Living the Happy Life 9.14.2017

Hey y’all ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. โค (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 negativeย 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 theย majority of my time with myย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_20170810_170331My point inย this long explanation is… ย 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 MONEYย 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.ย 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.ย chin standThank you for reading โคย Stay tuned for more from this new lens. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 โค

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 โค

Peace to you all! Thank you for reading my somewhat crammed life update ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers!

xoxo. โค FitnessbyShannon

Life Lately 6.14.16

Good morning!! How is everyone today? Enjoying our lovely humid/rainy/sunny weather? Because I sure am. ๐Ÿ™‚ Summertime, summertiiiiiiiiiiime!

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Last Saturday, we got up SUPER EARLY and ran the Summerfest Rock n’ Sole Quarter Marathon. We initially had signed up for the half marathon, but to be frank, we were so busy on Saturday, we just wanted to do a shorter, faster race. And we both really pushed ourselves! It was an awesome run, and we were grateful we didn’t do the half marathon because, boy, was it HOT out. Incredibly humid too. #quartermarathoners

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The night before, we took a long beautiful walk around our neighborhood and ended up at a killer Mexican place in our area. We ordered…oh everything. And it was beautiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Also, last week Thursday after work, Patrick picked up our first week of our CSA!! For those of you who don’t know, a CSA stands for Community Shared Agriculture; essentially, we buy into a local farmer’s produce and every week, we get a share of it! How SWEET! We eat so many vegetables and roots, this was such an exciting purchase for us!

This week we got:

  • Radishes, salad greens, arugula, scallions (green onions), potatoes, bok choy, asparagus, and a HUGE head of butter lettuce!

I’ve been trying to keep up with my yoga challenges – as I’ve said in previous posts, I’ve been lifting a lot more now that marathon training is done. And I’m going to start swimming next week, in preparation for our two Olympic triathlons this summer. We also have biking on our schedules, but Patrick’s bike needs a new tire, so it’s current in the shop. Womp.

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AND HOWWWW could I forget about a Baymax update?? ๐Ÿ™‚ (see him sleeping next to me in the above picture??) He has been such a fun, crazy, sassy little pup! Yes, we force him to snuggle sometimes but he really loves it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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We took him to our local pet store to get him a new bag of puppy food, and HE LOVED IT.

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He sniffed literally everything, and Patrick of course found the hugest tug-of-war toys in the store. No, we did not get one haha.
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Life is pretty sweet. We are so happy, with our new home, our new puppy, and new adventures to come.

How’s about an adventure for you too?? ๐Ÿ™‚

Peace, xoxo.

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Life Lately 3.23.16

Ohhh it’s Wednesday again. Meaning long runs, hump day jokes, and some building excitement for the weekend! I can’t believe I’m already into Week 4 at myย  new job, we’re over halfway done with our Marathon Training, and it’s officially SPRING! Things are looking wonderful right now ๐Ÿ™‚

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I have been heavily focusing on my yoga challenges that I follow on Instagram, and they’re showing me so much about my growth with flexibility and balance, but also my confidence slowly building with moving my body in certain ways. I officially signed up for bi-weekly classes for 15 weeks starting in April, and I hope those help me gain strength and confidence to let go and stay strong simultaneously ๐Ÿ™‚

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I have come to notice, however, that some holds and balancing poses are SO much harder than I’ve ever even imagined, I have ZERO chance of even coming close to hitting them. My core really needs work, and my technical execution is still fresh too. I know I have plenty to be proud of, but plenty to work on too (haha)!
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As I posted last week, my baking-in-the-shape-of-muffins kick is freaking awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ I have done cornbread and blueberry muffins consistently lately, Patrick’s breakfast and my own every morning. It’s a pretty perfect breakfast situation, and I can’t wait to add in some more kinds this week. Maybe carrot muffins? Something with oats? Strawberries, even? Or my favorite, something with protein powder mixed in ๐Ÿ™‚

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On Sunday, we also made THE BEST BEEF STEW ever. Like, ever. All in our handy dandy crock pot. We threw in some 90% lean beef, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli, onion, garlic, and a bunch of awesome spices, with a DASH of soy sauce! Seriously incredible, and we both devoured it in two days! Absolutely re-making this again.

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Sunday afternoon, we traversed over to the new Whole Foods store and proceeded to spend an hour walking around, trying samples of food, and oohing and ahhing at all the wonderful design and layout of the store. Obviously, we left with a growler of Patrick’s favorite beer and a YUMMM smoothie for our sustenance.

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Also on Sunday, we went new running shoe shopping! Funny enough, we brought our old shoes with us to the store (Performance Running Outfitters) and ended up buying our same shoes in their newest editions! He stuck with Saucony and I stuck with Brooks. WE LOVE THEM.

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We got to run in them today too and they fit LIKE A GLOVE. Perfect hugging and the best bounce and flexibility. YAY new shoes! A little gift for ourselves halfway through our training ๐Ÿ™‚

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Oh, and we may or may not have gotten a ridiculous amount of gelato on Saturday night.

