Home / Personal Growth

Personal Growth

Growth in the Quiet Times

Here is fall!  Soon winter will be upon us.  Such a wonderful time of year.  Time of reflection on your improvements, wins, celebrations and other most excellent stuff that happened.  AND interestingly enough ... more time of change.  Under the surface. The spring and summer are times of growth.  Green leaves, flowers and new branches.  With FALL and winter ... we have a time that we move slower, conserve energy and change things up.  It does not mean that we do "less important work".  We think about investing, working on foundation pieces, changing things that we like would like to see different.  We do this so when ACTION time comes again in the spring and fall, things are a bit different than previous. Growth. Trees go through a similar process.  They lose their leaves in the fall and winter.  Doesn't make them less of a tree.  Or not as strong of a tree.  Sometimes branches break off.  Sometimes the weight of the snow helps to facilitate change.  A needed process as sometimes the branches that needed to go, maybe they are a bit weak.   In this way ... the tree isn't utilizing vital energy keeping alive a piece that isn't really helping anymore.  Helping the "big picture".  Pruning. Shedding.  It can be a painful process ... but much needed. And another thought to throw out. This branch. The one that is "weak" ... "broken" ... "no longer needed" ... could be VITAL the the survival of other pieces of the puzzle.  This branch can fall and provide a home for creatures living on the forest floor.  So the "weak" branch really isn't of less importance ... it's use has shifted to somewhere else.  The tree isn't served by struggling to keep the branch alive.  Yet sometimes the tree can't get rid of the branch itself ... Such as life ... sometimes the challenges that we have "inspire" changes (or really stronger encourage or MAKE HAPPEN).  The weak branch, once a strong branch, now having served it purpose or withstood some challenge, moves on to a different purpose.   Our challenges are like the snow, helping us to "let go" of the branch.  Hopefully in an objective, namaste kind of way. Not that the branch no longer serves us, though this is true, hopefully in a shedding process were we knowledge that what we are needing to get rid of will be used elsewhere. Energy is neither created or destroyed.  Just changes.  Thanks Newton. Thanks Thermodynamics. The process can be lonely.  The process can seem tough and overwhelming.  Seriously, it's cold and quiet.  We don't hear a lot of the birds.  We miss the green color and the fresh smell.  However this is what encourages the roots to reach deeper.  To make the tree stronger.  To shed the old, no longer needed to make room for new and different.   Getting through these times of change and growth can be rough.  New.  It's kind of easy to fall back to old thought patterns, behaviors.  It's normal to feel like you are going crazy a wee tiny bit.  It's normal to feel uncomfortable.  The thing to focus on is your faith, trust and keeping your eye on the prize.  To keep moving forward, one step at a time ... because we all know that it gets harder (hardest) at the very end.  Like with ironman, those last couple miles are brutal, but the break through at the end is completely worth it. So, are we talking about the ...

  • ATHLETE:  Do you need to drop weight. Get rid of an injury.  Get your mind right.
  • MOM:  Adjust your relationship with your kids, be less friend and mom and more boss.  Or be less busy so you can listen more and role model more of what you want to see.
  • WIFE:  let go of past stuff to provide space for new chances, new "stuff"
  • HUMAN:  let go of past stuff to make room for new.  Let go of "not good enough" so you can dream bigger.  Be less focused on yourself and "SEE" other people, be of more service, smile more, hold more doors open
  • the list goes on and on ...
 

Keep your eyes up

Hearts open  

Trust  

Have Faith

Keep moving forward

Read More »

Triathlon Life Balance Training Journal with Plum Paper

Self - Family - Life - Work - Training

Ironman (aka LIFE!!!) Training Journal ... because it's a big darn deal and you need to have your mind right!!!! PlumPaper.com really has it going on with creating a journal that is just perfect for you. Mainly because you can customize it to help you BALANCE your #trilife You can add all these different aspects of life:
 Swim / Bike / Run  Yoga / Strength / Chill  Eating / Resting  Priorities  Focus  Daily Gratitude List  Habit tracker  Focus areas  Task List It's just freaking awesome. I created a mini video to show you how. Which is just the tip of the ice berg on what you can do!!! If you want a DISCOUNT code ... message below and I can email you and save you $10. Which is about 25%. COMMENT BELOW!!!! This journal really is very useful ... even if you're not HIM or IM training. I just made one that is more ... life balancing and such. The exercise portion was minimal in my 2nd one!

BALANCE

  EMAIL ME if you'd like a discount code!  bkissing@cox.net ORRRR!!! If you'd like to do a free athlete health assessment, lets do that and I'll email you the code along with all the recommendations. www.bonniekissinger.com/aha

Read More »

