Coffee Talk Tuesday #8

Happy Coffee Talk Tuesday! Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee. That would be very sad.

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Happy coffee day (read: every day), dear friends! I have all the thoughts today, and want to share a few with you here.

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I’ve been thinking about the idea of success and how it means something different to everyone. For some, it might be related to money or possessions, for some it’s family, for some it’s physical like losing weight or gaining muscle, and so many more things.

Even more, the idea of success changes as you change. If you would’ve asked me 5 or 10 years ago to define success, it would sound differently than it does today. Priorities change.

Mostly, I’ve been pondering this thought: if you reach your success, what’s better – work to maintain it, keep going and try to define a new success related to it, or change course completely and focus on another ‘success’ goal? Basically, once you have a good thing going, should you interrupt it? Is it really success if you coast?

Then, thanks to the internet gods being as they are, I saw this on the YogaFit instagram:

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Ahhh, that sounds wise. Instead of focusing on your success, or trying to determine what success looks like or should mean, maybe try focusing instead on being a person of value. The implication is that if you pursue becoming someone of value, you will most likely be successful. Whereas if you make “success” your focal point, you might miss important things that will help you get there.

A person of value, then, would be a person who brings value to other people. Perhaps this is a person who can solve peoples’ problems. Perhaps this is a person who can make connections and introductions. Perhaps this is a person of extreme expertise in a particular area. Perhaps this is a person who is trustworthy and reputable. Wow.

So, as I sip my java this morning, I’m thinking about this — am I doing something with my time that adds value to me, my life, the world around me? Do all my tasks and to-do lists add up to something more valuable? Deep thoughts for a Tuesday, y’all.

On a lighter note, if we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that yesterday there was a heat index of 107 and my running buddy and I still met for our morning run. I’m not sure if we’re crazy or dedicated or just plain silly. But I wouldn’t trade this new morning running routine for the world! I love getting back into the swing of runner Aundra.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m super excited for two things this week: a day off Friday (already booked a yoga class with one of my favorite instructors in Middletown), and a beach weekend! Johnny and I are heading to one of my favorite weekend getaway spots, Rehoboth, right after class on Friday night. Looking forward to a little r&r!

What’s on your mind this week?

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Fitness Friday #58: My 5 go-to moves

Happy Friday! Today, I want to share some of my favorite, magical fitness moves.

These are my go-to moves–the moves that I like to perform when I want to feel strong, powerful, in control, and ready to go take charge of the day.

Fit with Aundra’s 5 Favorite Moves:

1) Jumping Jacks
2) Burpees
3) Clockwork Lunges
4) Push-Ups
5) Dives

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #7

Happy Coffee Talk Tuesday! Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee. That would be very sad.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that I’m spending this week working on plans for long term projects. I do my best work early in the morning (the sunrise gives me energy), so I’m trying my best to really focus early and spend the afternoons catching up on daily tasks. I love planning but using all this creative energy really takes a lot out of me!

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that I’ve been thinking (and engaging many of you in this conversation) about the changing job climate. Like, changing workers. Gone, I think, are the days of getting a job for life, working your 9-5, taking 2 weeks of off-the-grid family vacations, and leaving work at work. Now, there are new rules for work and workers. Fast Company just released this article on the subject, and I found myself vigorously nodding my head as I read it. My personality and work ethic are much better suited to a ‘contractor’ type worker. Food for thought as I continue thinking about my work and life moving forward!

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that I’m in major organization mode and nothing is safe! I’m organizing the office, items in our office, and making plans to do major organization at home. I love this mode! I get giddy.

What is on your mind this week?

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Fitness Friday #57: Yoga, Lately

I love that my yoga practice has deepened over the past year. I’m attending regular hot yoga classes, trying new types of yoga classes (aerial yoga is next!!!), and most importantly, I’ve been practicing on my own each day.

Some days, I spend 5-10 minutes. Other days, it’s closer to 30. Over time, I’ve started developing themes to my practice, working towards a goal each week and several larger overall goals.

Some weeks, I spend time working on my headstands. I feel so confident about these now, and have learned that regular practice is best.