The rest of our week is going to be filled with cooking, running, cooking and running. Oh and lots of sleep. Sleep is CRUCIAL for our training the more miles we run, which I am absolutely okay with ๐Ÿ™‚ And, as I learned last night, eating good, plain food is the best choice for me. Going out for Mexican last night left me feeling achey and exhausted last night and this morning (notttttttt the best feeling; heating pad + kombucha + crackers). But we did have an awesome time catching up with Patrick’s wonderful family.

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I hope you all have an awesome week planned! And any fun Easter plans!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Changes and Goals and Life Lately 1.12.2016

Oh how things have changed since I last wrote a blog! The holidays were wonderful, and I got to see so many friends and family to celebrate the end of the year as well.

We rang in 2016 with friends, dancing, and me actually staying up past midnight ๐Ÿ™‚ And I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
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After the New Year, the next few days FLEW by, with no work and getting ready for our trip to Washington DC for Patrick’s birthday! We relaxed (to the max), planned some stuff for this year, talked about resolutions, and before we knew it we were heading out for our road trip, with 12 hours of driving ahead of us.

Before I get to our trip highlights, might I just say that since the new year, I have been on a relaxation train, and I have had an up and down relationship with it.ย Anyone with me? Do I plan a whole day of things to do? Do I just sit and watch Netflix? Nap? Cook? Workout? Make up errands? Netflix??
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I have been trying to work on mindfulness, and allowing myself to feel peace so my brain can actually settle for a minute or two every day. Easier said than done. I’m used to flying around a million miles a minute, checking off 50 things on my agenda daily, and coming home to eat and pass out and be fully satisfied with my day. So, this major change is coming very welcomed but also… now what? #thestruggleisreal
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Aside from having a large amount of downtime now (with my real estate internship coming to a close at the end of the year), I have so many goals I want to SMASH this year. Starting with obtaining my personal training certification [finally]. I am taking my exam this month, and have been [ahem] trying to study as much as I can. Meaning….. I have picked up my book twice and moved it closer to my bed in the last month. So, this should be fun! Haha…

I also have goals for running – go figure. Patrick and I signed up for his first/my third marathon! IN MAY. That’s just about 5 months away people, so COMMENCE TRAINING…NOW! I can’t believe he decided to run one with me, and I am THRILLED we can take this journey together. Here we go! Let’s see what we can do. #weruntogether
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I also want to run my usual assortment of half marathons and 5k’s, maybe some 10k’s in there. But this time, I want to try and travel a bit more. I love our local Milwaukee runs, but I love traveling just as much; SO, we are going to try and experience new cities and find new and exciting causes and hilarious race names to join! ๐Ÿ™‚ CANNOT WAIT.

Yoga challenges and trying new poses has still been a favorite part of my mornings, and I have had some interesting times lately trying some new things, and still working on my handstands. I am SO CLOSE to being able to hold myself up without having a safety net of a wall behind me [just in case I topple] so I can’t wait to nail that goal… like now. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Which brings me to my most recent trip with Patrick – to D.C.! We drove [because yes we actually like each other that much] and had a blast of a time in the car, singing songs, playing stupid games, and listening to Criminal Minds over Bluetooth in his car (my personal fave).

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Our food was obviously a highlight of our trip (as it always is), and Patrick’s birthday, we decided to go to a Belgian restaurant that was in the heart of the city. BOY was it incredible. We had a pork belly appetizer, and he had the special of the night and I had some kind of chicken dish (per usual). Aaaand of course, we got a birthday dessert that was banana cream pie with chocolate peanut butter crust and beignets on the side. MIND BLOWN.
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Some of our other treats were pretty exceptional too, and I tried taking pictures of everything we ate. Aside from the fact that I had a white soda, acid reduction pill, and pretzels attached at my hip, our food tour of DC was pretty dang awesome ๐Ÿ™‚
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We explored many of the museums, and my favorite was the Newseum – I’ve been to DC multiple times and I had never been to this incredible museum. It showcases and explains the fascinating history of creating news; the people, the equipment, the laws involved… I learned so much I had never known about our history, important and big events in and before our lifetimes, as well as what it takes for news crews to deliver crucial updates to the world at any moment. There was an area of the museum dedicated to Pulitzer Prize Photographs – photo journalism is so incredible and heart-breaking to me, with how it can portray such strong emotions and inflict feeling within the viewers. I have to say I teared up reading some descriptions of some photos. They had another section in Newseum that paid tribute to 9/11, one of the most important and largest news events in our lifetime. The videos they had rolling, newspaper covers they had on display, and the huge news antennae from the top of the World Trade Center…all filled every person there with emotion and awe. The news crews were very clearly the unspoken heroes, running towards falling buildings and smoke and fires to show us, the public, what was happening that day.

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I’m so happy Patrick had a fun and exciting birthday trip to a new city, and I couldn’t be happier to have shared that time with him. โค Can’t wait to see where we go for my birthday this year….

Even though a lot has changed lately, I’m moving soon, looking for a great new career, and working on my physical fitness while attempting new recipes and weaving in vacations/trips, everything is good. I am happy. Good is happy and happy is good. So, I’ll take it, and I can’t wait to see how 2016 goes. I’m ready for some more smiles and memories, dasfasho ๐Ÿ™‚
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Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Peace, xoxo.