Be your own boss, like a boss, or you will be bossed around

Today’s blog is brought to you by my attempt at balancing building my own business, working for someone else and putting food in my kids mouth. (And paying for heart surgeries). Admittedly I don’t take being bossed around well. I don’t know if it’s me and my personality or that I just don’t deal well with crappy bosses. Maybe a combo. I do think that I do ok with folks telling me what to do. I don’t think I do well when I don’t have room to do things with excellence , if thats outside of their status quo / expectations. Certainly if what they want me to do goes against my ethics. That’s a real big rub. One of the main reasons for the beginning of the end of my 9-5 engineering gig. I know that in the past I would take things personal and all that. Now ... I think I just don’t do well with disrespect and lack of adulting ability. Definitely tho ... I have work to do. Roger that. Today, with some work related drama in the background ... I think about the fact that I haven’t been the best boss to myself. - I for sure in the past haven’t given myself enough praise - I might not give myself enough grace in recognizing that making changes is hard and needs more of the above to help facilitate a perm change - Definitely too critical and default to being to hard on myself - I tend to not honor the boundaries that I set for myself and others - I am not the best at being consistent but I am getting better at this AT this sentence I think a big fat pause is needed in this conversation! PAUSE!!! Let’s take a second to look at terms and maybe open up to different thoughts in this area. BOSS = ?? When we say boss ... what does your mind say to you? What filter do you automatically put in place. “Person in charge”.  Your thought: oh, I need to behave differently. Your thoughts ... LEADER= ?? PARTNER= ?? MENTOR= ?? Anyway. The point is .... how do you really view the person that is “above” you. In that place of guidance and leadership. I believe that the person is suppose to be teaching you a lesson. That the catch 22 is that maybe it’s the terrible “boss” that is suppose to be teaching you the lesson. Funny how karma makes things so zesty and fun to figure out. POINT IS ... Are you being a good leader to yourself? Are you inspiring yourself to work differently to improve and reach towards your next goals. Is your job “boss” inspiring the same? Do your principles align with theirs? So many hard questions. Let’s pull this point into a convo that you have a lot of control on. Influence. YOU BEING YOUR OWN EXCELLENT BOSS. Even if you have to go to a J O B, you can still be your own boss. Leader. Inspire-er of all this epic and awesome. 1. KNOW WHO YOU ARE What you stand for. This is the make it or break it. You know (mindful) of who you really are, or hold the one with the boundaries that honor that. The ship sinks. This is why Franklin Covey in the planners starts out with your principles. (Truth needs to be present here. The deep down, who you are. Not ... “good mom” or whatever. YOU. Deep down. The stuff on your tombstone. for me .... I am a person that says the truth. “Satya”. So if I have to tell an untruth or be in the gray area, this is a big fat rub for me personally, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. 2. BUILD TRUST So considering that you know who you are and what you stand for. Build trust with yourself by honoring your ethics and beliefs. AND.... When you say you are going to do something. Do it. For your own trust with yourself. As well as having others trust you. for me .... I like to help others, a lot. I probably tend to sway that side more (maybe to fill my “acceptable account”) than compared to my “truth account”. So I will allow others to cross a boundary or two because I am “helping” them, at the cost of my own ethics, and not speaking my truth. Honoring who I am. As a result, I lose trust in myself, in a deep down sense. So my action step, in knowing who I AM, appropriately communicating boundaries with myself (or others) and HOLD THE LINE. In as pleasant a way as possible. Not being afraid to step on toes, don’t shy away in an attempt to fill the “acceptance account”. Go to flipping sleep at 10 or 10:30, BK! Do it. Stop jacking around with that bed time/boundary. 3. PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE It is so hard, but we really need to get into a better mental and emotional habit of defaulting to praise vs criticism or even constructive feedback. And praise ourselves. Praise others. FIRST. Focus on what is working. Not what needs fixed. You might be wrong about the issue, or just completely full of feces. Positivity. Focus on what’s working and is always the way to go. for me .... Reward myself. Quiet time in the bath. Coffee outside watching the birds. Little sticky notes that say “good job BK, you rocked that!”  (and not internalize other's judgments on my actions) 4. INSPIRE I have a favor saying. #thelittlesarewatcing A parenting truth. Your children do what you do. Not what you say. And if you constantly say something differently then they do .... OMG. The problems that ensue. Zero trust. They might actively do the opposite of what you want to express the face that you might be full of feces. INSPIRE = fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. If #1, #2 and #3 are done well, this one naturally happens. Especially if you are thinking about how that person (or you ) think, learn, express themselves and feel .... you will be a rockstar in connecting and just rocking your jam. Inspiring others is a fully thing. It comes for you doing YOU EXCELLENTLY, giving all your heart and soul. Those that need to see that and experience it will be placed right in front of you. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE (even if it is totally opposite what’s manifesting at that point in time) for me.... I need to fill my life with people that are inspiring me. Simple as that. Read inspiring things. Watch inspiring things. Fill my soul with what’s inspiration. 5. CONSTRUCTIVE OBSERVATIONS Communicating feedback is so important. Your relationship with yourself, with others and etc is a two way street. That is a truth. It completely maps up with that smartie Isaac Newton and his equal and opposite reaction law. You do something. There will be an affect. Feedback in and of itself isn’t good or bad. Positive or negative. Getting into the habit of giving positive feedback can be hard as we are a society that LOVES to take all the credit, not give credit to others and also to be obsessed with the negative. What’s not working.  Or how I'm so awesome and did this all myself, as help is construed as negative.  "I couldn't do it myself." This positive feedback is the foundation of everything. Good parenting. Good dog training. Good coaching. Good relationship. Good self management. On the opposite side of the coin, expressing the other feedback is equally important. (Truth, sometimes the lessons come the hard and uncomfortable way. Or most of the time). We just usually suck at it or shy away from conflict because others suck at it ... or we are delusional and think we are always right. We aren’t all that good at looking it the mirror ... in an objective and constructive (loving) way. Constructive observation instead of criticism. If you do this and the panties get in a wad, you know that the issue isn’t (usually) with what you said or what not, but more in the person in front of you. If that happens to be you ... then you need to have a reality check with your competing behaviors. And as my coach says to me all the time, “get your mind right Kissinger”. for me.... I need to journal daily to communicate with myself. See what I’ve been doing well. What I can work on. Where my bullshit is at (Roger that!) Use the journalling platform to be the best boss of mine that I can be. CAN I GET A HELL YEAH!?!? ;) Final thoughts. STOP FREAKING BULLYING YOURSELF. Be a good boss. A leader to yourself. Not a jerk face. Do not be afraid to fire people. ;). Maybe they need a different job. Do that and the others around you will probably naturally follow suit. Or things will get cleaned up. Either way. Winner winner chicken dinner.