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This week, I’ve focused on hamstring stretching and flexibility. All of these moves connect, but this series started because of my new regular running routine — my hamstrings are being used now more than ever and all I want to do is stretch them!

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I’ve also learned that certain postures ‘unlock’ different elements. Once I started working more on arm balances and headstands, I thought about other ways to balance. So, forearm balances have started making an appearance in my regular practice.

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I’m excited for all of this yoga practice and progress. Each time I work toward a different type of practice, or focus on a different set of goals, I’m reminded of how STRONG and powerful the body can be, and how amazing it is to be able to support yourself physically. I look forward to all the new yoga adventures!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #6

Happy Coffee Talk Tuesday! Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee. That would be very sad.

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Okay, obviously it’s not Tuesday as I post this. It’s been a long week, fellow caffeine lovers!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I spent the past three days knee-deep in hosting a group of 90 college admissions/counseling professionals on our campus. I put in the proposal to host this venture and followed through with planning most of the details of the event. I’m excited that we got the opportunity to bring so many new faces to our campus (I work in the admissions office at Washington College, if you didn’t know my day job), and am equally excited that the event is over (and went so well).

This marks the end of a chapter of my professional career — I’ve spent the past 6 years involved with the association (Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling), and the past three years as Communications Chair. This event was my last formal part of working with this awesome group. It’s hard to give up something you’ve made such a large part of your life, but equally exciting because I’m purposely giving myself time to build other facets of my life.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve been RUNNING. Regularly! And I have a new running buddy! We’ve met 4 times now for sunrise runs. I missed this and am SO glad to get into a routine.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that this has been such a crazy week with the Summer Institute that I’m just getting to posting today — but still drinking all the coffees. I’m looking forward to a day off on Friday!

If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that I am also looking forward to yoga class on Saturday — I haven’t been in a few weeks because of vacation and teaching classes. Can’t wait to practice!

What’s up with you this week?

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #5

Happy Coffee Talk Tuesday! Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee. That would be very sad.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that we just returned from a 4th of July weekend trip to Mount Desert Island, Maine! What good fun. We loved camping near the Sound, hiking all the trails and mountains, checking out Bar Harbor, and visiting Acadia National Park.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that campfire coffee is my favorite. The scenes, the sounds, the smells, it’s just perfection.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that as I write my ‘accomplishments’ and ‘goals’ for my annual performance review, I’m thinking A LOT about the future. As you know, I’m a huge fan of goals. Heck, my husband proposed to me using a nerdy SMART goals form I gave to him to complete for fun. 

Entertain me for a moment, coffee buddy — are you in the career you want to pursue? Like, if you were doing this job, or in this field for-ev-er, would you be pleased as pie? (oooo, pie…)

I’m sure I’m not supposed to say this, but I am not (edited to add: this is not related to my fitness instructor job/life!!!). I’ve known for a little while, but haven’t said it out loud or written about it until now (mostly). Do you ever feel stuck?

Before the RED FLAGS start jumping, let me say that working with students ROCKS, especially when you’re helping make their dreams come true. I love that I’ve carved a niche in my office based around tasks I do enjoy. But I get questions all the time about moving up even more, to the top, and I have little to no intention of moving up on purpose.

I will say that I enjoy supervising people — I love figuring out what motivates them, how to help them, encourage them, help them set GOALS (heh), but I don’t think I’d enjoy my job if it only involved managing others. And that’s typically what happens in my line of work when you get promoted allll the way up. You manage other people’s tasks.

I like tasks. I like to do lists, I like getting my hands ‘dirty’ and doing odd jobs. So I’ve stayed at my mid-management level for 4 years. But now, as I write my goals and think about accomplishments, I’m hungry for more. I have tons of talents (it’s totes ok to toot your own horn, peeps) and I’ve been using a lot of my creative energy outside my 9-5 job.

When you get to that point, maybe it’s time to make a major move. But that’s scary, right? Consistency and comfort generally trump all, and especially when you have set bills (and student loans woof), it’s hard to justify leaving a pretty good salary and a very solid job for a job that you love but won’t necessarily pay all the bills.

