New Video: Total Body Recovery Day Workout

I want to share my go-to recovery day movements with you! Decompression is an important part of any long-term program. These sequences always leave me feeling more stable, mobile, and energetic while providing me with confidence in my joints for upcoming harder sessions. I hope you enjoy the session! Please feel free to drop a comment with feedback and/or requests below.

Optional equipment: TRX, ankle band, anchored resistance band, one moderate weight, and a bench or chair. (alternatives are provided if you don’t have any or all of the equipment listed)

This session is great for all levels but be sure to consult with your physician before beginning any new workout routine!



New Video: Suspension Workout for Runners

Join me for a FULL 35 minute workout using a suspension trainer! This functional sequence focuses on stability and strength with run-specific movements. Several options are shown, and each move is demonstrated and cued so you can train with confidence at any level. Great for anyone who runs, hikes, walks, or just wants a fantastic workout!


Building a Healthy Body Image

It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, so let’s talk about body image! I think it’s safe to say everyone struggles with the way they look, or feel about themselves, at some point in their lifetime. There are the dreaded middle and high school years, ravaged by puberty, social cliques, and the final years of bending to parental expectations. Then the stressful, roller coaster ride of college, filled with pressure to lay the foundation of adult life on three hours of sleep. Adulthood comes next, with magazines, TV shows, and social media providing a constant reminder someone out there is doing it better, faster, and skinnier or stronger than you are. Comparisons are present in every stage of life and are often a trigger to feelings of “not good enough.” How do we work through that, and why should we try to heal the relationship we have with ourselves?

Let’s start with some introspection:

  • When did you feel the best about yourself? What was your lifestyle like in terms of nutrition, exercise, relationships, sleep, and stress level?
  • On the flip side, when did you feel the worst about yourself? What was your lifestyle like in terms of nutrition, exercise, relationships, sleep, and stress level?
  • What are some things that triggered your positive and negative views of yourself?
  • When was the last time you communicated with someone about those positive or negative triggers?

Appearance assumptions combined with stressful triggers can lead to a negative body image. This often leads to a state of distress. Some behaviors associated with a state of distress and negative body image are:

  • Preoccupation or obsession with appearance
  • Comparison or envy of other’s appearance
  • Regular negative thoughts or disparaging comments about yourself
  • Assurance-seeking tendencies or actions
  • Negative assumptions about how others see you
  • Withdrawn behavior or avoidance; protecting yourself from peer judgement

While these behaviors are intended to reduce distress and hide your perceived flaws as a way to protect yourself from being judged by others, they may actually increase long term distress. These behaviors may fuel negative body image and/or appearance assumptions, which in turn may push you deeper into disordered eating, body dysmorphia, depressive states or anxiety.

Do you find yourself in this vicious cycle when you face one of your triggers?

Let’s move into some helpful coping strategies and self-talk cues that may help you.

  • Adjust appearance expectations. Challenge yourself by building new vision of how you see yourself, both long and short term. Release rigid or absolute values, like certain weight or aesthetic desires, and find ways to embrace, or even highlight, your one-of-a-kind qualities.
  • Utilize breath awareness and meditation to alleviate attention or assurance seeking actions. Work to be in the present moment. Embrace non-judgmental thoughts of yourself. In short, try giving yourself grace and space to be more unique.
  • Acknowledge assurance seeking behaviors and work to find other solutions.
  • Talk through your negative assumptions about how others may or may not “see” you, be it in a journal or with a trusted source. How effective are your predictions and assumptions to begin with?
  • Make intentional space in your week, or day, to work on positive self-talk. Journal, meditate, or openly discuss qualities you enjoy about yourself, or are working to improve.

Moving forward, it may be helpful to write down some warning signs, along with a coping strategy or phrase to avoid cyclical, negative self-talk or disruptive body imagery.

Some examples:

Instead of: “I hate how I feel after eating poorly. Work is so stressful, I don’t have any energy to take care of myself.”

Try: “I know I have to work overtime this week, which often triggers unhealthy eating and negative thoughts about myself. I deserve to fuel my body well, so I’ll plan to pick up some pre-prepped health foods to keep me going. I will try to limit social media/screen time to get ample sleep, and try to get in a short but effective workout so I feel confident and energetic.”

Instead of: “I wish I looked like so and so. He/She has it so easy, I’ll never look or feel as confident as them because I’m not as talented. I should just give up.”

 Try: “I’m inspired by my peers, but acknowledge my path is different and unique. I need  different training stimulus and nutrition/fueling to fit where I’m currently at. I am willing to improve my health and fitness on my terms so that I stick with it long-term.”

Be aware of problem situations that may be a trigger, and work to find productive, healthy solutions. Keep a personal mantra or encouraging phrase in your mind to help you. Arm yourself with a plan, because your best self is worth fighting for!

Sending love and confidence,

BK



New Video: 45 Minute Comprehensive Dryland Workout

Grab a resistance tube, chair, and ankle band for this fantastic dryland session. Designed for recreational and elite swimmers alike, this session begins at the feet and works up to the shoulders. Learn mobility, stability, flexibility, core and strength movement sequences specific to swimming while enjoying a light fast-twitch finale! I recommend swimmers complete a variety of dryland sessions 4-6xs/week, and this session in particular 1-2xs/week.

As always, seek a physicians clearance before beginning any exercise routine and adapt movements when needed.

Coach Becca works as the performance coach for the local aquatic club: King Swim Team.