Read More »

The Dash in the Middle Matters

We talk about goals. I want to do this. I want to do that. I want to lose weight. I want to do a marathon. I want to be a better mom and human being. I want to fix the anxiety. We set goals. We have these big things that we want to do. We can get really wrapped up in that the end looks like. When we begin ... most of the time we already have set the expectation of what success looks like. And it is usually borrowed from somewhere/someone else .... We might become very rigid in what that looks like.  Become very attached to "creating" that exact thing or how we perceive it to "look".  Like... my 401K needs to have this amount of money it in because that is the only way I'm going to have security when I'm older.  Or .... my kid has to turn out to gotten all good grades and went through college and got a good job and a good marriage in order for me to check mark that I was a good parent.  Or ... I have to hit my marathon goal to prove that I am a good enough athlete, that I'm not slow and pathetic".  I think that some amount of that is important. To hold the line. (I don’t believe in everyone gets a participation ribbon, sometimes the line needs to be far enough that some fail. So the lessons are learned). Goals are GREAT. But the truth is that everything is changing all the time.  Facts of science. And it’s just common sense that if that is true, hahaha, which it is, then the end picture if you will, has a high likelihood of looking different than what you envisioned when you started.  You almost want to really embrace this because it means (proves) that you did change.  Because we want to change.  If the goal is big enough, and heart felt ones always are ... you have to be different in order to accomplish it.  Thats growth.  You are either growing or you are dying.  (THE DASH)  We need to learn how to be flexible with those changes so we roll with the slight adjustments along the way. That is where faith comes in. Faith that when you GET ON THE ROAD, and work your ass of to go down the road, hopefully faster than slower, you don’t freak the heck out on the slight detours that might just gift you with most awesome stuff .... That lack of faith or freaking out at the detours can very well cause you to cheat yourself out of something glorious or the whole flipping goal. DO NOT FREAK OUT HAVE FAITH (plus be brave, look at what’s in front of you, pick up what you need, use the darn thing, and continue forward) I do believe that all our goals, if we look close enough, have ties to our heart. “I want to lose this stupid 20 pounds!”. DEEP down I believe this stems from the #heartgoal of wanting to develop better self love activities, take better care of ourselves, love ourselves more, do the right things, etc. I do not believe that we REALLY want or are designed to drink our life away, or play small all the time or live a boring ass life that doesn't make a dent anywhere.  (A positive dent thank you very much!)  Yeah, a lot will get hung up on fitting in the cute jeans, tri shorts, etc .... but I do truly believe that underneath that is the TRUE DESIRE to love ourselves more so we see (outwardly shine) a more attractive version of ourselves. It is the visual feedback that we accomplished the REAL CHANGE we wanted,  the self love habits accomplished. It’s the journey that matters. We begin. And we end. We start out gloriously perfect. We ALWAYS have the part of ourselves that is gloriously perfect and bright (we just cover it up). And we will always die. What you can influence with the “dash”. What you do in the middle is what matters. Did you take the detour and help a stranger, perhaps save a life and grace yourself a bit too ... or did you freak the f out and make life harder on yourself and those around you? THE DASH MATTERS. What you do with the dash is what brightens life. What graces others. What dictates not the end number or the end goal, but how big of a smile there was.  What gets WRITTEN ON YOUR TOMBSTONE is the dent you make.  What do you want written on yours? This is why I tell my athletes, GET THE BEST RACE PICTURE EVER! It represents all the blood, sweat and tears that it took to get there. It represents the DASH! The Journey. Doesn’t matter if you got on the podium or were dead last. THE DASH MATTERS  

Read More »

