Inspiring the Inspirer

Yikes, today was good and not so good at the same time. Let me explain. 

At work, the pool is closed because they’re getting it ready for winter which means putting this big dome thing over it. So for the whole week that it takes for that to get done, the swim team can’t get in the water so we do dryland exercises. In the past, we’ve played games like soccer or kickball just to have some fun. However, this year since we’re getting bigger and better we actually wanted to put our time to good use and give the kids a good workout. 

So I came prepared of course. We were going to do jumping jacks, seal jacks, burpees, squat jumps, explosive lunges, push ups, sprints, etc. You get the point. I was so excited for it too because this whole world of exercising with actual workout clothes on out of a pool is something that my swimmers never ever get to experience. Being able to teach them and guide them through the exercises was going to be a world of fun for me. 

However, I sometimes forget that most of these kids are between the ages of 13 to 16. Meaning, if they’re not interested then there’s nothing I can do to make them listen to me. It was a disaster. They ran for 3 min, got bored and stopped. They complained after 7 jumping jacks that their legs hurt. It put me in such a bad mood that I just couldn’t get inspired to motivate them to keep going. The thing is that these kids are swimmers. If they weren’t used to exercising then that would be something else. I would go easy and show patience. But these kids can swim for 2 hours straight and not get tired. So what do you mean 7 jumping jacks hurt your legs??? 

I know, I know. They’re kids. It’s alright. What upset me more was the situation and how it affected me. I just need to find a way to be motivating even when people don’t want to be motivated. That’s something I need to work on. Not everybody enjoys a good workout as much as I do and I need to be okay with that. I can’t put the blame on myself and think that I’m this horrible coach who doesn’t know a flip. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and lead by example. If some of my energy rubs off on somebody else, then I’ll be 100% happy. If it doesn’t, then I shouldn’t be hurt about it. 


Estoy Espalda!

Geez louis, it’s been soo long since I’ve written a post!! 

Life just got hectic and my mind was somewhere else. But I’m back and my goal is to frequently update a post. I love writing here because it’s just such a good way to get out of my head and actually make sense of my opinions and feelings. It’s truly therapeutic. 

So what have I been up to since I last updated you? Well really not much. Just school and work. 

Oh I almost forgot, there is one exciting thing that has happened!

I officially registered with AFAA and I will be taking my group fitness instructor certification exam on Dec. 8th. Only the weekend before finals but no biggie. =)

I really am excited for it. I’ve been studying and the things that I’m learning are really useful to my workouts and daily lifestyle. I’ll be sure to share with you guys some of the interesting facts I learn! But for now, it’s time for my workout.

Today is going to be a 20 min HIIT workout and depending if I have time or not, a few toning exercises with my dumbbell and medicine ball. 

Happy thursday to you guys! 

Good or Bad, Be Happy and Not Sad

At work, the swim coaches that I work with and I decided that we would host a little mini mock meet between our swimmers so they could have an idea of what a real swim meet is like. We have so many new young swimmers in the team that this is really a valuable lesson for them to learn.

So we divided the team into two and used the parents as timers. The day went by smoothly and our goals were accomplished. The younger kids finally got to learn certain swim terms they didn’t know before such as events, heats, and lane assignments. But besides knowledge, they gained other things that are much more important.

First of all, they were finally able to understand the idea of what a race is like. They felt that adrenaline and that drive that pushes people to go faster and be stronger than they’ve ever done before. They got a sense of how important it is to have a strong competitive edge, especially in individual sports like swimming. It’s not about being mean and wanting to beat people, but rather about having a love of the sport and the desire to always keep improving.

However, not only did the new swimmers learn something but so did the parents. They saw how important it is to always encourage and motivate their children in whatever they are participating in. Some kids were happy with their swims, others weren’t. In whatever sport it is, everyone will eventually go through these two emotions. But if the results weren’t great, kids need help getting though that and for that they need encouragement from not just their coach.

I was never the fastest swimmer but my parents didn’t care about that. They knew whenever I was in the pool, I always tried my hardest and that was all that mattered. The  most helpful thing was that they never became too obsessed with the sport or the idea of winning. That was my job. It was up to me to decide if I was going to wake up at 4:45 am and go to practice and get better in whatever way I could. I was never forced into it. They loved me, not my ability to swim.

As a swim coach, I see so many parents that are always disappointed with their children’s results in the pool and it really saddens me. It’s my job as a coach to work on their stroke, to work on their speed but kids need more than that. It’s not just about working their bodies until they’re well trained, it’s about lifting their spirits so that they’re strong-minded, independent, and content.

French Food: My Inspiration

Today as I was looking through my newsfeed of my Facebook page (which you should totally check out by the way, Healthy Happy Andy), I noticed an article with the words “health calculators” that had been posted by The Gracious Pantry. I recently liked this page because of all her wonderful healthy recipes so I decided to look more into it.

The beginning of it was your general BMI and calories information that everyone needs to have. However, I did learn something that I hadn’t read before. The author gave some typical ratios of Protein/Carbs/fat depending on what your goal is:
For building muscle, it would be 30-40-30
For burning fat, it would be 40-30-30
Of course, it really does depend on what works best for your body and lifestyle and what doesn’t. But still, it’s new information that could potentially help somebody out there who is just beginning on this path towards a healthy life.

