Knowing when to cry Uncle

If you asked my husband, he would tell you that I choose to learn everything the hard way. It’s a trait of mine that drives him crazy.

One of the reasons GPP appealed to me when I first discovered it via Janetha’s blog almost two years ago was I was tired of being injured. As a runner, cross training and strength training bored me to tears and I’d do anything I could think of to avoid it. Combine that with my overzealousness and I dealt with my fair share of injuries and often needed to take time off to heal. I think I was injured just as often as I was healthy.


Since starting GPP in May 2012, I’ve not been injured once. Not once. I attribute this change to a lot off cross/strength training (I’m not sure I would call myself a runner anymore) and learning when my body’s telling me to back off.

Where am I going with this?


I got a new pair of Reebok Your Flex cross training shoes for Christmas. They’re pink, lightweight, and have a smaller toe-to-heel drop than my previous Nike Free Runs. I love them. But, in typical Maria-fashion, I got a little too excited to start using them and went at Hellth Week full-force this week in my new shoes, giving my calves little time to adapt to the lower heel drop.

I knew better.

I might have gotten away with it if every workout this week hadn’t involved some type of explosive movement. But Monday’s high knees, Tuesday’s burpees, Wednesdays side-step kettlebell swings, and yesterday’s box jumps caught up to me. My calves were extremely sore Tuesday and Wednesday, but seemed to be close to normal yesterday, minus a little tightness during a tough leg workout. I woke up this morning expecting to be so sore from yesterday’s shenanigans. But, surprisingly, I wasn’t sore at all. I thought I had somehow outsmarted Hellth Week and was about to emerge a Champion.

I was wrong. So wrong.


Today’s workout involved burpees and pushups. I hate burpees, but was psyched to see it was only a 25-minute workout. Most of the workouts this week have had me going for 45+ minutes, which is pretty rare for GPP. As I began the workout, I noticed a weird pull in my right calf. I shook it off and kept moving, though. After a few more rounds, the pull had become a throbbing sensation, so I decided to forego the hop at the top of the burpee, in an attempt to complete the workout. A few more rounds, minus the hop, went by but my right cal continued to throb. Which immediately told me it was time to say, “Uncle” and stop for the day.

I’ve extended the life of injuries so many times by letting my pride get in the way. It pains me to start something and not see it all the way through. It eats at my very core. But I’ve learned, the hard way of course, that it’s a lot more painful to take weeks and weeks off because my stubbornness and pride caused me to keep going when my body was giving me clear signs to stop.

Even though I’m pissed I didn’t finish that workout, I know at the end of the day GPP isn’t about RX-ing every (or any) workout. It’s about being fit and healthy enough to do all the other stuff in life outside  of the gym. And sometimes that requires knowing your own limits and crying, “Uncle.”


I’m taking it easy for the rest of the day and RICE-ing (rest, ice, compression, elevation) in hopes of finishing out Hellth Week tomorrow with the rest of my GPPeeps.


I’m sure these guys won’t mind the extra cuddles.


Life As of Late

Five months, the last time I really blogged, is a long time, all things considered. And yet, I feel like almost no time has passed and nothing of much importance has happened.

But I guess it isn’t completely true to say nothing has happened in those five months, so let’s catch up to where I am today.

Friday, I ended my employment as the Service Director of the gym I’ve been working at since last September. I’m extremely thankful to have had this year of learning and growth and insight in the fitness industry. I do plan to continue working in the industry, but not on the management side of things—my focus moving forward is to put my personal training, GPP training, and spinning certifications to good use and begin building my client base.

As of this moment, I am still working from home a bit and teaching my spinning class until mid-December.

My husband, Jeremy, and I realized only a few months after moving to Michigan that this probably wouldn’t be where we’d settle long term. There’s lots of reasons for that, but I can’t deny a big one is the weather! The winter is just a bit too cold and too snowy for our Kentucky blood. 


Jeremy will graduate next month from the University of Michigan with his masters and we’re jetting out of town and back home to live with his parents for a bit while we both work on figuring out our next step and finding long-term employment. It will definitely be weird to not be “on our own” after so many years of living away from home, but I think it’s the right thing to do for now.