That swim SUCKED but Coach told me to mark it as a win

OMG!  Thats all I have to say about this swim.  Have you ever had a workout and you .... manage to get home and think to yourself .... "ok, that was it.  i quit!"  Well .... the only reason I didn't quit today was because my Coach told me no "what ifs". It's kind of funny really.  Tori and I were talking on the phone about our medical conditions and how we were just F this and F that because really ... we are dealing with some things that just blow.  Being fatty fatty when you are working your tail off and the meds don't give a shit. CHUNKY MONKEY We are talking about ... sweating 5 pounds to look good at the dance.  We are FREAKING talking about have NO NO NO NO clothes to wear.  Seriously people.  It's one thing to not have NO CLOTHES and go to Walmart to get somewhat cute sweat shorts that leave pink fuzzies all over everywhere to fill in the gap.  IT IS COMPLETELY ANOTHER THING to think about ... and almost need to order new training gear.  WE ARE TALKING ... MOOOOOLA.  And defeat.  I came from pretty heavy anyway.  I had to work my tail off to get to 150ish.  Quite a feet for me.  Didn't come easy.  I wasn't one that could just eat and eat and not gain.  I look at potatoes and gravy and my arse gets bigger. #nmf  (and I love me some steak, mash potatoes and gravy." OK!  So that is the blog about.  Coach told me that sucky ass swim was a win.  I believe him.  I trust him.  I do.  He's my guy.  You want someone to help you with training, get a good guy (or gal).  One thats real and knows when to give you a hug and not tough love.  And knows when to tell you to get your shit together.  Good coach.  Anyway.  This story is kind of funny in parts.  And I just want to share it with you, to inspire you to never quit, but maybe reserve the right to hit the pause button.  It's hard to share ... as it's all my glorious warts out in the open and as a coach ... it's hard to not relate being a good coach with ... preparing well.  But I'm so far from perfect.  hahahaha.  Namaste that beetches!  So .... the story goes ... I have a heart condition right now that is pretty in your face, I'm on two heart meds that really aren't working that well.  Tho the cardio dude says go train, blah blah blah.  He doesn't get it.  He kind of doesn't really listen.  Its pretty terrible really when those of us that are really trying to get treatment of those that DON'T GIVE A SHIT.  I'm not smoking.  I'm not eating my weight in bon bons every day. I never sit on my couch ... makes me mad. (another story). So this heart condition.  Meds.  Things act up interestingly enough when my body change orientation.  Standing to laying down. The other night in bed readying my heart (while mediated^2) was trucking away at 125.  Nice. So I pop another pill and hope it helps. (I try to find balance but if anyone knows me ... I get pretty mad when I can't workout at all.  After all, it's suppose to be good for you.  I've really toned it down, do start stuff.  Rest, blah blah blah) So .... the team meets up to get in an OWS. Hahaha. I LIVE IN KS.  It's FORKING windy here.  And today ... dude the weather people tripped everyone out .... HUGE STORMS BLAH BLAH BLAH .... drama drama drama.  The radar was so clear.  What the hell.  It was super windy tho.  SOOOOO that means.  Rough water. Ok ... so what.  I can do rough water.  I'm good with it.  RIGHT! A bit of background.  I did almost drown as a kid.  My triathlon world started with wanting to learn to swim.  I use to be a complete DISASTER.  But I did the work.  My coach NEVER left my side.  NEVER.  Meaning he never gave up on me.  And didn't ... kind of be condesending ... like some do/did/blah. #nmf SO GUESS WHAT I DID! More background.  hahaha. This is the funny part.  I DNF'ed my first race at NOLA 70.3 last year.  Mostly due to the stupid crazy swim conditions and I AM NOT A QUITTER!  Seriously tho, those at NOLA '16 know what I'm talking about.  A recent version of the Titantic.  Due to panic ... I gave myself pulmonary edema.  (Panic from childhood PTSD and the conditions and jumping into hell.) So ... that shook me up, but ROCKED OUT mass start IMMW months later.  I know how to do chop.  And my coach knows I do. However, enter in new heart meds.  Blah blah blah.  F'in blah. OH!  I forgot to tell you that I decided to wear my NOLA swim cap.  Flipping the bird that that episode of life.  I was pretty confident that I could do it.  I had warmed up.  Felt good.  e.t.c. LOL.  This is kind of how I roll .... roll my eyes at karma.  She's pretty good that slapping me down quick and fast.  You'd like for a smartie that I'd learn to be less .... whatever. So ... start off. Calm. I get in the water first.  Because I'm ready. No hesitation.  Waiting for the rest of the team to get in the water cause my feet are getting cold.  And we go.  BOOM!  I'm hoping my 920 doesn't jack up the yards again and I have to call Garmin again.  Easy peasy.  Calm ... and it sneaks up on me.  Just the ... I can't get in enough O^2.  I rest a bit.  Coach is telling me to breathe.  What he's really saying is CALM THE F DOWN KISSINGER. ;) I was pretty calm.  Next time I rested I told him ... I just can't seem to use my legs.  So in chop and my new fast mode of swimming, no legs sucks.  So ... and it continues to sneak up on me.  I rest.  Talk myself into slowing down the breathe.  And continue.  I'm still pretty sure at this point that things will calm down.  (yeah, I did run and warm up before I put on my NOLA cap). And then around the bouy I start to cough and spit up crap.  GREAT.  I know what this is.  Fluid in the lungs.  The pulomary edema.  Coughing. Spit up. More coughing. Rest on the kayak.  More coughing.  I know I'm done at this point.  But I'm stubborn. I needed this swim. I've been having this mental dilemma of quitting tri for awhile.  Short fast stuff is out.  Long stuff apparently.  Fix the heart.  Maybe revisit later.  Cardio dude says I don't have to.  blah blah blah.  Give the meds time to work.  Blah blah blah. So.  I hit the PAUSE BUTTON.  I decide to swim to shore, let the kayak support help all the other swimmers.  I walk around the water in the stickers .... OH MAN THAT MADE ME MAD ... holding my darn wetsuit off my chest because I literally was feeling like shit was going to go south.  Coach is yelling at me to breathe.  a.k.a CALM THE F DOWN KISSINGER.  And I'm mad.  Trying to calm down.  Being mad makes it worse.  Crying. HOT F'IN MESS.  #nmf So I get to the boat ramp.  Chat with Nemo, my friend and team mate.  And coughing my head off think ... caffeine.  I need coffee now.  FYI. Thats the quickest way to fix pulmonary edema, due to this swim bs.  To stop it.   So I decide I'm going to starbucks. But I don't.  I wait.  And cry.  Think about leaving.  Stay and cry.  Because it's my team and ... I stay for the whole practice.  It's what you do. You're injured.  You show up and help. You do something. You don't quit. So coach tells me .... chills.  It's the meds.  You can do this. You know you can.  Stop thinking of the what if's.  We will figure stuff out.  It's a win. You showed up.  You got in the water.  You tried. It's a WIN today.

