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Monday, December 28, 2015


Total number of swings for 4 weeks is 6,341.  My total for week four is 1854. 
There are lessons learned during this challenge:
  • My endurance came back pretty quickly.
  • I was able to push myself mentally to complete the challenge.  Most important was I was glad I pushed myself.  It felt good.
  • Each week I increased my number of swings.
  • I kept increasing weight.
  • You can be over 50, get and stay strong.
  • I can have kettlebells all over my house and it doesn't bother me at all!!!

Kettlebell Minefield


I skipped Day 4 but may go back to it later today.
I did 500 hand to hand swings.
I did 4 rounds with 12 kg....
I did 6 rounds with the 14 kg bell.

Tested out my wrist with 12 kg and for the most part it was good to go.


I pushed myself successfully and feeling good to complete W4D4 for 240 swings. Glad I got it done.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Still swinging

And wear an awesome pair of red shoes in the process!

I am a little behind this week...
Completed a total of 432 swings broken down as follows:
150 two handed swings.
5 rounds with the 16 kg bell
10 rounds with the 18 kg bell
252 one handed swings
5 rounds with the 12 kg bell
5 rounds with the 14 kg bell
10 rounds with the 16 kg bell.
I started another routine and did 30 swings but my hands were not cooperating...they did not want to snatch so I abandoned the routine...for today! 
I will have different posts the next few weeks as the swing challenge winds down. 
I am heading to the park now to begin a new session of focus on an unassisted chin up.  I've had many starts and stops with working on it is a new year. 

Friday, December 18, 2015


Crossing the finish line at Ladies Night Out...




250 swings plus an additional 100 swings for a total of 350. Wasn't sure I was going to have enough in the tank to get this done but I pushed through it and feel good. Glad I did.
This is normal a rest day for me...a day I don't do my regularly scheduled work out.


Did 110 swings with 14 kg. Then 204 one arm swings. I did 15 rounds with a 14 kg and then 2 rounds with a 16 kg. I decided to do a couple more rounds just to see if how I felt with increased weight.
Total for the day 214 swings.

That is all I've done (so far) this week and I was lucky to have got those swings has been a sick week. 

Updated to say W3D3 in the books:

I am a little behind this week...


I did 10 rounds of one arm swings for a total of 540. I debated switching to Day 4 but I was on such a roll, I decided to keep on going. All rounds were done with 14 kg. 

Hanging in there. I also did my regular work out before hitting up the swings. Guess I am feeling better.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


My Number
Carnation at the finish line

On a whim, I entered the Ladies Night Out road race in Newburyport.  Why?  I don't really know.  Maybe it was the wine, the wine glass, or the carnation at the end.  I could have bought them myself.
  I haven't run at all in about 5 years never mind in a road race.  Totally honestly.  I did not train for this race at all.  I did sprints twice.  The first time I did them for 10 minutes.  The second time I did them for 15 minutes.
Now for full disclosure...I didn't run the entire course.  I knew I had to approach this as a run/walk event...something I never would have done in the past.  My finish times in the past ranged from 25 minutes to 34 minutes depending on my training.  Yesterday I finished around 35 minutes.  (There was no official time.) 
I could have pushed myself harder but that is not what this race was about for me.  I was calm and relaxed.  I just wanted to have a good time and I did.
I deliberately wore my "LOVE HARD LIFT HEAVY SHIRT."  I knew it was going to be difficult for me to mentally do the run walk thing.  It is not how I am wired.  The shirt served as a reminder that I have changed course...I spend most of my exercise time lifting heavy things.  It gave me permission to walk. 
I say...
 Do what moves you...I think exercise.  Move your body in anyway in can.  Stay healthy.  Walk, run, hike, lift heavy, do yoga.  Do whatever moves you!
I haven't been posting this week because I've been off the grid (sometimes you just need a break) but it doesn't mean I haven't been swinging...
W2D1: 250 with 14 KG
W2D2: 280 with 14 kg
W2D3 270 14 kg
W2D4 120 with 16 kg (Thanks Rae) and 180 with 14 kg.

