elisariva

Seizing life's joys and challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally.


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Listen Today

While many people champion the concept of multi-tasking, there are certain things that are best done with full attention and focus. Listening is probably the top of the list. In a conversation, we tend to hear better when our eyes are focused on the person who is speaking. Personally, I have told several jokes based on crazy things I thought I heard because I wasn’t looking right at the person speaking.

This past week I have juggled multi-tasked several things as the holidays approach. As I workout to reach my year end fitness goal, I will catch up on the news or watch the Food Network (way better than the news these days) while I am on the row machine or elliptical. When I am riding my bike on the trainer, I am focused on my iPad while the Peloton instructor leads me through the workout. Then there is my daily yoga. 

I find myself excited when the time comes in the day to do the daily yoga class in my 30 Days of Yoga journey. There is no music, just Adriene talking the yogi through the class. Today I finished day 16 – and each day I am learning to quietly listen to my body. This type of listening is best done when my eyes are closed rather than open. I am focusing within. I am noticing the areas that really ached are loosening, it still hurts to sit crossed legged, but not as deep and I am able to sit a little longer. I also notice through the day I am not sore or stiff when I stand up after sitting for an hour or so at work. I am half way through the month and I am feeling the benefits of my workouts, not just seeing my fitness numbers improve. Speaking of numbers – I am up to 59 on my fitness score, my goal is to cross 60 by the end of the year.

Today I thought how finding stillness is not easy to do if it is not actually scheduled. With the holidays approaching, who has time to be still? This past weekend I had two great opportunities to have quality time with people dear to me. My niece is also my hair stylist and I had a couple hours alone with her. She is a really amazing person and having that time to spend with her is priceless. I also had lunch with a dear cousin who I rarely have one on one time with. We actually had time to learn more about each other. That dedicated time with these awesome ladies made my weekend wonderful. 

As I mentioned last week, we make time for what matters the most to us. So my challenge to you as you go through this busy week, take a few moments to be still. Think of those you care about and haven’t spoken with in a while, breathe deeply, pray, listen to the stillness around you – find that peace that we wish to all in this holiday time. And appreciate the gift of today.


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Virtually There

My year end goal of improving my fitness is three weeks away. I am focusing on eating clean – most of the time – and keep to my workout routine.  Swimming is one of my favorite sports and I get to the pool to swim four mornings a week. I am also cycling on my trainer, rowing on a row machine and practicing yoga. While I would enjoy riding my bicycle outside for two hours, the weather this time of year is not cooperating and time management makes it challenging to carve that much time out two to three days a week.

I belong to a wonderful fitness club, but returning after work for a second workout just isn’t as appealing as it was when I was training for an Ironman. Now that fitness is my primary focus, I prefer to workout at home after work. Thanks to technology, it is very easy to find challenging workouts!

For cycling, I have a smart trainer, mine is a Wahoo Kickr Snap. There are several apps to use with a smart trainer – TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, and Zwift are a few. TrainerRoad is a great program when training for a long course triathlon. Sufferfest and Zwift combine interactive workouts with virtual videos.

Then there is Peloton. I am sure most reading this are aware of Peloton, has seen a commercial for a Peloton bike, or even may own one. I have been using the Peloton app along with my bike on the trainer. Fortunately, Peloton offers an app based program that the rider can use with their own bike. While the resistance is a bit different since I am not on the actual bike, it is a virtual spin class that offers a great workout. I am able to ride when I want with prerecorded classes, or participate in a live class. The instructor knows who is riding in the studio and online. Even app users who are not on a Peloton bike are listed. The workout stats do not register like when riding a Peloton bike, but the instructor does know when the app user hits certain milestones. Today was my 50th ride and I rode a live class with one of my favorite instructors, Robin Arzon. I always know her class will be a tough workout and she knows how to motivate and push the class. Her favorite saying is “let’s sweat, with swagger.”

My journey through 30 days of yoga is going well. Today is day 9, and Yoga with Adriene is guiding me through it. The classes vary in length from 10 minutes to 35 minutes and she mixes it up so I am not doing the same thing every day. It is still very challenging to sit crossed legged longer than 5 minutes with pain, but I am making progress. Adriene’s style is so refreshing. She talks the yogi through the movements in a very real way. It is like I am casually doing yoga with a friend.

Both Robin and Adriene know how to connect to the viewer virtually through the camera. It is like I am virtually there with them. I follow both on Instagram – and they follow each other too! I get a kick out of Adriene liking Robin’s pictures and Robin liking Adriene’s. I am not surprised they are linked together on Instagram. Robin is in New York and Adriene is in Austin, TX. Another virtual connection of outstanding instructors.

Frequently I hear people say they would exercise if they had time. I am a firm believer that we make time for what we want to do. Yes, getting to a gym can be difficult, but there are options. I have found two outstanding programs that allow me to workout at home in the evenings. My pets get a little more attention now that I am home earlier and I am able to get a few chores done too. All while I also get a good workout in – and I am virtually there with awesome instructors too.