Read More »

Soft Whispers – Voices at the Roundtable

This morning .... I didn't want to get up.  But the loudest voice in my head said ....

GET UP!  IT IS TIME TO HUNT

A bit about me.  I'm your classic HOT MESS train wreck.  I stub my toes daily.  Whack my  new apple watch on a wall corner, repeatedly (daily).  Break stuff because I don't read instructions and just roll through life a complete hot mess.   Smart but can't spell, caring but a little loud and straight forward.  I'm fine with who I am.  I say the F word.  A lot.  And I'm ok with that too.  I do try and ... not offend anyone, but crap ... sometimes it just rolls out my mouth like water in a mountain stream. I live by hope and faith. I LIVE OUT LOUD, DREAM BIG and always try and help those in front of me.  I have acknowledged and come to know the voices in my head.  I lovingly refer to them as the "voices at the roundtable".  I try and get to know each one, give them respect and acceptance.  They all seem to have something valuable to say at various times.  I usually end up getting myself into a place in life that I become exceedingly unhappy if I try and ignore or quiet one of the voices.  ( .... no, I don't have a personality disorder ... )  ( ... or maybe I do and I'm in denial.)

TODAY I experience .... ZEN.  HARMONY.  BLISS.

A huge moment of clarity.  God talking to me.

The Universe lovingly holding me in my space.

A miracle.

2016 and some was stupid hard.  I can not believe the amount of stupid mistakes that I made.  The places that I allowed myself to go.  I will love and cherish the day when I look back and say to myself .... "I wouldn't change a thing."  I am not at that place.  But I will get there.  Where ... I can look back and say ... ok, I learned that and that.  And by learning I mean ... I saw the lesson, I worked on it and I made a permanent change so I didn't repeat it.  I Evolved. At the beginning of 2017 I decided to make some serious changes.  Put my money where my mouth was and do the things that I coach people to do all the time.  Mostly to honor my values and dreams.  Change the things that are holding me back.  Be strong.  So .... I moved to a different city. Back to where my friends and tribe are.  I got a divorce to clean up some personal stuff.  And I decided that I wasn't going to play small anymore and try to stick with the things that I value instead of doing shit half-ass because .... of blah blah blah.  In all this work ... I needed to do some clean up.  Pay some prices and what not.  Well ... the other day I went in to see  my cardio doc.  And yep, what I had suspected, was true.  I had broken my heart.  Yes granted, it seems that I have a genetic disposition for getting these heart issues that are kind of a big ass deal.  Atrial rhythm issues suck, are in your face and F me, are kind of scary.  And lets just say it OUT LOUD.  It's your heart. The soul of you.  All the time I was living 1/2 ass and what not, I knew in the back of my head I was paying a big price, but was too chicken at the time to pony up and do what was needed.  Pause on the "don't be too hard on yourself" thoughts.  You don't know all the details, and sometimes we really do need to take responsibility for our part in stuff.  Learn the lesson.  Make the changes.  Move forward.  Evolve. Holy crap, BK, heavy stuff .... where's the BLISS moment .... So today ... instead of letting myself sleep in and rest, waiting for today's call from the heart doc telling me when he's going to fix my heart next week, I GET UP.  Because that STRONG voice, the WARRIOR at the roundtable, the DARK WOLF (who I love and adore), tells me to ...

GET UP!