This issue I have been having as a result of swinging so much is that the left hand is cut up so yesterday I wrapped it so I could some heavier weight.  This is what my hands looked like...

Unfortunately due to my schedule, I couldn't swing on Thursday so tomorrow will be Day 5.


Monday, December 7, 2015


So I wrapped up the first week of Iron Body by Artemis Holiday Swing Challenge pretty strong.  Also, I did most of my regular workout during the week...if you know me you know I cannot live without Turkish Get Ups.

Day 5...
300 Swings
4 rounds with the 12 kg
2 rounds with the 14 kg.
Cut up my left hand yesterday. Wasn't sure I would be able to swing today but I did a pretty decent wrap job that lasted 6 rounds.
Total swings for the week = 1450!

  When I woke up Sunday morning, my body was exhausted.  I knew my planned work out was just not going to work.  So, I listened to my body.  I did 3 rounds of farmer's carries, racked carries and overhead carries.  When I am not feeling a work out, I always get in some carries. 

I always knew Sunday would involve a lot of walking. 
My day would involved was going to involved walking 1.2 miles to Gillette Stadium and 1.2 miles from Gillette back to the parking lot.  Then there was the hike up to my seat with the Gods. 

Point of all this is whether you are just starting out or if you are an experienced exercise enthusiasts, it is important to listen to your body.  It is important to learn the difference between a need to rest and simply a lack of motivation.   

Saturday, December 5, 2015


And I quote...

Yesterday's Swing Challenge:
Day 4...
Whoo Hoo! I FEEL GREAT. This challenge was just want I needed to kick my ass and get my engine restarted.
Totalled 280 swings.
100 2-handed swings with the 14 KG bell. I opted out of Double KB swings because my doubles need work and the challenge isn't the place to do it. I may slipp a couple rounds in as the challenge progresses. Also, this is a reminder to practice them.
180 one arm swings.
244 swings with the 14 kg
35 swings with the 16 kg.
Now let the weekend begin.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Iron Body by Aretmis Holiday Swing Challenge

I did this challenge last year and shared my postings from the Swing Challenge Facebook Page.  Thought I would share again.  I recommend you think about joining the challenge.  Gets your heart pumping in the comfort of your own home.  You can jump in on Day 4 or 5 if you have the interest.  Artemis is also doing the challenge on Periscope if you are interested.  Search @IrnBdyByArtemis.


Day 1

As usual these days, I wasn't sure what the actual work out was so I made up my own. I did 292 one handed swings with a 12 kg bell. I didn't quite achieve what I had set out to do but that is okay.
I've had very limited access to KBs the past 5 weeks due to vacation and traveling for work. So, now, I am working to get it back. So glad we are doing this.
BTW...I signed up for a 5K on 12/12 just for fun. Have I done any running in years. No, I have not. I had planned to but work travel derailed that. I will do some but I am hoping the conditioning from this KB challenge helps my endurance!

Day 2...

200 swings. Can I just say that I forgot how much this KB challenge I love this KB challenge and how great swings are.
After yesterday, my butt thanks you. Great soreness from yesterday. Deadlifts, squats, etc are great for the butt. Me...I always forget how great swings are too.

Day 3...

378 swings.
I did 5 rounds with a 12 kg bell...felt pretty easy. ...
Moved on to two rounds with a 14 kg bell...more difficult but working on that endurance. It is coming back.

Day 4 has not been done yet. Hopefully, I will be back later! Good times.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I BELIEVE I DRANK ALL THE WINE IN ROME and other lifestyle statements

The line is not original.  I borrowed it from Neghar Fanooni.  However, it is a true statement.  Italian red wine is superior to many other wines.  I did my best to make sure there was none left before I returned home.  

