Workin’ it out with passion

I heart the fitblog community.

SO  much.

I am floored by the response to my last post. I guess I really DID lay it all out there in that post, huh? I sort of feel like it was a diary entry that somehow became a public blog entry for all to see. As if I were baring my soul, showing my truest of colors.

And not gonna lie, it felt really good to write with such passion in my words. My fingers flew across that keyboard last night. Probably the fastest post I’ve ever written.

And better yet? It felt incredible to feel so inspired again. Like I’ve said a million times on this blog, I’m always itching for a new challenge, some goal to work towards, whatever. It fuels me. It drives me.

And somehow, if I look back at previous “challenges” – they always started with a definitive beginning/middle/end but somehow, these challenges never really end for me. Once they’re “in” me, there ain’t no pulling them back out.

I’m a runner. A half marathoner at that. One with a real race schedule like you other “real” runners out there. I even like to do intervals now. Like fast ones. Who, me??

I’m kickboxing obsessed. Sure, I’m Group Kick certified, but just because I’m not currently teaching (though trust me, I’d LOVE to), doesn’t mean that kickboxing is ever far from my mind. It’s my regular Thursday night retreat. I love that sweaty hour of fire!

And now, I’m a Core Fusion Addict. This one I never saw coming. Not for a second. But here I am, digging through Exhale Spa class schedules to see if I can figure out a good CF schedule to commit to when I get back from work travels next week and Jamaica in 18 days (but whose counting).  And for the record, I’d kill to go to the Core Fusion Boot Camp retreat in Boston this spring. Anyone care to sponsor me?? 😉

This, my friends, is my passion. It fills me with glee. It’s who I am. I don’t know why, but it took last night’s Core Fusion class to remember that. Workouts are not about numbers anymore for me. I don’t even regularly update my workout manager stats over at anymore. I was RELIGIOUS about that before. I hated to see rest days on there or too few “calories burned’ for the week. But somehow, I’ve slowly moved away from all of that and truly without even realizing it or trying to do so.

And that, for real, is SUCH a freeing feeling, I can’t even begin to describe.

<editor’s note-to-self: please refer to this next time you beat yourself up over taking a rest day or skipping a “planned” workout in favor of something else. Mmk?>

Facing “fear,” boot camp-style

Remember my confession that I was just a teensy-tiny bit scared of Core Fusion Boot Camp?

It only came out in me and my sister’s “she said/she said” blog post and only because my sister forced me to add a “confession” to the list of Core Fusion ruminations in that post (when in doubt, blame your sister, works like a charm).

But for real – I *was* afraid of it. I had only done it twice as of that post. Twice out of almost the entire 30 days of the Core Fusion Challenge? C’mon, I’m better than that, right??

So this week? I faced down my “fear” of Core Fusion Boot Camp.

Not only did I conquer it on Monday, but I faced and conquered it *again* this morning, on a FRIDAY morning no less. Fridays, as you know, are SO much harder for me. I’m exhausted from the long week and the last thing I usually want to do is something super-duper challenging like Core Fusion Boot Camp.

But I did it.

And guess what? It wasn’t nearly as challenging today. I mean – don’t get me wrong, that is a damn hard workout, no doubt about it. But today I was ready for it. The jump-back series (x2!) was ridiculous as usual but I loved how it made me feel. My entire body was warm, sweat trickling down my back and I was alive. Talk about a total body workout. From the jump-backs to the push-ups on the playground ball to the planks on the playground ball and all sorts of Core Fusion fun in between?

Well, I have nothing left to say than this: TGIF. I’ve freakin’ earned it! And, I’ll add that to the “goals accomplished” list for the Core Fusion Challenge. Hmm there may be a follow-up blog post in there…

Happy, happy Friday – it’s freezing out here, but at least the sun was up not even halfway into my workout today. Which makes e even MORE excited for daylight savings time! I miss the sun…I feel like a bat half the winter. Up in the dark, inside at work all day, leave for the night and it’s pitch black. Seriously, something is VERY wrong with that, don’t you think??