I read stories all the time about people who left their 9-5s for a different, scary-but-so-in-love-with-it new career, but I’m open to hearing your story, too — just because I like perspectives. So, if you want to chat (virtually or over a real, live cup of coffee), I’d love to hear your story.

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Like I tell my clients, the first thing you need to do in order to make a change is to say it out loud or write it down. Well, universe, here you go.

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Fitness Friday #56: Join the 100 Burpee Challenge

I love hosting online challenges!

Just about every month, I’ll host a 10-30 day fitness challenge via facebook. Are we friends there yet?

For July, I’m hosting a 100 Burpee Challenge. What does that mean?

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For ten days (beginning July 5), we’ll perform a daily number of burpees, building on the amounts each day until we finish with 100 burpees.

Follow this guide:

July 5 – 10 burpees
July 6 – 20 burpees
July 7 – 30 burpees
July 8 – 40 burpees
July 9 – 50 burpees
July 10 – REST DAY
July 11 – 60 burpees
July 12 – 70 burpees
July 13 – 80 burpees
July 14 – 90 burpees
July 15 – 100 burpees

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My advice is to split up these burpees throughout the day — maybe in groups of 10 or 20. Burpees are an awesome FULL BODY fitness move.

HOW TO PERFORM A BASIC BURPEE:
1. Begin in an upright position.
2. Crouch down, bend the knees & place hands flat on the floor.
3. Step or hop back to high plank.
4. Step or hop back to the crouching position.
5. Press through the heels and return to standing or add a jump.

I even made a quick video highlighting some of my favorite burpee variations. Check it out!

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I hope you join us this month!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #4

Happy Coffee Talk Tuesday! Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee. That would be very sad.

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Speaking of coffee, I’m determined to make this iced coffee recipe (minus the sugar, just the coffee itself) one of these days. Maybe when we return from Maine. It’s totally iced coffee season, baby!

If we were having coffee today, I’d get all eeeee over our upcoming trip to Maine! I can’t wait for hiking-kayaking-sunrise watching-tea drinking-camping adventures. I love spending sweet time like this with my husband. Can’t wait!

That’s right, FitFluential! It’s going to be a good week.

FullSizeRender (21)  If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you we’re making excellent progress on the kitchen front. We’re DIY-ing an Ikea kitchen. It’s lovely – the cabinets are grey and we’re building it from nothing. I’m so lucky to have such a handy husband! We officially have some things in a few of the cabinets, and it’s SUCH a good feeling. It’s a long process, but we’re getting closer each day we spend working on it.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m overwhelmed with the responses I got from last week’s post! So many people are sharing their wellness journey wishes, and those are the conversations that I just love to have. Remember that I am here for you — I get giddy about this stuff.

For my own wellness, I’ve been riding my bike to work (when weather allows), and have enjoyed a couple of yoga classes and even experienced a few breakthroughs in my practice. I’m feeling great about these new plans. I’m even making plans to try aerial yoga and stand-up paddleboard yoga!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I am reading a book I purchased 10 years ago, based on the recommendation of a good friend. It’s The Alchemist, and I know I’m like the last one in the world to read it. But you know how sometimes you read a book and it happens to be the perfect time for you to read it? I’m experiencing that right now with this book. Excerpts like

“There is a language in the world that everyone understands…the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired…When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

leave me with chills. Part of the reason I re-introduced this coffee talk series to the blog is this very thing — putting something into the universe and allowing it to work its magic.

On our last sip of coffee, I challenge you to do something with extra purpose this week – write something down, or say something out loud that you’ve wanted to include in your life for a long time, and allow others in the universe to make it so. Who knows? You could get exactly what you need.

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Fitness Friday #55: 5 Lunchtime Workout Hacks

You’re a busy person. I totally get that! You want to include a workout session in your day, but can’t get into the early morning person thing and have too many commitments after work to be an evening workout person.

What can you do?

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Become a lunchtime workout person!

I love leading lunchtime classes. I usually prefer working out in the morning, because that’s my most productive and focused time, but I think there’s so much value in a lunchtime workout.

You get to leave your desk, you’re setting yourself up for afternoon success (and avoiding that afternoon slump), and you’re fitting your workout into your busy schedule. Win-win-win!