Several weeks ago I traveled to Rome for an extended vacation.  Prior to boarding the Alitalia flight, I made the decision to drink bountiful amounts of incredibly delicious wine and to enjoy Roman specialties such as Cacio e Pepe, Carbonari and Gelato to the fullest.  Copious amounts of wine was consumed especially on the rooftop terrace of the hotel.  A glass of wine with lunch...yes, please and thank you very much.

After sampling Gelato!  No wine was involved.
I also knew that exercise would be a challenge because I was staying in a small hotel without a gym.  I brought some bands and valslides but that type of exercise was not a priority.  What I did do was walk especially early in the morning, alone, as the city was waking up.  Early morning walks in a new city are a favorite.  During a walk I did find this guy...and who could resist a picture with these buns.  He has obviously been working out.  He reminded me why I love deadlifts, squats, hip thrusts, glute bridges and swings.  I also biked the via Appian Way among other roads. 

Who could resist a picture of these buns.
 Roman food, wine, culture and people were spectacular.  I enjoyed all the best that Rome had to offer without much damage to my nutrition or strength.  You can vacation, enjoy yourself and still be true to your goals.  
Big, bad, delicious ravioli for sharing

Caccio e Pepe

Thank you for the best Caccio e Pepe in all of Rome!
  Once home, I started back with my regular routine.  My strength was the same but my endurance had slipped a little.  I attended Simple Nutrition and Conditioning Workshop at Iron Body Studios the Saturday following my return and felt the conditioning for sure.  This was not unexpected. 

Photo courtesy of Iron Body Studios - I am in the small group photo.
What I did not plan on when I returned from Rome was two and half work related weeks in New York City and I don't mean normal work week.  It was two and a half weeks of long, stressful hours. 
After seeing a facepage posting by Dafna Hayman, personal trainer extraordinaire, I ordered a frig for the room and did some food prep.  I went to Whole Foods and filled the refrigerator with fruit, vegetables, eggs (dur) and a roasted chicken.  (Sidenote:  Road rage in the aisles of Whole Foods?  I kid you not.)  The hotel had an excellent gym.  Strategy was to hit the gym early in the morning.
However, not everything went as expected.  Food worked out great.  No need to hit up a restaurant except for some coffee.  Note:  I did try to find some coldbrew coffee for ice coffee in the morning but it was no where to be found.  The part of the plan where I would hit up the gym didn't go as expected.  I was working long, late hours and I was exhausted.  The thought of lifting anything heavy felt impossible.  So again, I had to let you go.  I was already physically and emotional exhausted.  No guilt.
Fast forward to the end of the second week and I was able to hit up the gym a couple times.  Guilt was starting to set in...
Now I am home.  It took a few days to get back to it but I feel I am mostly back strength wise with the exception of my deadlift.  But I love deadlifts!  Endurance is at an all time low.  Working it back slowly.
That being said, point is, you can plan and still keep nutrition and strength.  Life can throw you a curve ball and you can still maintain your strength and nutrition.  Just takes a little planning.    It was nice that a couple people at the gym this morning told me I looked great...I tell you this because what it did was confirm that you can take a vacation and have an unplanned trip away from home and still keep it together.
Fast forward two weeks...I signed up for a 5K...something I haven't done in a very long time.  I have not run one mile since I signed up.  So, we shall see.


Monday, October 5, 2015


There are a couple postings I want to share with you.  This post can by found at  It was written by Artemis Scantalides.  The post is a reminder to me that I need to sit down and write.  I need to carve out the time.  All those crazy ideas rattling around in my head while I am driving should be written down as soon as I stop the car.  It is a reflection of where I would like to be.

I want to make sure I give proper I give you this motivational (to me) post by Artemis.  Please check out her facebook page and Iron Body Studios.    

The Writer
I have a list of administrative tasks I want to complete today, including write or at least start to write a blog post.
As I was getting ready to leave my house this morning to walk to work, I had my back pack on, strapped and buckled, headphones in my ears, lunch bag in my hand, when I realized that I didn’t have the notes I wrote down for the blog I wanted to write.