Core Fusion Guest Blog: The Mirror

As you know, we’re nearing the “end” of the official Core Fusion Challenge.

But what you also know is that this isn’t where the journey ends. It’s just the beginning for my sister and I. We are total Core Fusion Converts. Or addicts, really.

In reading my sister’s guest post (if you missed her first one, check it out here) – I totally couldn’t help myself so you’ll see some “color commentary” from me throughout. I hope she doesn’t mind. 😉

The Mirror.

Using the mirror in Core Fusion…who knew?!

While traveling this week, I have been doing Core Fusion in my hotel room. There is a table with a mirror in front of it that I opted to do last night’s Core Fusion workout in and WOW, did it make a difference (and side note: Core Fusion Thighs and Glutes…whoa Nelly! That was tough, but I loved it! Can’t believe I hadn’t tried that one yet).

Things I noticed?

I need to acutely focus on tucking in my core when doing standing glute work. I tend to pooch my lower core out, versus tucking it in constantly. I tend to start that way, and then eventually it starts to creep out of position. Holding it the entire time during each move made a huge difference!! <—this was HUGELY eye opening for me when I went to the Core Fusion classes at Exhale Spa (wish I stuck with it way back when I first discovered CF a couple years back!). It actually takes a lot more “thinking” to keep everything in it’s place, keeping proper form throughout each series of moves, your brain kinda hurts at the end, ha.

Watching myself doing leg lifts or squats or whatever the move may be is motivating in itself. Because I am starting to see more definition. And my legs are starting to creep higher and straighter. Small changes but with each tweak, I feel better, taller, leaner. <—walking tall(er)! LOVE IT!!

It’s far too easy to fall out of position when you aren’t watching yourself and are watching the DVD. I fell into this when training for Group Kick as well…just going through the motions more than feeling each one, putting energy, strength and intent behind each move. Watching myself really helped tighten that up (no pun intended) <—that’s one thing I truly love about Core Fusion vs. any other workout you can do at home or at the gym – by its very nature, your mind is much more engaged in the workout, which means your body is much more engaged in the movement. It’s far harder (at least for me) to “zone out” during Core Fusion because every move has meaning. Every hold, every pose, has a purpose. An intent. It’s that mind-body connection thang, really and truly.

I can’t wait for my two-week Rue La La membership to Exhale Spa to go to some classes! I know it will help improve my form, and boost progress and tone. I won’t lie, I am intimidated, because even though I know I have improved, I am still a beginner in every sense of the word! But I never shy away from a challenge, now do I? (or we!) <—helllllll yeah! I seriously am so psyched for the two weeks worth of classes! You bet your ass we’ll be taking FULL advantage of as many CF classes as we can, too. Game on.

Bring it!

Core Fusion Challenge – the final week…

So here we are.

It’s the final week of the Core Fusion Challenge my sister and I embarked on way back on February 1st.

Part of me wondered if I’d make it through this month without “cracking” due to the complete change in workout routine and thus, mindset, it would require.

But now that I’m here and I’m looking back at just how changed I feel after the past few weeks of the challenge, I can’t imagine it ever ending.

So I’m not ending it.

Well – not really. Sure, I’ll still call this week the “last” week of the Core Fusion Challenge. Because it is the last week of the challenge as I defined it originally.

But it’s certainly not over for me. Now that Core Fusion is in my life, I can’t imagine just ending it here. I feel too changed, too impacted by it…

  • I’m *still* determined to conquer these Core Fusion moves.
  • I want to overcome my apparent “fear” of Core Fusion Bootcamp and come to terms with our love/hate relationships.
  • I am looking forward to more “she said/she said” blog posts with my sis…perhaps a series we’ll return to when we start our two weeks of Core Fusion classes at the newly opened Exhale Battery Wharf in Boston (thank you, Rue La La!).
  • I want to have even more eye opening experiences thanks to a stronger core like I did the other night after Kick.
  • And, not gonna lie, I’m really digging the compliments (totally unprovoked!) from my husband who said “wow, you look so long!” the other night while I was cleaning up after dinner. And for anyone who knows me in person, or has met me, “long” is not exactly a word to describe me (hi 5’3″ much?).

