
More fans on Facebook?
Friends on Google Friend Connect? (just kidding, I actually have no clue what GFC does anymore)

I sat down, prepared to make a really detailed list of the things I could put in my loss column and the things I could put in my win column.

But I struggled to come up with things for my loss column. And I was brimming with things to put in my wins.

Of course, I'm not going to pretend that the blog life is always sunshine and daises. It's not. 

There are things that come attached to blogging that kind of suck sometimes: people don't always agree with you, sometimes people are mean, sharing a lot of your life and your decisions on the internet can sometimes lead to really unwelcome/unsolicited/awful advice.

But really, my wins are so much greater than that.

Through this blog, I have become close to people I never imagined I'd be close to. I have a support system that reaches far beyond my blog. Telling my story has helped me reconnect with people I haven't talked to in years and connect with people I've never even met but that I'm convinced that I'm super soul mates with. Hell, blogging helped me reach out beyond my comfort zone and actually use my super nerdy hobby of studying social media strategy to make it, like, something I actually get paid to do.

But most of all, telling my story has helped a ton of people reach out to me and say, "HEY! That's my story, too!" or, "I was there once, it gets better" or "I never thought about that that way and you gave me some perspective" or whatever. It's encouraged other people to want to start their own blogs and tell their stories. I posted the other day that I am greater when I know that the people who read this blog are great and it's true. Somehow, you guys have blessed me with the opportunity to be privy to your group: where people lift people up and celebrate them through their wins and their losses. And for me, that's the biggest win ever.

So thanks for sharing your stories and celebrations with me. Thanks for being badasses everyday and lifting each other (and me!) up.

Thanks for giving me a winning season.

Friday, July 4, 2014

July StitchFix

Got my July StitchFix! I always get it delivered to my office and it's always an event when it gets there. My co-worker Jill is the best and lets me harass her to take photos of my fixes to show y'all.

This month's fix was literally perfect. I loved EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. 

Steffani picked my fix again this month and I think she got it exactly right. I should say this: when I get my fixes, I take a lot of time to write my stylists notes and identify what I loved and the things I didn't like so much/didn't care for the way they fit. I write a ton so that, hopefully, it'll help my stylists pick out stuff that I'll really love.

And I hope it helps because this month was awesome!

Dress: Sanctuary Milan Printed Fitted Dress
I loved this dress. I know you can't tell, but the fabric is so heavy and luxurious. It feels like a fabulous quality dress. I can definitely see myself pairing this with a bright blazer for work and leaving the blazer at home to go out with friends. The ikat print is perfect (I love geometric prints) and it hugs and covers in the right places.

Top: 19 Cooper Cathleen Leopard Print Tulip-Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
Top: 19 Cooper Cathleen Leopard Print Tulip-Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
THESE PANTS ARE THE BEST. They are the same brand of pants I got in last month's fix (Margaret M) but they're more of a denim feel. They're BRIGHT PINK and I love them. They fit perfectly with no back gap. Love. 

I also love the Leopard top. I'm usually really hesitant to buy animal prints because I never know what looks cute and what looks tacky...but this is perfect. I can wear it with a black suit or with these bright pink pants. 

Top: 41 Hawthorn Meryl Tulip Print Sleeveless Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
Y'all may recognize this print from my first fix back in May. I loved the print, but the actual shape of that blouse stretched too tight across my back (because my lats are AWESOME) and I noted that when I sent my review back. Steffani managed to find me a blouse that has the same print (so cute) but doesn't have sleeves, so completely fits comfortably at my back and bust. I love! I can't wait to pair this one with a khaki skirt and cute statement necklace. 

Top: 41Hawthorn Filbert Polka Dot 3/4 Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
Top: 41Hawthorn Filbert Polka Dot 3/4 Sleeve Blouse, Pants: Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean
I raved about this top when I got it in my June fix. My June fix was a black one and I've worn it approximately 20 times because it's so cute and flattering. So Steffani sent me another one! It's navy blue with polka dots which is so adorable. I have a plan to pair it with some cute red shorts and sandals for today's 4th of July festivities! 