I wrote notes for this blog almost a month ago while Eric and I were on vacation on a page on the inside cover of the Precision Nutrition textbook while I was studying at the beach.
I was trying to study and these thoughts kept popping into my head and distracting me from studying so I just wrote on what was available to me. A textbook.
I didn’t want to bring the whole textbook with me so I ripped the page out of the book.
I laughed at myself after I ripped this page out of the textbook. I laughed because 1) every writer has writing habits that are specific to him or her, and 2) when did I become “a writer”?? Haha!
But I am. I write, I post, I share. It’s a large part of what I do.
Daily, I record ideas and notes for posts and blogs.
Sometimes I write them down by hand on a miscellaneous piece of paper.
If I’m on my computer I will type them into a word document or in notepad.

Or if the only thing I have handy is my phone I will text these thoughts to myself.
I send texts to myself A LOT.
Many times, I come up with the best ideas while I’m in the shower and when I do, as soon as I get out and dry myself off I write them down or text them to myself.
I am a maniac.
A few weeks ago I was listening to an interview with Becca Borawski Jenkins, former Managing Editor for Breaking Muscle, on the RDella Training Podcast. Scott Iardella asked Becca about writing, her writing habits, and how does one become a better writer.
Number one on her list was if you want to become a better writer you find time to write EVERY DAY. You practice. Writing can be a blog, a social media post (YES A SOCIAL MEDIA POST), or a contribution to an article for a publication.
I never really thought about social media posts as “writing” or practice towards writing but Becca is correct. It IS writing. It counts as practice.
For those of you who are writers, what are YOUR writing habits?
Does it take you 20 minutes to get situated with your tea (or in my case kombucha) before you sit in your special spot on the couch to write?
Do you record thoughts on miscellaneous pieces of paper at random times of the day?
For those of you who are aspiring writers and who are wondering how to get better at writing, it’s like anything else, you must PRACTICE writing EVERY DAY.

A more recent blog post by Artemis also struck a cord....please check it out especially if you are interested in training.  Becoming stronger and sticking with a goal or program takes a lot of mental fortitude.

This is where if all began for training toward SFG certification.  Check out Artemis' workshop.  It will put you on the road to greater strength or it will enhance your current path. 
From Iron Body Studios...I AM Not Afraid To Lift

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Yesterday morning, in some sort of daze I presume, I signed up for Ladies Night Out, a 5K in Newburyport sponsored by B&S Sports.  At some point yesterday afternoon, I thought, say what!!!  Did you really sign up for a 5K?  Really??????  I haven't run since I did the Arnold Pump & Run about 4 years ago.

I think this description of the event that caught my attention...

"Cross the finish line on a red carpet to be greeted by handsome gentleman offering an accolade of flowers, mouth-watering fine chocolates, scrumptious hors d'oeuvres and a fine selection of wine and beer."

Flowers, apps, wine, beer and handsome men at the finish line...yes, I am in.  Guess I was just easily seduced by the decadence.  Now I actually have to run. 

It is not my intention to do a whole lot of training.  I am going to trust my kettlebell training to get me through.  I will do some runs but I want to see how the KB training translates into running.  Will I be stronger and run faster than I previously did?  Or will I be the one sucking wind throughout the race.  I will just stay focused at the fun at the end.

Up for the challenge...join me on Dec. 12, 2012 at 2:00.

Monday, September 28, 2015


 In addition to trying a free class at Title Boxing Club this weekend, I did a workout at the Torigian YMCA.   They have a decent number of kettlebells and barbells both of which were on my training agenda.

Over the years when people have complimented my training and/or my technique, I've usually brushed it off or been annoyed that my training was interrupted.  On this day, a young guy came up to me after I had completed a Turkish Get Up using a 12 KG or 26 pound bell.  He more than enthusiastically described my TGU as perfect.  He said most guys can't even do a TGU without weight.