IT IS TIME TO HUNT

And the white wolf, (the magic maker and create-er) whispers along side ... it's time to evolve BK.  Do it different. So I get up.  And I'm glad that I do.  I get into the pool.  I start swimming. I have this love/hate relationship with circle swimming.  Usually I'm the slower one, and always holding people up.  Well ... seems that I'm getting faster in the pool and that isn't the case anymore.  Which is awesome.  It was hard tho ... the new heart meds make you a different athlete, so ... it was like swimming in a stranger's body.  Sort of.  But ... I adjust and do the best that I can.  And log in the back of my head that maybe I need to do better warm ups before I get into the H2O. Everyone leaves.  I'm still swimming.   The busy-body voice that is yacking about getting stuff done says to hurry up and get done.  But ... something caught my awareness.  I'm not quite sure what it was.  I've NEVER experienced it in the pool last night.  Now thinking about it ... maybe it was the by-product of practicing the Ganesh mantra in my quiet-time bath last night.  Or the meditations that other luvies are sending my way.  It was so profound tho .... A bit of back story.  I almost drowned when I was little.  Ha.  It's funny that I've always said that I was raised by wolves, meaning that in a negative context but .... I very closely identify with wolves as ... who I am.  Ha. So I was raised by wolves.   And coincidently, I have been drawing them a lot lately. Uh.  Anyway, my story with swimming has been a complete train wreck sprinkled with many panic attacks, kayak rescues and such.  And I'll throw in that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ocean and for most of my life I have been sooo afraid of the water.  Such a big fat lie I've been carrying around forever.  I WILL BE SURFING in 2020 after IM New Zealand with my peeps! So for me to be COMPLETELY CHILL in the water having this .... PROFOUND and GRACE FILLED moment is truly a miracle.  During a time that I'm getting ready to roll into heart surgery.  Letting someone put me under, control the fact that I'm alive or not and selectively burning my heart ... to fix it. THIS moment was filled with .... thoughts of complete safety.  And lets just say this out loud.  I have not felt safe. Completely safe.  EVER. Maybe a brief snack here and there.  Today tho .... thats the only thought that was really in my head.

YOU ARE COMPLETELY SAFE

While swimming.  hahahaha.  So ... I swam and swam.  And swam some more.  To soak it in.  I literally felt like I was bathing (and more) in ... maybe that is what a little person feels like in there mommas womb. It was that intense yet gentle and peaceful at the same time.

PEACE.  SAFETY

It was so cool.  And most definitely what I needed for my soul today.  I know that it's the Universe.  Has my back, as always.  Hope and Faith.  My PEOPLE praying and meditating for me.  My coach being there for me.  Who's sort of like my big brother.  My decision to be faithful and hopeful.  And who knows what else the Universe mixed in there for me.  I have faith that it's good and true tho.  The feedback was most honored, tells me the decisions made yesterday are on a true(er) path.  Thought I'd share.  I hope that if you need peace and safety, you find how to open yourself up and allow yourself to experience it.  ~namaste #nmf

Read More »

6 signs that you’re BURNT OUT

[box] There are a number of very LEGITIMATE reasons why we can feel ABSOLUTELY DONE.  Stress, life events, illness and the list goes on and on.  Here are some small signs that you need to take action to improve your health and energy levels. [/box]

1. You forget what in the world you were doing almost immediately.  Drawing blanks.

Did you know that when you are under stress, the stress hormones actually counteract your abilities to recall from your memory.  It's a brain thing.  Add in maybe not sleeping well. "During sleep, your brain replays whatever you learned that day and moves it into long-term storage."  ~Sandra Ackermann, PhD (University of Zurich). Meaning if you are sleeping and have been stressed out all day, this process just doesn't happen.

2. Your cuts take longer to heal

We are talking about a little cut or maybe something bigger.  The healing process includes producing collagen, forming blood clots and recruiting cells to protect against germs.  However, when you are stressed, your body has higher levels of chemicals called glucocorticoids, which suppress your immune system.  Think about it like this, when you are stressed, your body thinks it needs to fight or run, not spend energy worrying about healing.  So this makes your little ouchies heal more slowly, giving you a small sign that you are stressed out and your adrenals are in hyperdrive.

3. Ladies ... your cramps are AWFUL

Stress can make your period late.  And awful.  This is because the hypothalamus, the regulatory center of the brain, senses that your body is RUNNING ON EMPTY, and so delays the release of the egg.  I mean, really, why release an egg if you're not going to be able to support a pregnancy? Or you feel super frazzled during "that week".  Studies have shown that women feel way more frazzled and out of control, due to the adrenals not being able to produce hormones in balance, so you FEEL CRAZY.

4. Your digestion is a MESS

Reflux.  Constipation.  IBS.  blah blah blah.  Stress can alter gut secretions and slow or speed up digestion cause lots of issues.  The good bacteria in your gut takes a hit.  Everything gets off balance.  Why do we care.  Nutrient absorption.  You really need to be using what you're eating.  Your immune system is mainly in your gut.  You're gut is your second brain.  Imagine how you would be doing if your brain was filled with crap.  or empty.  or chronically inflamed.  All due to stress.

5. Scratch scratch scratch

Did you know that the skin's nerve endings release chemical signals called neuropeptides that communicate to the brain "something is wrong" in response to trauma or other stimuli.  This is a form of inflammation that can leave you super itchy.