StitchFix is really getting things right for me. I love bold colors and prints and I just want to find stuff to accommodate my muscles. I am increasingly more impressed with what they're finding. I can't wait until my August fix!

If you're interested in StitchFix as a personal styling service, please feel free to visit their website HERE to check out what they have to offer and how they can find you clothes that you'll love. 

If you have questions about Stitchfix or my personal experiences with StitchFix, please feel free to email me at eatpraywod[at]gmail[dot]com!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Recently Asked Questions

Hi!  I missed you.
I've been gone for a little bit and I've got a few recently asked questions to answer:

Where have you been lately?
Missing in action, although not necessarily by choice. I started my last semester of graduate work and it's proving to be extremely busy. On top of that, throw in two jobs, studying for my competency exams and my super secret. I'm lucky just to get sleep right now.

What have you been doing in Texas?
Secret stuff. Also, hanging out with my family and friends. Eating pepperoni pizza at the best pizza place in Houston and playing a lot of beer pong. I know. It's not at all healthy. Thankfully, the pizza and the beer pong are for special occasions only.

Me and AshleyLiu. I wanted to take more photos but...beer pong.

How are Mama Nancy and Daddy Carlos?
They're fantastic. Mama Nancy is anxiously awaiting my return home and she's planning a trip to Baton Rouge on July 4th and we're hoping to tour the USS Kidd. To say that I'm excited is an extreme understatement. Daddy Carlos is thrilled because he got a new toy for the ranch--a wire winder. His life is made.

How is Axl?
He's fantastic. He has now mastered the art of food scavenging by hovering while I cook and eating anything I drop before I can even come close to picking it up. 


Why does your sidebar still say you're 25? You're 26, almost 27.
I KNOWWWWW. I haven't had time to redo my sidebar. I'M SORRYYYYYYYY. (also, I'm almost 27? What the what?)

How do you feel about elevation masks?
I hate them. A lot. And my hate is based on actual research studies that show that wearing an elevation mask while you work out does not necessarily benefit your diaphragm/ability to consume oxygen/whatever the heck thing they're telling people it will help, but they do have a 100% chance of making you look silly. Because only Bane looks cool in an elevation mask. 
No, you don't because you're only allowing yourself like, 60% of the oxygen you should be getting.

Who do you think will win The CrossFit Games this year? 
Probably me. 
Scratch that.
Definitely me.

Don't you think everyone should do CrossFit? 
No. Because it's not for everyone-some people just don't like it and that's okay. Do I think everyone should be physically active? EFF YEAH.

You talk about your grad school program a lot. What are you actually studying?
Technically? Sports pedagogy and psychological sciences with an additional concentration in exercise physiology. Which is a whole lot of words to say "I teach people to pick up heavy things and put them down without hurting themselves...and then figure out why they actually want to do it and help them keep wanting to do it."

What are you gonna do when you graduate?
Be a bum and live with Mama Nancy. 
Kidding. 
Kind of. 

Don't you think you should write a book?
No. If you'll notice, I write this blog about me and my friends and things that actually happen. I am super terrible at writing about characters and making storylines up. Besides, I'm almost always actually doing something ridiculous enough to write about. 

How do I get to volunteer at Regionals/The CrossFit Games?
SIGN UP! It's one of the best things I've ever done. SO FUN. (But you can't be the Red Hat. That's my job. True story.)

RED HAAAAAAT. 

Why haven't you told us the secret yet? 
Because it's not ready to tell! But I will. Promise.

I really want to try CrossFit, but I'm scared and I don't know what to expect. What do I do?
Well, you can start by reading about why you're not ready first and then you can read about the things that I've learned. Then you can google crossfit boxes in your area and get in on a free intro class! No better time to jump on that pony, cowboy/girl!