Tuesday, November 24, 2015

35 Things I Am Thankful For

Today is my birthday. I am 35 years old. I accept this age wholeheartedly. I know it sounds cliche, but age is just a number. I don't feel 35. What is 35 supposed to feel like? Can it really be defined? I just feel happy, healthy and thankful for every single one of my years and the promise of more to come.

To start the day off right, I woke up early to run at the gym. I normally snag three miles during the week. But today, since I am 35 now, I pushed it to 3.5 miles:

Garmin Fitness Gear and Momentum Jewelry
And then I snuck into a Power Yoga class for some flow. I can't normally get into any of the yoga classes because I'm either training, teaching or meeting with people. But today, my schedule was wide open so I made it happen. With elements of yoga in my beloved PiYo Live class, and my recent adventure doing yoga at a winery, I'm newly energized to keep practicing. We'll see how that goes.

Did I mention it's my birthday? #ilovebirthdays
Who is gearing up for Thanksgiving? #wantallthestuffing

To honor both events (because every birthday is an event, no matter what you think), I thought it would be fun to reflect on 35 things that I am extremely thankful for. Some are completely serious, others are a bit light-hearted. They all make me happy.

1) My husband
2) My daughter 
3) My son

Top three. Needs no explanation.

4) My mother and father
5) My mother-in-law and my father-in-law

We are lucky to have four people in our lives that support us no matter what. They are our rocks from which we've learned so much that has and will continue to propel us through life.

6) My sister and her little family
7) My brother-in-law, my sisters-in-law and their little families

The best. All of them. Because never a dull moment.

8) My best friend
9) My girls from college

Sisters from other mothers, for real.

10) The gym
11) My job
12) My clients
13) My classes
14) My employees

Seriously, fitness has given me so much more than good health. It's given me a career, a work family and a home away from home. Every time I show up to work, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I get to share my passion with others on a daily basis. I get to help change lives, and in turn, my life is changed, too. I get to share smiles, jokes, laughs and sometimes even tears with people pretty regularly. It's incredible, this industry (and this gym) that I am a part of.

15) The blog
16) My readers
17) My blog friends

This year was super great for A Daily Dose of Fit. I worked with some really awesome brands, attended BlogFest and IDEA World (dream come true), and met some fantastic people along the way. I don't write for the money or the free products, both of which are an added bonus that I am extremely appreciative of. I write because I love to write. And I love to write about fitness. Bringing the two together in one creative place has been an enjoyable adventure that I never take for granted.

18) Running
19) Sunset Coast Striders
20) Runner's World Magazine

I used to hate running, and now, it's my therapy. Running is so much more than clocking miles or getting medals. It's about perseverance. Proving to yourself that you can and you will. It's about making friends, and joining a team...runners band together, even when they're running against each other. I see it when I run with my club, and I see it when I read Runner's World (which is my trusty go-to for inspiration when I don't feel like running).

21) PiYo Live

I had no idea how much this class would change me. I took the certification course just two months after I had Evan. I was weak and full of baby weight. PiYo Live literally whipped me back into shape. Not immediately, of course. But over time, I noticed a huge difference in terms of muscle tone, general strength and flexibility. It's also given me a huge confidence boost—trust me, memorizing 60 minutes of activity and delivering it in front of a huge class is no small task. I wasn't sure if I could do it, but I did...and I do...and I'm better because of it.

22) Wine
23) Starbucks Coffee

24) The KonMarie Method

Pretty sure my husband is thankful he bought this book for me because I am finally weeding through all the crap that's been collecting dust. So much stuff I don't need! The more I get rid of, the lighter and happier I feel. Go buy the book. Just do it.

25) TJ Maxx

Who ISN'T thankful for T.J. Maxx?

26) Facetime
27) My MacBook Air

28) My safe community
29) My beautiful town

I live where people take vacations. #spoiled

30) Scandal
31) Madame Secretary

Because we all need guilty pleasures

32) Food
33) Clothing
34) Shelter

I won't let a day go by without giving thanks for these three things. Because out there, people don't have these things. These common things we should all have.

35) Good health

Because without it, the things above wouldn't be nearly as joyful as they are.
Me, I'm blessed. And I remind myself of this every single day.

To see what my friends are thankful for, visit #thefitdish linkup.

Question: Tell me one thing you are extremely thankful for today.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards

It's officially Winter up here in Michigan. We've had a relatively mild November, but it's promising to go out with a bang—snow fell on Friday night. We woke up to a few inches, just enough to send us all out for new boots, coats and ice scrapers. In true fashion, I woke up to run a few miles with my running club.

I doubled up on the socks and picked my fleece-lined tights.

Running in the Snow
The sidewalks were covered, and my feet felt like icy sponges fairly quickly into it.
But it was a beautiful run, nonetheless.

Running in the Snow
Five miles of Winter bliss: Snow-covered trees, ice-capped sand dunes. a quiet and quaint beach town. And me, running through it. Truth is, I'd choose running in the snow over running in high heat, hands down. There's something so relaxing and peaceful about it, I think. You just have to get the layers right.

Or do yoga by a fire when you're done.

After a quick post-run shower, I headed out to Dablon Vineyards in Baroda for an awesome yoga event hosted by one of my favorite yoga instructors. Here in Southwest Michigan, we have an overabundance of delicious vineyards complete with picturesque tasting rooms. And honestly, I've probably only been to half of them. So when I saw that Dablon was hosting Maria (aforementioned favorite instructor), I signed up with a few friends. I hadn't been to Dablon yet and felt this would be the perfect opportunity to change that.

Wine and yoga. #nobrainer

We started out with a short meditation to let go and be thankful.
Then we proceeded into our practice.

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards in Southwest Michigan
I was particularly grateful for the downward dogs after my run through the snow. I rushed to get home, so I didn't stretch as sufficiently as I should have. Translation: I needed this yoga class.

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards in Southwest Michigan
You might think that wine and yoga don't go together.
I think this picture will convince you otherwise:

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards in Southwest Michigan
Balance poses in a beautiful atmosphere, completed by the promise of wine.

And delicious food.

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards in Southwest Michigan
She brought brunch:

• Carrot and Fennel Soup
• Parmesan Zucchini Frittata
• Cheddar Broccolini Frittata
• Banana Muffins
• Fresh Blueberry Cake
• Fruit
• Coffee

So good, all of it. Made even better by great company.

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards in Southwest Michigan
People from the gym, people from the running club. And my best friend:

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards in Southwest Michigan
So much fun. The best, really.

I'm already looking forward to the next email I get from Maria. Rumor has it she's coming back for more (and you know I'll be signing up). For the yoga AND for the wine:

Yoga at Dablon Vineyards in Southwest Michigan
Question: Have you participated in any fitness events held in unconventional locations? Also, tell me, what's your favorite bottle of wine? I'm always looking for new varieties to try...


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