New Video – {Pre-Run} Activation Routine

Join me for a quick but effective FULL 10 minute activation routine, using a band and foam roller! This session is great before a run (easy, long and/or interval) as well as before a hike, walk, cycle session, swim, or heavy lift. I hope you’re up enjoy this dynamic, functional movement prep session! Don’t forget to hit {Post-Run} Rejuvenation Session after, too!


New Video- Glutes & Core!

Join me for a 25 minute functional Glute & Core workout! I use a kettlebell for two exercises and a step bench or chair for one exercise. Equipment is optional but may enhance your workout. This session is dedicated to the loving memory of “Papa” Don Grubb, who we recently lost to Covid-19 complications. Be sure to consult a physician before beginning any exercise regimen!


Beauty For Ashes: Grieving Loss During a Pandemic, And How To Rise Up in the Face of Hardship

Do not try to change anyone, you will fail. Instead, try to help everyone

– A hand-written letter my Papa wrote to me before passing away from Covid-19

Filled with personal memories and goldmines of knowledge, it is one of the greatest gifts I have been ever given. My Papa was 81 years-old when he passed away. Words cannot describe the void I immediately felt upon hearing the news of his death, and I immediately retreated to my bedside table to read his words over again with tears spilling down my cheeks onto his beautiful cursive text. Emotions flooded over me: sadness, anger, disbelief to name a few. Happy memories began to dance with the negative emotions, and the roller coaster of joyous memories and bitter loss has not stopped.

As I cried over the loss of my grandfather, I was jolted back several months to the inexplicable and unexpected loss of my nephew, Titus Daniel. My eldest sister, Danielle or “Nel” as we call her, almost passed away from the complications during childbirth. She consoled my grieving grandmother that our Papa will be the first family member to hold baby Titus in heaven. The loss of an infant child and a wise, loving grandfather is… trauma. Trauma my family feels, my friends and enemies feel, the whole world feels. To add to this trauma, we are forced to grieve apart as the world continues to battle Covid-19. In a small way, writing this reflection is my way of memorializing and celebrating my loved ones until I may pay my respects in person.

Death is never fair, or easy to understand. A stark reminder we are mortals and our time, too, will come. The gravity of how one will be remembered when it is our time to go is humbling and heavy.  Will we be cherished, wept over, celebrated…forgotten? Will our relatives drop to their knees and weep, frame our (tear-stained) letters, and find comfort in the wisdoms we’ve instilled in them? There are no answers, nor is there a timeline to feeling “normal” after a death. Quite simply, its ok to not be ok. Its ok to feel angry, confused, sad, and blessed all at once.

The playbook for grieving death is to be written by the individual experiencing it. The raw emotions we endure are unique to humans; emotions that separate us from other species of animals. Our intelligence and awareness of our own inescapable and certain demise, is a heavy burden to bear. It’s a shock to the system to realize that any life, be it 9 months old in the womb or 81 years old, can be taken from us. Loss may serve as a reminder to quit wasting time comparing on futile things, such as comparing yourself to others or holding a grudge, to name a few.

My most recent tattoo reads “Beauty for Ashes” and reflects the concept that great things can rise up from the ashes of destruction and death. My hope is the loss we experience may bring out the best in us while encouraging us to capture each moment in memories, to cherish your time on Earth, and to impact others as significantly as those we grieve impacted us. My Papa was so proud of his grandchildren, and his words are becoming my new mission statement.

In his final words to me, my Papa encouraged me to do a few simple things. I’d like to share those things with you as a way to honor him and bless you, the way he blessed me. I offer them as encouragement and light if you are experiencing a loss or heavy emotions. He was a man of few words, and he always thought long and hard before speaking. Papa made sure I knew he wasn’t trying to tell me how to live, rather that he “fully understood” how I feel, given some of our shared childhood experiences. These are excerpts from his letter to me, written one month ago:

“If you try to change someone, you are going to lose… Don’t try to change anybody but try to help everybody.”

“Do not live in the past, focus on the future…None of us can change the past, but live for the future.”

“Forgive. (don’t forget completely…Forgive, it’s good for your soul. Don’t completely forget or you will get hurt again.”

“Obey all 10 Commandments. one being Honor your Father and Mother

These are just a few of his “Papa-ism” he blessed us with. There are thousands more encouraging words and phrases he spoke quietly to each of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren over the years. My most fond memory must be the day he took me, a small child at the time, to the horse barn and allowed me to break in a young horse bareback. He made me feel special that day, and in many other ways in years to come. I know he had experiences like this with all my extended family members.

He taught me how to ride a horse, show a pony, and how to care for the great animals. He taught me how to treat animals with love, respect, and authority – and that every man ought to have himself a dog. He taught me how to dedicate time and effort into hobbies (his was woodworking). He taught me how to be myself by encouraging me to pursue my talents and passions. (“Make me a pie, dear Becca!” he would say to me in a sing-song voice, knowing I make the best pies…ever!) He taught me to wear Sunday boots to church, not dirty riding boots, because the Lord deserves your best. Yet the most important lesson he taught me, perhaps without ever knowing it, was when I was a child after I’d been bucked off a skittish horse. Within seconds I was placed right back upon its back. He literally taught me to get back on the horse, no matter how scared, worried, or afraid you are.

What a man: The last of a dying breed, a true gentleman, and a real cowboy.

What an angel he will make.

May you grieve in your own space, at your own pace. I hope my Papa’s words bring you comfort if not inspiration. I struggle with emotions and loss, and I welcome this time of toiling with my emotions. I know I will grow during this time, rise from the ashes of the past years hardships, and (like Papa taught me) try and help everybody.

Thank you for reading this.

Love,

Becca