Living the Happy Life 9.14.2017

Hey y’all πŸ™‚ How is everybody? Enjoying this space between summer and fall?Screenshot_20170914-084624

This transition is always always my favorite time of the year. If we could just pause the temperature/ weather/ outdoor feel, with cool nights and slightly warmer days, I would be just peachy happy with that! It’s perfect for literally everything: running, watching sports, swimming, sleeping at night, HARRY POTTER SEASON… I’ll take permanent Summer-to-Fall weather thanks!

I’m not sure if you remember, but at the beginning of this calendar year, January 2017, I dedicated myself to a new life, free of negativity/stress/judgment… and I renamed my blog and Instagram Fitness By Shannon. I am finally here to update you on this journey so far – it has been astoundingly beautiful. If you’d have told me that it was possible to live without unnecessary negativity and stress, obviously I would not have believed you – stress comes with life, everyone has it, it’s natural. Where that is true in some cases, I now know that if you let go of worry and sadness and insecurity (as much as you possibly can), then life really does seem… easier. Full of life and positive people and happy experiences.patrick shannon

 

That is what I’ve been experiencing over the last several months in 2017. I have been eating healthier than ever, and yet still indulging in ice cream and beer if the time comes. I don’t feel bad about it, I don’t let negative emotions affect me when I imbibe, and ya know what, I only have a limited time on this Earth – so I sure as hell am not going to worry about having a cupcake or glass of Sangria here and there! (Especially with 4 weddings in September on top of my peak marathon training miles, you BET I’m going to enjoy that cake and wine!)

One of my biggest stresses used to be time management. I am a very organized, need-to-plan-everything-out, “I’ll just hold the tickets for everybody” person, so that’s not really the issue. The issue is the straight amount of events and tasks and opportunities and dates that were booked in my calendar. There was something happening every single day and night, and since June, balancing all of that with marathon training?? It was a new challenge to say the least. With the busy schedule (that I fully commit to and yes, it’s my fault for saying yes to so many things), we are obviously flyin’ from one place to the next constantly, and that used to stress me out to the max. I HATE being late – I am usually the girl who’s there exactly on time, or 5 minutes early.sugarcaneBut I now remind myself that, in whatever situation I find myself, there is nothing more that I can do except my absolute best. I needed to focus more on the “right now” instead of “I should’ve, we should’ve, why didn’t we…” ideas. As my mom always tells me, we can’t go back in time, so let’s learn from the current situation, get through it, and plan better next time. ❀ (She’s brilliant). And my dad always reminds me to remember THIS moment, because 85% of life is just showing up. Get there, and do what you can right then and there.walking

Another incredible change for me has been shutting out any relationship or negativeΒ person in my life. This easy change was a weight off my shoulders. I only associate with people whom I love and love me back. It’s as easy as that. I spend theΒ majority of my time with myΒ amazing/ selfless/ adventurous/hilarious/handsome AF boyfriend Patrick and our puppy Baymax. Whenever I can be with them, even if it’s lounging on the couch all day on a Sunday, I feel my energy fill back up to the brim. My heart bursts with love for them. My family is incredible in so many ways; they support me more than I ever could ask them to, and they each have such a special place in my heart. My sister is my best friend, and without her advice, comic relief, support, and straight up love and honesty, I wouldn’t be as put together as I think I am πŸ˜‰gagaOne last relief for me has been my rest days. Ironically, as much as I love getting to the gym with weights, on my mat to do yoga, and in my shoes to run outside, I cherish the days after work when I can come home and do nothing on the couch. The Sundays where we have literally ZERO plans (rare). Where we can just pick a show on Netflix and cruise (or snooze) through all of it. My body and my energy levels need those days, since my mind essentially refuses to stop thinking and processing and planning πŸ™‚ Everybody close to me knows my couch time IS MY COUCH TIME. No, I won’t leave the house or put real clothes on. Yes, I will probably continue to clean and cook and organize. But I will be sleeping/napping/in and out of consciousness because that’s what my body needs right meow. πŸ™‚IMG_20170810_170331My point inΒ this long explanation is… Β DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Really, make the TIME to get outside in the sunshine, travel even if it’s just a weekend getaway, and laugh your head off at stupid jokes and adorable corgi puppy videos. Spend the MONEYΒ on special sushi dinners and exciting new yoga workshops (it’s just money). See those who you LOVE, because we really are all busy, so just make it happen if it’s important to you. That is literally all that matters. I dress how I want to feel good, I eat what I want to fuel my body as thoroughly as I can, I lift/run/do yoga every day to strengthen my heart, mind, and body. This is the life that I have chosen to live.Β If you simply change your mind, you can change your life. I firmly believe that now. I don’t even believe in stress taking over; because whatever comes my way, I will handle it. I have a support system, I have the tools needed to cope with anything, and I know that life will continue on.Β chin standThank you for reading ❀ Stay tuned for more from this new lens. πŸ™‚