14 KG TGU in my messy backyard!
What I haven't learned is that because someone compliments you at 12 KG, it doesn't mean you have to immediately do one with 16 KG or 35 pounds.  Well, that is what I did.  That wasn't about training.  It was about trying to impress someone.  You see, for a number of health and joint reasons, I need to be smart about how I train.  That wasn't smart.  It doesn't mean I can't do 16 KG because I can.  It just means I need to be intentional about when I do them.

As many of you know, I went into the Strong First Certification training with a number a number of injuries.  I worked through them.  Eric Gahan, co-owner of Iron Body Studios, offered the best advice when I first started training there.  He said,  "You need to remember the goal."  Without that advice, my injuries would not have been under control by the certification.  I know I would have pushed myself.  All I needed to do was push, pull, snatch, clean, swing and squat 12 KG.  Without those words, REMEMBER THE GOAL, I would have pushed myself to push, pull, snatch, clean, swing and squat 14 or 16 KG.  It would not have been smart.  Full disclosure...there were times I did at 16 KG TGU.  One time, I almost attempted a 16 KG snatch.  At the time, none of it felt right. 

Snatching with 12 KG

Without Eric and Artemis knowledge and experience, I would know have become an StrongFirst Instructor.  I would not have reached this goal. 

Smart training is to have goals and understand that it takes to get there.  Remember the goal. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Yes, there is a blog post in the works on training for the certification.  I was just temporarily side tracked.  I want my post on my training to adequately reflect how I feel.

In the meantime, I leave you with these reflections of new least that is what they mean to me.



Thursday, August 20, 2015


I am a paralegal who for many years had a passion for light weight dumbbells, step classes, muay thai, and triathlons.  For many years I had an obsession with doing the Pump and Run at the Arnold in Columbus, Ohio.  A few years ago, it was checked off the list.  I may have offered some limited fitness tips to others but I was never a personal trainer or fitness professional. 

There were never many specific fitness goals except for training and preparing for tris and the Arnold until I started training at Mike Boyle's Strength and Conditioning with Kevin Carr at 5:30 AM.  I slowly started to set bench press, squat, deadlifting and chin up goals.  As I watched regular people and athletes all around me, I knew I wanted to become strong as my body and mind would take me.  Nothing warms my fitness heart and soul as my 205 deadlift personal record.  I love that bar.

It was at MBSC that I was introduced to kettlebells - mostly swings, squats and deadlifts.  One day I watched Kevin do a Turkish Get Up (TGU).  Holy shit!  I want to do one of those.  So I went home and spent two hours in front of an online video determined to learn the technique.  You may laugh or disbelieve, but I really did this.  Baby I was in love!!!

Fast forward a couple years and I am at the second Radiance Retreat in Venice Beach, CA talking to Stacy BenHayon.  She was training for the StrongFirst Level 1 kettlebell certification.  What is this certification you speak of? you internet.  Everything is at your fingertips.  What began was my long process of thinking about my mental and physical ability to pass this certification.  I followed Stacy's journey online.  I wanted her journey to be my journey.  (Side Note:  Stacy who lived in MD turned me on to Artemis and Iron Body Studios...who knew they were down 128 in Needham.)

As I drifted away from the 5:30 AM class at MBSC, I knew I need a new goal and a new physical challenge.  I did know or I thought I wanted to attempt the certification.  I re-read my blog.  Reaching the decision to undertake the certification was an up and down decision.  Now, at this point...

Bring on Artemis and Iron Body Studios.  I do want to talk about Eric Grahan.  He is not forgotten.  He just doesn't fit in this part of the story.  He was, however, a major part of my success. 

Who doesn't want to be this strong?  Photo
courtesy of Iron Body Studios.

Bring on "I Am Not Afraid To Lift," the Turkey Swing, and the Women's Strength Class.  Remember...I am driving from Lynn to Needham to attend these classes.  You know how good they must be. 

Photo by Iron Body Studios

Then, calmly, Artemis mentioned that they would be doing an SFG Certification Training Program.

My only comment and thought was, "I'm in!"

Stay tune for Part 2...

Thursday, August 13, 2015


 Another edition...


Some may be repeats.  Just shows how much I like them!