Here are a few lunchtime workout hacks for you:

  1. Athletic body wipes. Maybe you don’t have access to a locker room or showers, or maybe you’re not convinced there’s enough time to shower and make it back to work. Or, maybe you’re like me and will workout later anyway, so why shower 4 times a day? Whatever the reason, you need these in your life. I swear by the one on the left, and used the one on the right for my 36-hour-in-a-van-Ragnar-relay adventure.  IMG_1660
  2. Dry shampoo. My bff Natalie turned me on to this stuff, and I cannot believe I’d never used it prior to this year. This stuff is magical. Like, magical. I’ve been rocking the one on the left, and can’t wait to try the one on the right. It makes your hair bounce right back! It works best on dry hair. Bonus hack – if you have access to a hand dryer, you can totally turn the nozzle upward and use that as a hair dryer. You’re welcome. IMG_2061
  3. Non-creasing ponytail holders. I usually use the Goody brand ‘ouchless’ basic hair ties, but a client gave me these around the holidays and I’ve found they don’t put a crease in your hair!   IMG_1511
  4. Plan your meal in advance. The only way I can get away with teaching so much during lunchtime is to plan my meals on Sunday. I need to avoid being hangry both for myself and for the others around me. Plus, if you know your food is lined up, you’re more likely to step away from your desk for your lunchtime workout. Need tips for meal prepping? Here you go!  IMG_1771
  5. Find a fabulous finisher. For me, it’s sassy lipstick or lip gloss and body spray. I am still 12 and have Bath & Body Works cherry blossom spritz as my go-to. I love the scent, and it makes me feel ‘finished’ and presentable. Once I ditched the adult braces, I started to get excited about lip colors, and have found one that I treasure. Find your finishing piece, lipstick or otherwise, and rock that with confidence.  IMG_1512

You’re well on your way to becoming a lunchtime workout master with these tips!

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Coffee Talk Tuesday #3

Happy Coffee Talk Tuesday! Welcome to the weekly chat where I spill my guts and try not to spill my coffee. That would be very sad.

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Today is International Yoga Day! So, you get a yoga pose pic with a side of sassy for today. I’m a tree.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my shoulders are very sore. This weekend, I led a summer solstice celebration in the park. Together, we performed 108 sun salutations (plank, chaturanga, upward-facing dog, downward-facing dog) to welcome summer. Ouch.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m heading to MAINE next week! We’re going for a long July 4 weekend to Acadia National Park. I’m so essite.

If we were having coffee today, I’d reveal that I’m not super happy with my current state of wellness. Especially as a fitness instructor, I have to watch myself–I might lead 10 classes a week, but those are not workouts for me. Sometimes, I’m too spent from teaching and motivating others that my own workouts suffer. It’s a real thing! Instructors, beware.

So, what am I doing about it? I’ve signed up for yoga classes, committing to yoga and/or barre just for myself, as a student. I purchased the sweetest little cruiser bike and am making efforts to ride vs. drive (I used to walk everywhere and I miss that). I had to find a bike that can fit my ginormous instructor lady bag. I know food plays a HUGE part, and my meal prep boxes are helpful, and we’re committing to eating more salads for dinner (mostly because the garden is going crazy with lettuce). I have a plan. I like plans.

My gorgeous new cruiser!!! 😍😍😍

A photo posted by Aundra Anderson (@fitwithaundra) on

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I miss running. (see the last convo starter) Like, really running. Like, 5-10 miles running. I want to run, but am having a hard time convincing myself to do it, and very little time left for me and my workouts in the week. I’m always running to work, do chores, attend functions and meetings, and teach. BUT, like I always tell you (practice what you preach), you make time for what’s truly important. Noted, y’all.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I received a message via facebook from an old college friend who stated that my crazy enthusiastic fitness posts inspired her to make a change in her life. She actually signed up for (and now LOVES) Zumba. I’m so tickled that someone took the time to reach out to me. I plan to pay it forward and reach out to someone who inspires me, too. Do more of that, y’all.

Go have a great (yoga-tastic) day!

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