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannonme smiling

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Life Lately 8.21.2017 – #lifeissweet

Anyone out there?? It’s me, Shannon.

I don’t want to mention how long it’s been since I’ve written one of these beloved posts. I have so many drafts started, notes in my phone, messages out to friends and family for inspiration… But I never got myself to just sit down and put something together. And now, I’m ready to get back in the game with this wonderful outlet. I already feel back at home – this is something I’ve missed doing, and making time to stay committed to blog up-keep is definitely not easy, especially during the busy summertime. BUT HERE WE GO. πŸ™‚

So where do I begin?

Probably the biggest part of my life right now is my current training for my upcoming race – my fourth full marathon. Β It’s the Lakefront Marathon again, and yes, I would LOVE if any/all of you came to cheer me on. October 1st, can’t miss the thousands of runners down by the Milwaukee lakefront that weekend.

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I have had two “long runs” and I have 3 more before I start to taper before race day. Overall, I am feeling awesome. Stronger than ever, and ready for another amazing and memorable race. My family and Patrick have been so incredibly supportive with my early nights and tired Saturdays – it doesn’t get better than the journey πŸ™‚

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I also started a new job in May! I now work at Harley Davidson. I haven’t loved a job like I love this one in a long time, so I actually look forward to coming to work every day πŸ™‚ I can’t complain, the first 100 days have been fantastic! I even got to pose with one at Summerfest, so I mean… pretty cool right?

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Pretty exciting update too – I finally completed my certification for Fitness Nutrition through ACE! I now can build my future practice (since I don’t current have a practice, technically) with personal training and help those with dietary and nutrition questions too πŸ™‚

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Also as you know if you follow me on Instagram, I have been developing my personal yoga practice fairly deeply over the last several months. It’s been the most enriching and powerful practice I’ve ever experienced, and every single day my body surprises me with new arm balances and flexibility improvements. It’s been a BLAST – and thank you all for supporting this journey! Who knows – maybe YTT is in my future πŸ˜‰

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Patrick and I have officially been in our apartment for over a year now, and we are loving it more and more as we settle deeper into our life in Tosa. Baymax loves it, we have fantastic neighbors, and couldn’t be happier where we are πŸ™‚

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We have been so fortunate to have a busy summer, filled with seeing friends, family events, and plenty of races of all kinds. We completed two triathlons this year (one was actually only biking/swimming, since the swim was canceled) we had a blast completing both!

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I’ve been able to complete some races with my dad and sister as well! I LOVE that we have such a fun and strong running family!

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We have so much to look forward to during the rest of summer. We have FOUR weddings in September, I have my long-runs continuing, we have some travel here and there – – – and it’s all so beautiful, I am completely filled with gratitude and love all the time. Our lives are truly shining with overwhelming amounts of love and friendship and I am humbled by everything I experience every day ❀

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These two beautiful brides are getting married in September, and I am honored to be in both weddings! Over the summer, we had showers/bachelorette parties and I had SUCH a blast celebrating their love!!!