I haven’t done much running since the 5K I PRed at in July. I went out to Utah later that month and attended a weekend-long certification for GPP that really sparked a fire within me to continue pushing myself hard with their programming. I have seen such great results and feel so good following their workouts, which makes it really easy to be passionate about GPP. I’ve also gained a lot of muscle and strength in the last few months thanks to learning a lot about how to fuel my body better.

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I’m currently wrapping up a Skin In the Game Optimal Health Challenge with GPP that ends next Wednesday. I’ll be sure to recap after it ends and tell you more about my experience.

Link and Magus are doing great! 

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They really have become quite the two-some. Most days they play and play together until one, or both, pass out or a nap.

Magus joined our family in June of this year and he’s really settled in well and holds his own. I think he’s pretty content and living the good life (if I may say so myself).

I’ve been a stay-at-home dog mom (hah!) for less than a week and I’m already going nuts inside. I hate boredom and not feeling productive more than almost anything. So, it seems it’s time to start writing a little bit more and get the crazy outside of my head.

Current life adventures

Life has gotten very busy, very fast.

1. Last week I started coaching a new program at work. It is really fun getting to help members of my club reach their goals, but the program is time consuming.

2. I’ve been subbing some spinning classes for instructors at my gym. I LOVE teaching spinning—it is so much fun to pick out music and create a ride profile for my students, and then use it to kick my students’ butts. Creating rides+teaching the class=at least 2 hours/class.

3. Adopting this beast has kept my husband and I extremely busy:

magus sleepy

Magus is settling right into our family. Jeremy has already taught him “stay,” “sit,” and he’s getting pretty close to being housebroken. Link and Magus are getting along just as well as we had hoped, too.

4. My job is incredibly active. It is the first job I’ve ever had with this level of activity and, after starting there in September, I’m still getting used to it.

Fitbit Dashboard

Even though I love food and I love to eat, learning how to fuel myself smartly for work + my own workouts is still a work in progress.

5. My left knee has been bugging me off/on for the last two weeks. It started pretty out of nowhere and I haven’t been able to pinpoint what the problem is. I’ve been taking it easier with my GPP workouts last week and this week to not further aggravate my knee. It seems to be feeling better yesterday and today—here’s to hoping it is something simple and easy to heal.

Three becomes four

Last August, Jeremy and I adopted our first dog, Link.


He was 3 months old when we brought him home from the animal shelter. Raising him for the last 10 months has been a blessing for Jeremy and I. Not only is he a great dog, but he feels, to me, like a child. I know that drives some people crazy… but judge away—I’m not pushing any babies out in the near future!

Because of our success with Link, we’ve known for some time we wanted to adopt another dog (and give Link a brother or sister). We’ve been visiting the local Humane Society and checking their website daily to see what new dogs were available. After one heartache (barely missing out on a wonderful dog) and a few visits with sweet dogs that just weren’t right for our family—or small apartment—we finally found the one.

Meet Magus:

Magus the Beagador

Magus is a 1 year old Beagador (Beagle+Labrador Retriever).

We adopted Magus on Friday afternoon from the Humane Society. I saw his photo on their website Thursday and immediately left work to go over and visit with him. He was incredibly sweet, but also hyper during our visit… I wasn’t 100% sure if he would fit in with Link’s laid-back attitude. Jeremy and I took Link to the shelter on Friday morning to let the two dogs meet. The meeting was a success and Jeremy agreed that Magus was joining our family.

Magus 6.8.13

I don’t get the impression that Magus has ever had a home of his own before—Jeremy and I are currently in the house breaking phase and are attempting to teach him some basic commands. So far he can sit and is doing pretty good with “stay.” He’s also great on a leash.

I believe Magus is going to make a fine addition to our little family.

link and magus on couch 2Link Magus on couch 1

Link is mostly happy with his ‘little’ brother, with the exception of sharing his toys. They play rough together, but Link keeps coming back for more, so I think he’s a fan.

magus on couch and link in floor

Our little family is complete—for now.