Looking at these ratios made me realize once again just how important a clean diet really is. I was always one of those people that thought that I could just work out super hard every day and that would mean that I could eat whatever I wanted for the rest of the day. Trust me, I did not get results this way. I was never overweight, but I wasn’t trim, I wasn’t lean, I wasn’t strong. I wad doing the right exercises but my body’s fuel wasn’t 100% effective. All my efforts at the gym were being undone in the kitchen.

It wasn’t until I went to France this past summer that I fully realized the impact of food. For the first month in quite a couple of years, it was the first time that I didn’t exercise at all. Of course, I did a lot of walking around visiting various cities but no HIITS, no tabata, no weights for a whole month! I thought I was going to come back with the freshman 15 all over again on me. But as the month went by, my clothes became looser and I felt overall very good and healthy. I soon realized that the main component that had changed had been my diet.

In France, I stayed with an elderly lady who cooked breakfast and supper for me every night. All her ingredients were fresh and local. They were so wonderful that even without exercise they were able to have an impact in my body that exercise by itself was never able to accomplish. Then when I came back to the States, I made the conscious decision to combine the two: healthy ingredients and daily exercise. Since then, I’ve just felt healthier and happier every single day. Hence, the title of my blog. I am now a fanatic of both good food and open gyms.

13 beans is better than one!

So this weekend was filled with awesome yummy food! All of it might not have been the most nutritious but hey at least most of it was homemade. However, I did manage to make some yummy chili Friday night for my boyfriend and I. I went to an herbs & organic food shop that I recently found out about and I was immediately drawn to this bag of 13 bean soup mix. I loooove beans! Especially 13 different types of them all at once!! I used Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix and they had a chili recipe on the side of the bag which I of course messed around with and kinda did it their way and kinda my way too. Try it out!

13 bean turkey chili

1 1/4 cup of Bob’s beans
1 lb ground turkey
1 medium onion chopped
15 oz can of organic tomato sauce
Salt to taste
Garlic to taste
Pepper to taste

Since I didn’t soak the beans overnight, I just boiled them for 5 minutes then let them soak for an hour. Then I drained them and simmered them for about 3 hours. At this point I added some garlic, salt, and pepper so they could start soaking up some taste. Then I browned the turkey and added a bit of teriaky sauce to give it some taste. The recipe called for chili powder but since I don’t really like chili powder I used the teriaky sauce to get another kind of flavor in the mix. I don’t like bland food! Then I added the turkey, the chopped onion, and the tomato sauce to the beans and simmered for another hour and tada!!!

The chili fed my boyfriend once and me thrice! So a total of 4 servings. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of it but hopefully you guys try it out and can see it for yourself!!

Have some fun now!!

Thriving Thursdays!

I didn’t post yesterday!! Wooops, but in my defense, it was a very busy day for me including working out, going to school, work, and then dinner with some church members. So, I will make up for it today by writing a truly motivating and life-changing post….. or maybe I’ll just shoot for one without too many grammatical errors. That sounds much more achievable.

Well, Thursdays for me are what I like to call my Thriving Days. It’s day where you’re almost to the weekend but you still have one more day to go. It’s the day that you start getting more lax on your workouts or your diet because hey you’ve worked hard and been really good all week so why not just let go and and be less strict for the day?

So if this works for you and you’re happy, go ahead. I’m not here to change your ways. But if you read this and are not so proud of this, well how about turning Thursdays into your challenge days? Try something new. It can be anything. I always like to try new workouts moves on Thursdays. Maybe a different kind of push-up, or a new ab exercise. Or maybe, try a new health food. Last Thursday, I bought almond milk for the first time and tried it in my coffee and it was delish!

It doesn’t matter what it is, but just as long as it’s new. Even that small of a change in your routine can spice things up and give you the energy, motivation, and pride that you need to keep on going in the health focused path that you’re on. So let’s keep the dedication level to the max!!! Never give up. =)

Take a Chill Pill

Hello there! Hope everybody’s day was a good one!!

Today should have been a rest day but I was just too stubborn to take the day off. So I got up around the same time I always do and got ready to go on a morning run. It usually takes me a while to warm up especially during the mornings so I thought nothing about my sore legs. It usually goes away after a while. But this run was different….

About 15 minutes in, my legs kept getting heavier and heavier and boy did it start getting hard to actually pick up each foot off the ground!! Today was actually a kind of cool day to run in the morning but I was dripping sweat all over because of the effort that was taking me to actually move anywhere at all. Here’s a lovely picture of me after my struggles:

Beautiful, isn’t it??

Today’s event made me realize one of my many mistakes when it comes to exercising. Sometimes, I just don’t listen to my body but instead I ignore it when it’s begging me to just relax and give it time to heal. A lot of people actually do this and it can be super dangerous. So no matter how much I may try to motivate you and encourage everybody who reads this to commit to daily fitness, nobody knows your body better than you do. If you know that you have given 110% and you deserve a break, then by all means go ahead!!

For me, overtraining is one of those joy stealers that I talked about in my other post. When I used to be a year round swimmer, I swam 2 hr practices twice a day for 6 days a week so you guys do the math. All I know is that equals  A LOT  of exercising!!! But I loved swimming so it was all worth it to me. However, because of the amount of hours spent in the pool and not enough time recovering, my body became so fatigued that I had to take months off before I could get back in the pool. Unfortunately, after that long break, I was never quite as strong and fast as I used to be.

So, why the long personal story? Well I want to make sure you guys understand the full effect of this. It truly is okay to lay in bed for a day… well maybe for a few hours. But if you are not convinced yet, then check out this article:

Maybe the scientists and doctors will help me convince you. =)