Yeah, I’m pretty much infatuated with Core Fusion.

And, I’m excited for the “last” week of this challenge…but even more so, I’m excited about what’s to come in the next phase of the journey.  Which maybe, just maybe, will include me touching my toes someday…mastering on-the-toes push-ups…and finding my “inner length” despite my height challenged ways. 😉

Workouts as “detoxifying”


This is a word I hear a lot from Fred DeVito during some of the Core Fusion workouts I”ve been doing at home. Usually it’s in reference to a hip opening move or spinal stretch or other stretching techniques.

But when I really paused to think about it, I totally view an entire workout as a detoxifying process.

Not just physically (though that’s a huge part of it) but also mentally.

And I think that’s a big reason I return to my workouts faithfully each and every day (‘cept for that rest day, of course).

It detoxifies me.

Centers me.

Makes me feel alive.  Energized.


Finally! I have an answer to the question I get all the time: “how do you stay so committed to your workouts?”

Working out is detoxifying.

At least it is for me.

This as I sit here working from home today and noticing that I’m increasingly feeling the effects of Kick last night followed by Core Fusion Body Sculpt this morning. Can you say DOMS city?? Ahhh, just how I like it. Nice and warm and toasty up in my back, my shoulders, my core, my glutes (ok, my ass).

Not a bad way to kick off the weekend if you ask me. Yes, pun intended. Because that’s this workout nerd rolls. Take me or leave me. 😉 


Well, that was eye-opening

I returned to Kick tonight.

For the first time in ohhhh, about four weeks or so.

….does four weeks ring a bell to you?

That’s just about how long I’ve been in this Core Fusion Challenge with my sis.

And wow, was tonight’s class eye-opening.

Usually I find Kick to be EXTRA challenging when in the class versus doing it at home (which is a given since there’s that competitive edge that comes out when in a class setting, afterall). And even harder if I’m teaching it (note to self: I miss teaching!!).

Well tonight’s class felt so different.

Not “easy” by any stretch. Still an ass kicker for sure. But tonight’s class? I felt stronger. Powerful. In control of my moves – especially those side kicks, roundhouse kicks and front kicks.

I totally credit two things to why Kick felt so good tonight:

1 – intervals. All those intervals I love to hate? They are amping up my endurance! High five to me!

2 – Core Fusion! A strong core? Well damn, it transformed my Kick technique incredibly. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror a couple times and dare I say, I looked pretty fierce. 😉

Moral of this story? I heart Group Kick…and I *really* heart Core Fusion. It’s opened up my eyes to a whole new side of fitness I’ve been avoiding for far too long.

Do I regret that? Nah. I wasn’t ready to embrace it. But I am now. Like whoa. 😉

Core Fusion: She said/She said

That’s what she said.

Oh wait. Different blog post.

<insert giggling like two five-year-olds here>

Rather than have my sis guest blog for me again on how things are going with her Core Fusion Challenge (because she already has a big enough blog ego since that post generated the most hits in a single day to my blog ever…but I digress), I figured we’d “co-blog” tonight instead. (and she’s even claiming this post as “her idea” as I type this…see what I mean about blog ego???). I kid. I kid. Kinda

Moving on.

Let me introduce you to a little segment I like to call: Core Fusion: She said/She said

Favorite Core Fusion move(s)?