A few snippets from this summer. Full of love, smiles, memories, and a decent amount of O-Gii from MKE Brewing Company πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to see how summer continues to shine, and I hope that each of you has light pouring on your face and experiences each and every day as well ❀

Peace to you all! Thank you for reading my somewhat crammed life update πŸ™‚ Cheers!

xoxo. ❀ FitnessbyShannon

Life Lately 4.21.17

Hi everyone! Checking in because this week has been such a fantastic and fun week, I have so much to share πŸ™‚

Firstly, last Saturday, Patrick, my dad and I all ran the inaugural Brew City Half Marathon in Milwaukee – I think it went pretty dang well! The course is very similar to every single Milwaukee half marathon course (haha) so I knew everywhere we were running and what to expect, which is always a plus πŸ™‚

Patrick and I finished together, so I’m hoping we have another SWEET finish line photo! Finish time of 2:25!!  My dad was just shortly after us – he always likes meeting new people on his long runs and talks their ear off and gives them running and life advice πŸ™‚

I saw my childhood friend from grade school too – April!

It was a really fun first year and I think they did a fairly good job putting on the race! Aside from running out of water at mile 11 and having gross beer/brats at the end of the race (but that’s just me). The medals are HUGE and claim to be the “tallest” medals for any half marathon. I’ll take that!

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And of course, yoga is going really well. Here are some of my favorites from the last few weeks:

**I have also started a push up challenge for myself to 100 per day. Check my Instagram, I post hilarious videos that show how much I’m dying HAHA. πŸ™‚

Sunday was Easter, of course, and we (as always) got Easter baskets from both our mom and dad, filled with candy, and of course, most of that candy is gone already in less than a week. THIS is why I don’t buy candy haha! It disappears in our apartment πŸ™‚

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Always love getting a great picture of my family during the holidays when everyone looks so nice πŸ™‚

Patrick (and a little bit on my end) has been DOMINATING the cooking scene the last few months too, and I just can’t get enough of how awesome our food looks on our new plates haha!

Turkey burgers with sweet potato fries.

Chicken thighs with asparagus wrapped in bacon and crescent rolls.

We may or may not have gotten a huge sushi boat last week too. More on that celebration in another post… πŸ˜‰

And yes, for those who have asked, Baymax is doing SO good. He’s the most perfect puppy, and he OFFICIALLY is over 100 lbs at 14 months old πŸ™‚ He’s so energetic and fun (not pictured above) and clearly loves napping and sleeping and any general relaxing with us after all the running and playing we do every day!

Life really is good right now you guys. Things are flowing, decisions are being made, the energy is bright and exciting, not to mention the beautiful weather we’ve had lately which makes me even MORE anxious for summer. πŸ™‚ I really can’t complain about one thing.

Happy Friday everybody! I hope you all are able to enjoy this last weekend in April!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Marvelous Monday Musings 6.27.16

Happy Mondayyyyyyyyy!

Really, I’m this awake right now. We had a fantastic weekend, guys. We saw tons of family and friends, and also got a solid amount of Baymax/chill time. I’d say it was a great success!

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Handstands outside my house HAVE to happen. πŸ™‚

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So Friday was “National Bring Your Pet To Work Day” and I obviouslyyyy had to partake. Being this is our first pet and all πŸ™‚ And because he’s the cutest dang puppy ever. He had such a fun time at work, with our walks and playing with all my coworkers πŸ™‚

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Always involved in some kind of a yoga challenge too. Lately, I’ve been so sore from my classes and regular weight lifting schedule that I’ve been using yoga for stretching and opening my muscles and fascia again, as opposed to strength improvement. It’s been wonderful to switch it up!

