Rugged Roots: Session 1

Rugged Roots Session 1: Back, Front & OverHead Squatting…. excuuuse me?

I have always been a sucker for a good leg day. It’s by far one of my favorite burns. Nothing beats not being able to walk up & down the stairs. It’s the kind of burn that constantly reminds me, for at least 3 days, that I had a great workout. You can imagine when I saw what session 1 was for the “Rugged Roots” program I was amped.

Back squats are my jam. I was already confident going into that squat. My trainer at my gym had me back squat a few times. He rarely pushed me to increase my weight on them. The trainer (John) at Cross Fit did just the opposite. He showed me the proper form and then pushed my limits (safely of course!). John helped me increase the weight I was squatting, helped me build my confidence & helped me truly understand what it means to squat like a boss.  (Max weight: 100 lbs)

Back Squat

Back Squat

Front squats are something I have always seen but never tried. I did them briefly at the Cross Fit free session, but nothing serious. I learned the proper way to hold the bar, how to move in this squat and where my weaknesses may be.  John helped me push my limits in this squat, too. Many people don’t lift as heavy in this squat as they do in their back squat. This is a fairly uncomfortable position to hold the bar in. I really struggled at keeping my elbows up! That is something I have to work on. (Max weight: 70 lbs)

Front Squat

Front Squat

OverHead squats are COMPLETELY new to me. I rarely see people at my gym doing overhead squats. After this session, I understand why. John told me right with this part of the session saying that “people rarely nail this squat”. In a way, that put me at ease. I didn’t want to attempt the squat and look like an idiot… so knowing that most people are unable to successfully do this squat helped me go into it with a little more confidence (if that’s not backwards, I don’t know what is!!). I got into it and NAILED every rep. John was so pumped for me, he had me do another set. It was such a confidence booster knowing that I was successful at something that was a. new to me & b. difficult for people to learn. (Max weight: 50 lbs)

OverHead Squat

OverHead Squat

GOAL: Increase max weight for all of these squats, see improvement over the next few months in my performance & continue to feel and love the burn of leg day.

Bring it on CrossFit squats. I got you.

Up next in Rugged Roots this week… Session 2: deadlifting & Session 3: pressing, push pressing & jerking.

xo. P

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Let’s Get Rugged.

It’s official. I’m a CrossFit member as of… 10 minutes ago…


Today I attended a free trial class at Rugged CrossFit. This location is just a few miles away from my apartment in Boston. After much research, I found this CrossFit to be the most reasonably priced, the best location & the most welcoming CrossFit. Both the Facebook page and website were very inviting… I couldn’t resist!

To say I was nervous for this trial class is a complete understatement. I actually thought I was going to be sick just thinking about it throughout the day. I know I can run, I know I can kick butt at spinning class … what I don’t know is how strong my muscles are. I am the least confident person when it comes to muscle endurance. So, in an effort to challenge myself and push myself out of my comfort zone…I’ve decided it’s time to test out that muscle endurance through CrossFit.

Being typical Paige, I showed up WAY too early for the class. I parked my car and sat in it for 15 minutes before going inside. You walk up to the door and hear music BLASTING and people cheering. If that’s isn’t intimating, I don’t know what is. Needless to say, I waited outside. Two other people showed up not far behind me for the trial class & we all decided to go in together. I walked into a room full of sweaty people dominating the rowing machine and doing burpees. (I. Hate. Burpees.) Despite the loud music, sweaty people & intimidating workout… people waved, said “Hi!” & the CrossFit coach came right up to us. I instantly felt welcomed!! I signed my life away, warmed up & as soon as the workout before us ended… we got started.

After the hour of learning about different body weight exercises, weight lifting moves & HIIT cardio… I was hooked. We ended the trial class with part of an actual CrossFit workout otherwise known as an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible). This consisted of; 12 ab mat sit ups, 9 barbell thrusters & 6 burpees. The goal of AMRAPs is to do as many rounds as you possibly can within a certain time period. Today, we did this AMRAP for 7 minutes. Let me tell you, 7 minutes never felt so long.

The best part of CrossFit? Everything is scalable. You can modify any and every exercise to work for YOUR body & skill level.

Next steps? I just signed up for five 1 on 1 training sessions with a CrossFit coach. Each of these sessions will teach me the proper techniques of CrossFit before I can jump into any WOD (work out of the day).

Keep your eyes to my blog to follow my CrossFit adventure! I can’t wait to dive into this challenge, give it my all & really test my limits. I hope to get strong, build confidence & most importantly, better myself.

I CAN’T WAIT! (can you tell, I’m amped up?)

xo. P

Let’s talk clean eating…

I tend to focus a lot on exercise. I love exercise and I get it. I know what I’m doing & I’m confident that if someone told me to go run 13 miles right now, I could (maybe… ha). Like I’ve said before, exercise is my drug. I haven’t talked much about nutrition recently, another passion of mine. It used to be a hobby… I would look up fun recipes on Pinterest, cook them, and hope they taste good! That was actually an initial idea for this blog – all about the recipes I tried and failed. I still consider diving into that a little more, maybe later. Anyways, clean eating isn’t a choice for me anymore.

After a recent nutritionist visit in the PCOS clinic, my eyes have been opened to what does and does not work for my body…. At the start of 2015 I jumped on the Paleo bandwagon. Ya, you heard me… Paleo. People may believe it’s a fad diet, or it isn’t healthy. Well, I don’t have a choice. I MUST keep my carbohydrates and diary intake to a minimum due to the metabolic makeup of my body. I should only consume “high quality grains” such as quinoa & sweet potatoes. I should keep my diary intake to only high quality no-sugar added Greek yogurt. Otherwise, I should be consuming a diet in high protein & high fiber — this will be made up of lean meats, quality vegetables & MINIMAL fruit. There is such thing as too much fruit, go figure.

See, this is more than a fad diet or something silly, it’s a lifestyle change for me. I have always eaten very healthy & clean for the “old me”, but recently my eyes have been opened as to what clean eating means for the new me. Everyone’s bodies have different types/amounts of food they can and cannot tolerate, and unfortunately, my body is unable to tolerate those savory yummy carbohydrates. In order to have it be a true lifestyle change, I still need to enjoy life.  So, I plan to stick to Paleo 90% of the time and enjoy life 10% of the time. If I find that too hard, I’ll consider going 80/20, we’ll see how it goes. Cheat meals are real, and so are slip ups. I still kick myself when I slip up, but I need to learn NOT to. We are all human, we all make mistakes… it is OK.

Despite the fact that I have always eaten clean (and exercised like crazy) my visit to the PCOS clinic was overwhelming. I left the visit feeling defeated and unsure of where to go. I did not have this positive attitude when I left this visit. I wish there was a magic answer to fix all of my problems due to PCOS.  I cried, I lost it… I went to the gym to sweat it out & that helped. I talked to my best friends, they were all angry for me and were really empathetic. I think my mom cried for my frustration. One conversation really stuck with me… I talked to one of my best friends, Courtney, and she said something that totally helped me stay positive… “you inspire so many people, including me! and I love you for that”. Courtney, that helped me more than you can ever imagine. Thank you, I love you! >>> Shameless plug, check her out over at ataleoftwocs.com

You never know what battle someone is fighting. I am fortunate enough that I have a strong network of best friends and family that understand the struggles I have gone through. Each and every one of these amazing people has supported me thus far and I know they will continue to support me. Without them, I would be lost. Thanks guys, I love ya!

I will not let PCOS define me.

I will thank my stars every day for the amazing people in my life.

I will be a fierce Paleo dieter.

I will join Crossfit next week… oh, did I let that slip?! Ya, more to come on that. 😉

xo. P

2015: the year of love.

Long time no talk! What better way to start 2015 than with a blog post? I went a little MIA during finals week last semester & then I really took a step back during the holidays from everyone and everything, except my family and dear friends. I needed to “cleanse” myself of everything including work, Boston, social media & just my routine. I am now back in Boston, back at work & feeling rejuvenated!

Ever since 2012, each year has had a slogan. I have tried my best to live up to that slogan. Let me take you on a quick recap of these slogans so you can understand a little bit more…

2012: the year of selfish Paige. I went through a bad breakup at the end of 2011, so 2012 was MY year to do whatever I wanted & guess what, I did. I made some mistakes, mistakes that I learned from. I made some amazing decisions that have put me where I am today. Without this selfish mentality, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

2013: the year of change. I moved to Boston, started graduate school & started a new job. I am horrible with change, but these changes have made me the best version of myself. So, thank you 2013 me, thank you for accepting these changes and killing it.

2014: the year of YOLO. I was kidding when I made this slogan, but it ended up being true. I made the best memories with the best friends this past year from the White Mountains to Boston to New Orleans. I did everything & anything and said “yes” to almost anything I could. I partook in many firsts – first half marathon, first Spartan Sprint, first race series, first best friend vacation, first time my broken heart from 2012 actually felt fixed. Looking back, I don’t regret anything from this past year & that is the best feeling.

2015the year of love. Now, I don’t mean finding love – though, that wouldn’t be terrible if that happened. What I mean by love is loving myself. Despite all of my YOLOing (ha) in 2014, I have struggled with loving myself. I want to look in the mirror and say, I love the way you look, I love who you are as a person and I love what you value. On the outside I may look like I have it all together, but this is incredibly false. This girl still needs a lot of work. I am hoping to achieve this through a few different ways.

Here is how I plan to fall in love with myself in 2015:

  • Eat Clean. I have succeeded with this amazingly & plan on continuing this lifestyle. But, I’ve taken it to the next step already & have started the Paleo lifestyle. This will help me love myself because my stomach will continue to be happy & I will have more energy than ever! More to come on that!
  • Muscle Definition. Through weight training, yoga, spinning & my at home Beachbody workouts, I hope to have defined muscle. With that being said…
  • Do Yoga. In the past 6 months I have added yoga into my exercise routine and it has been the best addition to not only my physical well-being, but my mental well-being. After pounding the pavement for 20+ miles a week while training for my half marathons, my body needed to be exercised differently & now I am in love with yoga and how it makes ME feel.
  • Travel. I’m going to London in May & I plan on traveling a bit while I’m over there, too! I can’t wait! I hope this experience allows me to learn more about myself and allow me to fall in love with myself outside of my comfort zone. I also plan on traveling to the West Coast within the next year to visit one of my best friends who recently moved out there. Let’s go on adventures, 2015.
  • Challenge Myself. This is fairly broad and can be defined in a variety of ways. I did a pretty good job of challenging myself physically in 2014 but I want to continue that into 2015. I want to run another half marathon (or two!), run a Spartan Super (next step up from the Sprint) & compete in the Tough Mudder. Not only do I want to challenge myself physically, I want to challenge myself intellectually, too. I want to continue to grow and learn in my masters program. Most importantly, I want to challenge myself in my career. This may be the most difficult challenge for me & to be honest, I am not quite sure where to start.

This list may change and evolve, but right now, this is the list that makes me want to move forward into 2015 and make it the Year of Love. It’s no surprise that more than half of them are exercise and nutrition related. I guess fitness & nutrition really are my passion. I’ve always known that but re-reading this list just hit it home for me.

Have you thought about the years past and what their “slogans” would be? What would 2015 be for you?

xo. P