6. Your dreams are wacky

People you are sleep deprived (quantity and/or quality) can have crazy dreams.  The super smart people really aren't sure why.  They think that maybe it's related to your brain prioritizing REM sleep, the most restorative stage, but also where dreams occur.  Also, the fragmentation of the REM cycle can cause you to remember more and for you to pop in and out of REM, instead of the cycle we are designed to go through. [divider style="double" top="20" bottom="20"] CONCLUSION: Look for the little signs.  Knowing that "stress" is a real thing, not just a word to be thrown around.  And it causes real issues in the body.  Left unchecked in the early stages, you get bigger issues.  Fertility issues.  Depression. Big Digestion Issues.  Fibromyalgia.  Other autoimmune issues.  etc. etc. etc. These energy / stress issues don't have to get you. And it's not a realistic idea "let's cut out the stress. It's not the external stress that's killing us. It's what we do with it. So fixing these issues MUST be done on a multi-level approach. Heal whats going on. Crowd good stuff in. Work on dealing with life in a more positive and productive way. WANT TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THIS WITH ME? LET'S DO A FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION! [button color="blue" size="big" link="/health-discovery-form/" icon="" target="false"]Get Started Now[/button]

Read More »

Iron Kelly – floor walking

traithlete parking onlySometimes things happen for reasons. We don't always understand them at the time however.

I started my journey to becoming a triathlete in a rather odd way to some.  I started by downloading the couch to 5k app to my phone.  I had no idea at that time what a triathlete really was or distances required or anything.  I started to do the program and asked friends what to do on the "off days" as I was over 300 pounds and wanted the weight GONE asap.  Several suggested biking. So I got a bike and went to work. That's when someone said if you run and bike... can you swim?  Umm well I did when I was a kid, was my response.  And the answer came back then do a triathlon.  And blindly I went at it with no real idea of what I was now jumping head first into.  I'd like to say it was easy but honestly that would be a lie. There have lots of set backs but I've also set higher goals then I ever thought possible. Right now the biggest one is to complete a full Ironman distance race.

Its kept me going through some pretty rough stuff lately.  Most notable is 8 brain surgeries that happened over a span of 104 days.

Nothing like having a hole (well 2 in my case) drilled into your head to add some perspective to life for you.  During those hospital stays- some of which were 3 weeks long I would get up as much as possible and walk the hall way...back and forth. It was to the point the nurses started to comment about what I was doing and why. My answer was I need to keep moving so I don't loose too much as I train to be an Ironman. I became known among the staff that that was my goal.  My neurosurgeon encouraged it, supported it, reminded me of it when I was feeling really bad and in a bad place emotionally. What was even more emotional was that there were patients on the neurology unit that were there for what they called "far less than what I had been too" ...which I'll never really understand how one compares what one has endured to another person's journey.  You know what if you are a patient in the hospital – unless it was an "easy" delivery of a healthy baby... guess what it just sucks! So anyways, I'm walking and walking and walking and other patients being nice would ask how are you and that... and soon it got around that I was walking to train for my Ironman. I'd have trouble sleeping at night and be there walking. After the last surgery I had a walker and yes still at it... and still saying "one day I'm going to be an Ironman". Soon I noticed other patients would start walking more and more with me.  I soon had a group and we regularly walked the floor together. It was a great group. We'd chat and a few times people would ask us what we were doing. And the reply was "this is Kelly, she's training for an Ironman. We are helping her and pacing her."

Read More »

A rockstar 70.3 race until I ran into the Inferno. 

IMG_4644I've been at this awhile. Been working my tail off really. To get faster. I wanted to see some numbers that show I'm on the right path in regards to training. Having had a health crisis last year, I wanted to see that old athlete that I know back at it. Heck, I did a dream board and tossed my dreams out to the public. Add in I have this voice that is a whiney beeeacht. And for that matter, being a coach....I wanted that darn PR!

I'm one of those slower athletes.

I've had to work my tail off in the pool. I am not all that strong on the bike. I am good on the run.  I'm injury prone. My legs bitch all the time.

I'm mostly a hot mess.

In fact, 5 years ago I weighed more than I should. And I couldn't run around the big block of our house without stopping three times. So this PR thing, it means more than just the numbers. It's an indication to me that I'm on the path to that next better version of myself. In general. For sure in the athletic sense. Then add in the considerations that are always in my mind in regards to my heart health, having recovered from a-tach/a-fib last year. Truth time: I have been in denial that I'm a different athlete now as compared to pre-heart crisis. I wanted to prove to myself that...I was a whiner, instead of me having a big aspect (limitation) to work with.

So I wanted that darn PR. BAD!

Pre-race: So in Kansas did a good amount of heat training. Knew that the run would be harm. Trained and nailed down the salt pills. Etc etc. We traveled to Boulder two days before the race. Felt good. Drank a ton of h2o.

SWIM

Did a swim warmup. Felt awesome. Ready to roll. However.... ...the first 500 yrds where pretty difficult in that I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. I was pretty irritated with that because I felt the body was great, but had to breast stroke a couple times to get things under control. There was zero way that I was going to get that get to me. I knew that the breath would eventually chill if I could find a strong rythym that connected my breathe with my stroke. I had to change my mental chant to.... "You Are F'in Awesome" So that did the trick. Got my pace together and got to work. Was racing down the homestretch chasing down color capped rabbits when some inspired swimmer decided she was going to grab my legs, almost pull my chip off and continue to flounder around all around me. So the next time she got on me she got a soccer elbow. That did the trick. ;) Goal on the swim was 45. Got 49 something. I see masters swim in my future this winter.