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Saturday morning, my sister, Patrick and I drove to Madison for my grandma’s 80th Birthday! She doesn’t look or act a day over 60 and she is seriously one of my favorite humans on earth. We had such a fun time with family and I got to reunite with my cousins on that side who I don’t see as much anymore! Really a great family gathering πŸ™‚

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Saturday night after we got back home, we had our HOUSEWARMING party! I’ve never hosted a party at an apartment of mine, so this was a first. AND I got to share this time with Patrick in our new home πŸ™‚ We had so many friends come and visit and even got some housewarming gifts! Which we were not expecting. A fun time was had by all, and we definitely will be having more get-togethers in the future since this was such a success!

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Sunday, we cleaned and relaxed and went for long walks. It was kind of the most perfect Sunday ever πŸ™‚
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Did I mention frozen yogurt? Yeah that always makes it a better Sunday πŸ˜‰

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Our wonderful friends who live 3+ hours away came to visit us too! It was a wonderful time hanging out and catching up πŸ™‚ We love seeing friends we haven’t seen in awhile ❀ Thanks for visiting Ashlie and John!

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I hope you all feel the warmth and marvelousness today too πŸ™‚ It’s going to be a beautiful Monday and even more gorgeous week ahead ❀

Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Hawaiian Vacation [in photos]

Hello?! Anyone out there?? I know it has been SO LONG since I have posted last. Hawaii for 10 days, then working for the weeks after (and trying so hard to keep up with the faster-paced lifestyle here!) pushed back allllll my time to write in my lovely little blog.

BUT NOW.
I HAVE TIME. Β [kinda] πŸ™‚

So I choose to link with Amanda for Thursday thoughts!

I wanna show you every single detail of what I saw and experienced in Hawaii, but that would be… about 8 blogs’ worth. So, instead, I’ll do a fancy shmancy photo-highlight version for this incredible trip. ❀ Enjoy!

Ready to fly!


10-hour flight, no big deal.


Getting off the plane. In paradise.

Our wonderful hosts’/ friends’ home!

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Yoga pose #1 of the trip πŸ˜‰

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Our attempt at going for a run, in 80 degrees, strictly uphill.Β IMG_9901

First time EVER snorkeling!! AMAZING!

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Gorgeous St. Michael the Archangel church

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Ya know, just sitting on some lava tubes from the local volcano.

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Exploring the black-lava shorelines and little black crabs.IMG_9917

How gorgeous is this local beach…

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Kona Brewing Company Tour! Deliciousss.

Rowing down to Hawaii πŸ™‚

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Our stunning views for the whole trip. ❀

Some of our INCREDIBLE meals. The bottom is literally the best fish fry I’ve ever had.

YEAH, we cliff-dived πŸ˜€ HOLY CATS, highlight of my life.

We hiked (and created our own path on) a “lava lake/crater”. Yeah, that was pretty baller.

My favorite hike we went on, on Thanksgiving day. The peace and calm was tangible, and I soaked up as much as I could πŸ™‚

Submarine Journey!! WOAH this was a highlight for me, seeing all those fishies and sharks and ship wreckage down in the ocean!

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Our wonderful, selfless, and splendidly fun Ohana. ❀ πŸ™‚

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Tour of beautiful Hawaiian sacred land.

My favorite person in the world ❀ Our hiking adventures were unbelievably amazing!

I have DOZENS AND DOZENS more pictures, but for now, this is our amazing, once-in-a-lifetime travel to Hawaii, in a very small nutshell. I hope that you can one day go and see this beautiful paradise. ❀

OH! And how could I forget… our amazing hosts/friends who live in Hawaii (Tony and Kristen) GOT ENGAGED while we were there! Love you both, and many amazing happy years to you ❀ πŸ™‚

Happy happy life, happy happy love, and happy happy peace ❀

My Wonderful Running Friends! #badgerlandstriders

Did I ever tell you how much I love my running group? The Badgerland Striders is a huge group of runners in Southeastern Wisconsin, comprised of all kinds of fitness gurus. People training for ultra marathons through to 5k’s.

Badgerland Striders - Wisconsin's Online Running Resource

It’s such a fantastic group and I am so glad my dad became a part of it when I was so young, because I was able to go to the fun runs during the summer, witnessing the camaraderie and love for running shared by so many people!