She said (that’s me!):The plank! Followed closely by that ab curl (love to hate). The plank is one that always frustrates the hell outta me. We had a “plank contest” at our gym and I was like SO annoyed by the mere thought of it…how the eff can someone plank for MINUTES on end?? I mean, really – who has a plank contest anyway <crosses arms> But now? I think a plank contest would be kinda neat…though I could probably only hold it for like a minute+ but still, progress!

She said (the sis): The ab curl, because no matter what, it’s challenging and I always feel a little stronger after. And any move that will give us ‘high rounded butts” as Elisabeth calls them. I want a nice ass butt for Jamaica dammit! <—me too!

Least favorite move(s)?

She said (that’s me!): For me – it’s gotta be the ab curl to the side, the ones that work obliques. I don’t know why, but doing those are SO much harder for me to do properly than the regular ab curl. Drives me NUTS. I still love to hate the darn things though…what can I say, they work.

She said (the sis): Downward dog. I freakin’ hate those. And you know why? Because there are about five hundred of them in Core Fusion Boot Camp (and Yoga)!

Most improved (so far)?

She said (that’s me!): The flat back/round back series. Wait, scratch that. Make it the round back series – flat back is still much harder for me given how inflexible I am in the quads. But round back? I can pick up my feet for some of those sequences which is a big step for me. Before, it was a lot of shuffling and awkward jerking moves that got me nowhere fast.

She said (the sis): Overall stamina – strength in stillness. Less overall “I’m-gonna-die-this-sucks-this-is-so-hard-I-don’t-wanna” thoughts streaming through my brain. Second most improved? The flat back series. Like my sister, I’m much more graceful than the aforementioned jerking motion outlined above. (Note to Lindsay – sorry, no videos allowed yet, maybe some pics next time now that we’re a wee bit more graceful, i.e. not fodder for blackmail material)


She said (that’s me!): Core Fusion Boot Camp scares me. A lot. As in, I’ve only done it a few times twice. It’s like I need to “work up” to it in my head. If I wait too long into the week to add it to the rotation. It ain’t getting in there. Note to self: do this one on Mondays or Tuesdays when you’re least sore/tired and more likely to bite the bullet. Friday? No chance in hell. (peanut gallery comment: You call that a confession? Wuss!)

She said (the sis): Um. I sometimes once in awhile skip the stretch at the end if I’m running low on time. Please. No scolding. I know this is bad. That’s why it’s a confession. (peanut gallery comment – um hello! We are the LEAST flexible humans on the planet, don’t avoid stretching at the end!! Ok, I’m done. Peanut gallery response: why do you think I hate to stretch?)

Well, now that I totally feel like I have multiple personalities after typing this up, I hope you enjoyed our little Core Fusion Progress Report.

Our grades thus far:

Effort: A+

Enthusiasm: A+

Creativity: eh, not sure where I was going with this one. We’ll give it a solid C.

Commitment: A- (because we can’t give ourselves *all* A+ grades now could we? How presumptuous of us!)


Holy Namaste!

Well – I originally intended to blog about my latest Core Fusion experience last night. But, I was so drawn to the “presence” topic that I wanted to save my Core Fusion post for today. And, based on your fantastic perspective and comments, clearly this is a topic that resonated with you all as well. Thank you for your insight, I really needed to hear much of what you had to say!

I was pleasantly – no scratch that, shockingly surprised at how much I LOVED Core Fusion Yoga Energy Flow, which I tried for the first time last night.

You know me.

I hate yoga.

I have no patience for it.





But this was different. This was fun. It moved at a fast pace and kept the heart rate going.

And I was surprised at how well I could do many of the moves…moves that just weeks ago I did a piss poor job of, if I do say so myself.

Moves like downward facing dog.

Plank into push-up into upward facing dog.

Plain-old push-ups moving out of plank.

Warrior pose.

I found myself loving the flow, and I daresay, I owned my yoga mat last night. (as much as “Inflexible Ingrid” over here can “own” her yoga mat!).

And I’m so frickin’ proud of myself for surrendering to the workout, and for sticking to this challenge because I’m seeing SUCH improvement in my core strength, flexibility, tone. Long, lean muscles.

It’s such fun to see that hard work pay off . That’s not to say that my hard work with other challenges hasn’t…but I’ve NEVER given 100% to core or yoga-based workouts before, the way I have to other things (like running). I’ve always given up before I had a chance to see changes. Well duh, no wonder I never “liked” these workouts before. I didn’t give them a chance.

So this is me. Admitting I was wrong.<—husband: are you seeing this? I admitted I was wrong. In a public forum 😉

I am a yoga, pilates, Core Fusion-lovin’ convert.

(holy) Namaste. 🙂

Word of the week: surrender


Means something different to everyone, and totally depends on context.

This week marks the third week in the Core Fusion Challenge and I’m bound and determined to surrender.

Surrender to each stretch sequence, letting go of tight muscles that almost feel afraid to lengthen because they’ve been so tight for so long.

Surrender to strength in stillness. Embracing that stillness, gaining strength along the way. Pushing myself to remain still even when everything in my body is screaming at me to let go of whatever move I’m holding. Short term pain, long term gain.

Surrender to my body, letting it be great (this phrase ring a bell anyone? “let yourself be great” as my husband so often reminded me during my journey to becoming Group Kick certified…and again during the half marathon training last summer/fall).

Surrender. This is my one, my only, goal for this week, the third week in the Core Fusion challenge.

Speaking of which, here’s my plan for the week (which undoubtedly will change as we all know that life happens…but for now, this is it):

Sunday – Core Fusion Pilates Plus <—check!

Monday – Core Fusion Yoga Energy flow (so excited to get this one in the mail on Friday!)

Tuesday – Core Fusion Body Sculpt

Wednesday – Ride (bound and determined to get back to it, even if it means facing a longer commute…)

Thursday – Run outside (it’s supposed to hit 50!!); Core Fusion Lean & Toned

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Run outside; Core Fusion Pilates Abs



Shake, shake, shake




That, my friends, is a sign of a killer workout.

Leg shaking.

No – scratch that, leg trembling.

What could possibly have that effect on me, you ask?

I’ve been known to have quite the DOMS after my typical leg workouts – which often include trisets, plyo moves and whatever else sounds utterly painful but is pretty awesome all at once.

Well, this time it was none other than Core Fusion, duh.

What *else* have I been doing this month, right?

But somehow, last night’s workout and this morning’s was different. My legs feel markedly stronger and, with that, markedly more sore. And, dare I say *slightly* less tight and inflexible. Not a huge difference from last week, but enough for me to count it as improvement. Let’s not kid ourselves here, I still qualify for the least flexible of all time award (an award I’m apparently not alone in!) but I am feeling ever so slightly more limber. Again, I use that word very loosely. 😉

So, yeah – you could say I’m falling deeper and deeper in love with Core Fusion the longer I stick to this month-long Core Fusion Challenge. It’s unreal how quickly my mindset has changed and I no longer fear the total shift in my workout this month is bringing. Instead, I’m embracing it. I love how it makes me feel – mind, even more so than body, in so many ways. But more on that mind-body thang in a future post, though.

For now, I’ll leave you with my workout “plan” for this week since I never got around to it on Sunday, the start of week two of the CF Challenge.

  • Sundayintervals on the treadmill; stretch
  • Monday – Core Fusion Body Sculpt
  • Tuesday – Core Fusion Lean & Toned
  • Wednesday – Intervals on the treadmill in the AM with a stretch; Core Fusion Pilates Plus after work
  • Thursday – Core Fusion Lean & Toned OR rest
  • Friday – Core Fusion Lean & Toned OR rest
  • Saturday – Intervals…or if weather permits, a run outside, plus Core Fusion TBD (probably just the ab curl portion if I don’t have time for a full CF workout that day)