BIKE

Traveled through transition. Maybe a bit slower...I like to reset my mind and get myself ready for some biking. At altitude. Uphill for the first 11 miles. The bike was actually going really well. After a difficult-breathing swim I usually need some caffeine to hedge off exercise asthma. So I was chomping on some juicy chomps. Yum.

Funny thing about endurance races, the good (and bad times) ebb and flow.

So I drank on the bike well. I took salt like clockwork. But I couldn't get enough calories down. I could barely get my drink mix down. Altitude? :-/ So in the back of my head I was thinking about the run and thinking "oh crap", but I just couldn't get anything solid down. Managed to maintain my goal pace until about 45-50. Started to not feel all that great. Missed a turn briefly...And frankly, my back was pissed. I hadn't had back issues for a long time and during this race my back was mad the entire ride. I was thinking "holy crap how am I going to run after this..."

RUN

Back to transition, did my normal reset, rinse my hair with a lot of water, and got myself ready for the run. Actually, I didn't feel all that terrible. Ready to roll out. They had changed the course. No, I didn't really read the athlete guide. Or listen much at the briefing. I was making friends. :) So I joined the run with all its going-ons really hoping my brain was functioning well and that I was in fact doing things right.

I'm notorious for my wrong turns.

So the first mile felt decent. On pace. I had a pretty aggressive plan, but hell, go big or go home right?! Though I did have a plan b. Well, pretty much immediately after mile 1 the heat hit me. The sun. A solar flare maybe...

The run felt like an INFERNO.

I guess the temp was...88 or something like that. HAWT!!! So we (me and all of my voices) momentarily paused plan a and moved to plan b, thinking we could get back to plan a (or plan a-ish). Well... I was really "encouraging" myself to run station to station, which seemed to be every half mile. Kept thinking about that dream board and the goal I wanted. :-/ I liked the run course changes personally. More water the better. And not a lot "lonely" spots. The run was more like a trail run as the hard packed dirt had been recently TORE UP with an ATV or something. Anyway, it was very difficult to run station to station. Just didn't feel like I was getting enough o2. I don't run well in the heat. And here is where the "heart aspect" comes into play in a big way. So plan a was out. Plan b...that's what I was trying to get to when one of my voices said it would be a good idea to drink the red bull. Hahaha. Yes. I know. As a coach...Id say "heck no". But I needed to do something different. I really wanted the second half of the run to be different. I said to myself "oh sh$t, how much worse can it get..." Hahahaha. A whole lot worse, I mean, who wants to finish with GI Distress all over you! 2nd loop did get better. Some Zach dude said to put the ice on the femoral arteries. Did that.

WHOOP!!

I got a bit faster. Kept drinking the naughty drink. Doing all the cooling strategies. Actually had to stop and use the facilities. Happy kidneys. Sort of finished it on my terms. Not the PR that I wanted... I did cross the finish line welcoming this new athlete that I am and saying goodbye to the old athlete.

Read More »

What you THINK and Your ADRENAL HEALTH (energy, hormones, sleep)

Last night I had a minor life "episode". I call them that, just a thing that gets me to thinking, nothing serious. You know, those little life "episodes" with family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc. (life is messy, if you aren't having these .... are you breathing?)

Lately I've been spending a bit of time thinking and asking myself "why". Why did I react that way or think that thought. Not in judgement, more in curiosity.

If you're like me and life hasn't always been a bed of roses, some times we get emotional torrets. Habitual emotional responses. Like a computer, we get wired up into patterns. Like a computer, we can rewire it. Code it different. To do different. Thus the asking. And let's be honest, figuring out what's your stuff and what's not can be super fun. NOT. It can drive you bat shit crazy.

Thus the need to meditate - have the ability to think/feel/know clearly when you ask yourself an inner question.

So in last nights "episode", I was asking myself questions. And this morning my inner rockstar said these things to me. The pink stickies. journal-stickieI love stickies. I talk to myself all the time through the stickies. They help me stay focused on what's TRUTH. One last thought...I worked with a coach once that said...you have two wolves in ya. They battle each other. The white (pure one - the one that's WHOLE AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND IS NOW) wolf is being devoured by the dark one. The lies that we believe. Such as we aren't enough. Let's face it, say if you were abused when you were a child...the lie of being "not good enough" would be a strong dark wolf, that over powers the white one. So in asking the questions. Seeing that this internal battle is there. For one. Gives us power. Because the endless battle is GREATLY STRESSFUL. And leads to other battles. More stress. And this tires us out. And runs us down. This inner stress causes the adrenal glands to work overtime. They get RUN DOWN! They don't work well. They get "fatigued". They get "exhausted". They "SHRINK". For good. Side thought: so imagine, if you are that child...starting out with this "stuff" going on. You get to 40 or whatever and you've been living with adrenal gland deficiency ALL YOUR LIFE... You saw the list on adrenal gland stresses. A lot of... emotional stuff. Be curious about your thoughts. Know that they don't have to control you. Know that they are incredibly powerful. Ask why why why until you know "oh, that's it." Write it down in your journal. On a stickie.

Read More »