When I was training for my first full marathon in 2013, I had the privilege of meeting a great group of people, two of which have become a couple of my closest friends!

Sarah, Nicole, and I have monthly dinners together, and can plan out ourΒ evil running plans mwahahaha for the rest of the season. It’s so much fun getting together to sort our schedules and get tips from each other! πŸ™‚

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Last night, Nicole (center) cooked a wonderful dinner for us and I had to highlight it! We essentially demolished every last bite of everything she made πŸ™‚

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AND DESSERT. Reese’s S’mores. We all needed pictures, and second helpings ❀ photo 4

I’m so grateful to have found these girls! Having a group to run with and train with is SOOOO beneficial, and helps keep me on track!

If you’re in the Milwaukee area, try and come to a fun run! They’re a blast and have free food afterwards! πŸ™‚ And while you’re at it, just join our running group πŸ™‚ If you can handle the amount of FUN we have while RUNNING! πŸ™‚

Clearly, I had my share of carbo-loading last night, so I ran a quick paced 3-miler, split into 1-mile snippets, and did a tonnnn of core and abs in between each mile. It felt so great! Oh, and more handstand work. I’m SOOO CLOSE to doing it without a wall or tree behind me!

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Happy Tuesday friends!

Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

#MIMM 7 – Great Wedding and Looong Runs

Pardon the delay in this morning’s post. It’s Monday, though, soooo delaying is acceptable, right?

This last weekend was a perfect combination of busy-busy and rest time. We got to see great friends, experience a wonderful wedding ceremony, run loooooong, and relax on Sunday (for once). πŸ™‚ Here’s my Marvelous in my Monday post!

Friday night, we headed north to my mom’s house to see her for her birthday! We gave her her presents, exchanged about 10,000 hugs, and hung out with my puppy Buddy for awhile before heading out to meet some friends for a late app/drink date! πŸ™‚

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Blair and John are such awesome friends and we had a slightly belated birthday celebration for me (again!) and checked out a new bar called Plum Lounge downtown Milwaukee. It was pretty cool! We sat around a bar that had fire in the center of it, and purple (plum) lights shining down on us. Very sassy πŸ˜‰

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We headed home for a SOLID night’s sleep before my 16 mile run Saturday morning. Guys, it was TOUGH. But it felt SO good to finish! Patrick even ran the whole thing with me! What a guy, what a guy πŸ˜‰ ❀

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My favorite “stretch” after a long run.

Then we quickly got ready and SLAMMED breakfast before we headed to one of my oldest friend’s WEDDING started!! She’s been with her boyfriend for over 8 years now, so we knew it was inevitable, but I can’t believe the day actually came! I’ve known Brittany since I was SEVEN, and she’s been one of my sweetest and closest friends, even though lately we haven’t seen each other as much as we’d like. That’s going to change! πŸ™‚ Marking my words now…

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Oh and they had a POPCORN bar for snacking! How fun!!

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My favorite wedding date ever ❀
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It was a gorgeous ceremony and a really great reception! The food was spot on (and we ate ALL OF IT and then some! After our run, we were ravenous!). So glad I was able to see her and Jake celebrate their special day ❀

Sunday, we CHILLED. Yeah, I said it. We biked to the lakefront to see the USA Triathlon happening, which was pretty AWESOME and that’s a #goal of mine now!

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We got brunch with some friends, and headed home for movies and cards. πŸ™‚photo 3 (2)

Oh, and we devoured some more of that leftover duck from last week. YUMM!

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It was seriously a fabulous weekend, and couldn’t have ended on a better note! Shoutout: Patrick starts his new job today! So excited for him!! ❀ ❀ πŸ™‚

This morning, I ran 3 miles, did upper body work, and loooots of handstands and headstands.

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Talk about draining your shoulders to the last drop of energy with handstand work after lifting!

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Hope you all have an amazing Monday! And make it Marvelous! πŸ™‚ ❀

Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness