Tag Archives: #boston

STARmazing Race

9 May

Lucky13’ers, I want to tell you about an amazing….no, a STARmazing…event that is coming up in the Boston area that benefits a GREAT organization called the Starlight Foundation of New England.

Starlight Foundation provides entertainment and education activities for kids and families in the hospital and in the community to help ease their pain and take their mind off of what they go through each day because of their illness.  While doctors work to treat the kids, the folks at Starlight work to lift their spirits and help them have fun and just “be kids.” 🙂  They give kids struggling with serious illness experiences such as a first Red Sox game, a live musical, going to a rodeo, or even the prom!  Services are 100% made possible by donor and community support, which is why events are so important to the organization.  The STARmazing Race is also HUGE for Starlight because all of the proceeds directly benefit children struggling with chronic and life-threatening illness right here in the Boston area!

The STARmazing Race is on Saturday, June 16, 2012 from 11:30a.m. – 3:30p.m.  It is an urban scavenger hunt that sends racers on an adventure throughout Boston, following clues and completing crazy challenges!  [get your FITNESS on while supporting a great cause and having fun with friends!!!]  I hope you’ll join me in this race and invite your friends to do the same!!!

It is $50 per racer and you can race in teams of 2, 3, or 4. Registration gets you entry into the event, a swag bag, breakfast at the start line, and food at the finish line celebration at Game On! Fenway. We award prizes for the top three finishers and other silly prizes for best dressed, most team spirit, and more 🙂

Here are some important links:

https://www.facebook.com/events/346792218711911/ (Facebook event)

http://tinyurl.com/75szee4 (event registration is OPEN and people can register anytime!)

I can’t think of a better way to spend a SUMMER SATURDAY morning!!!!  Urban race, friends, fun, FOOD, and freebies!!!!!  You’ve got the details, now go and REGISTER!!!


the moral of this MONSTER Monday mishap

16 Nov

Yesterday’s MONSTER Monday workout started off much like any other.  My lifting pal and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and do our workout in the park.  We did a bit of TRX, some body weight training, tossed a football and included some hill sprints; it was all so far, so good.  Next, my lifting pal suggested, we would run up the stairs and at the landing do a lateral shuffle and chest pass back and forth with a soccer ball, then continue running up the stairs to the top.  Same story on the way down.  Going to the top was just grand, however on the way back down I managed to step into a deep sinkhole as I caught the ball on the last chest pass.  As is the case with most falls/injuries, I could see it happening all in slow motion and the thought going through my head was “Oh S***!!! I am going to smash my face into these stairs!!!”  Without even thinking about what to do, my body automatically reacted; I let the ball go and somehow managed to put my arms out to catch my fall, my face landing a mere 3 inches away from the cold concrete steps.  It was SCARY.

monster monday mishap

Ok Here’s a glimpse at the damage.  [I opted to include a link to another post, rather than just put a big ol’ picture of my bloody leg up here, just in case anyone gets queasy easily! 🙂 ]

After checking to make sure I was okay, my lifting pal (and I) burst into a roar of laughter.  Together we sat on the stairs for well over a few minutes laughing like a couple of hyenas.  She gave me her best reenactment of what she saw in slow motion, and I recounted mine.  We both could not believe that in the split second of my misstep, I managed to catch myself from totally falling and getting VERY hurt.

Here’s where the moral of MONSTER Monday comes in….We decided that it was thanks to lots of functional training that I was able to do so.

[Functional Training, in one description, is “Multi-joint, multi-planar, proprioceptively-enriched activity that involves deceleration (force reduction), acceleration (force production) and stabilization; controlled amounts of instability; and management of gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum.”  

In plain English, “Functional training involves movements that are specific — in terms of mechanics, coordination and/or energetics — to one’s activities of daily living (ADLs).]  **source**

I have read myriad articles outlining and explaining in detail the many benefits of functional training.  I have heard well-known and respected fitness professionals advocate for this modality of training over others because of its benefits in everyday life.  I, myself, have explained to clients how and why functional training is superior to many other modalities.  Training in planes of motion & training the body to work in a cohesive manner through movement patterns simulates real life actions.  In other words, training the upper body, lower body, and core to work in unison while IN the gym will automatically improve mobility outside the gym, doing everyday things.  In addition, working in this fashion is more efficient and effective in terms of reaching fitness goals.  Conversely, training a single muscle in isolation while the rest of the body is immobilized is not realistic in nature [think using a bicep curl or leg extension machine].  It is also a much less efficient way of working out, given the goals of most individuals.  Some people buy my explanation, and others don’t.  Bottom line, without functional training, I probably would’ve ended up with a broken nose, some missing teeth, or worse.  I was quite happy to walk away from the “scene of the crime” on my own two feet with a few cuts and scrapes.

I now have a new (and favorite, #1) reason in support of functional training: IT LITERALLY SAVES FACE!

i love my MONSTER Mondays

8 Nov

It’s no secret that  Monday is the most dreaded day of the week.  It’s the start of another grinding work week for most people, and has even been given a slogan- “case of the Mondays”- that sums up the dreaded feeling of all that the day brings.  The day starts waaaay too early with an alarm ringing at an ungodly hour, and seems to go on forever until work finally ends and the rest of life has to be dealt with.  Cooking dinner, cleaning the house, picking up kids from school/sports practice, catching up with family/friends, starting to shop for holiday gifts, running errands; you name it, it’s all there waiting for us on Monday.  For most people, Monday is a day that looks best when it’s over.

Up until recently, Monday was not high on the list of things I look forward to.  But this all changed when I started my MONSTER Monday Workout Challenges.  MONSTER Mondays started when my lifting pal sent me the plan for one of our lifting sessions, which happen to be on Monday mornings.  It was a workout developed by Crossfit, and after taking one look at the plan I decided that the workout was going to be a MONSTER.  I blogged about it both before and after and the MONSTER Monday name stuck.  It was an absolutely intense sweatfest that wouldn’t have been possible without the support and motivation of a lifting buddy.  We both loved the workout so much that we couldn’t wait to do something similar again.  We have transformed our Monday morning lifting sessions into intense sweatfest challenges that push each of us to work harder and faster each time.

After a few weeks of MONSTER Monday workouts, I found myself actually looking forward to Monday mornings.  I know, I know, this sounds ridiculous- who actually gets excited for Monday?!  And that’s precisely my point: planting what is undoubtedly my hardest and BEST workout of the week smack in the middle of Monday mornings changed my outlook completely.  Now, instead of dreading the start to the week and the drag of the day, I get really excited to lift with a friend, give 150%, work HARD, get really sweaty, and end the session with a sense of earned pride. 

MONSTER Mondays have become more than just another workout.  They give a jumpstart to my entire week & remind me that if I can handle deadlifting 135lbs for 25 reps or walking up and down 2 flights of stairs x10 carrying 100lbs in extra weight, I can handle ANYTHING.  I have noticed an extra boost in my motivation to continue exercising hard for the rest of the week, as well as complimenting my efforts in the gym with healthy food choices.  My mood is at its best when I’m walking out the door after having completed another great challenge, proving to myself that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I challenge you to try to bring something similar into your Monday (or any day that is particularly difficult for you).  Instead of dreading a part of each week that you KNOW you can’t bypass, bring a new positive energy to it and drown out the dread!  Transform the worst part of your week into the most anticipated by adding in something that makes you shine.  When the worst becomes better, the good becomes great!!! 

Its getting COLD!!!

28 Oct

Its getting COLD in Boston!!! Last night brought the first sleet/snow of the winter of 2011.  It caused traffic to slow down, people to quicken their pace when walking outside, and created a rise in anxiety for many people.  However, the truth is that we are going to get a lot more of the cold, snow, sleet, ice, etc before we get the “75 and sunny” again.  This change of seasons always brings about a certain roadblock for those on an exercise regimen.  It’s just not as easy to pop out of bed and hit the pavement for a morning run or throw on a tank and shorts and zip to the gym.  Instead the extra steps of bundling up, scraping ice off the car, heating it up, shoveling the driveway, and driving slower to the gym often keep you in bed, ditching the workout altogether.  As daylight lessens, so does motivation and drive to keep up with a work out program.  One postponed workout turns into 3 and before you know it, it’s the week before Christmas and you haven’t been into the gym for 2 weeks.  And the week before Christmas is full of shopping, wrapping, cooking, and everything BUT working out.  The inevitable promise to yourself: I’ll jump right back on the bandwagon after the holidays- it’s just too busy right now and I don’t have any extra time.  Its a slippery slope and I’ve seen people go from a religious 3x/wk gym schedule to disappearing from the workout for 1-2 months.  DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.  How to avoid this disaster, you ask??  Here are my tips…

Top 5 tips for avoiding the “Holiday Induced Workout Hiatus”

1. Find a workout buddy.  Even if you don’t typically workout with a pal, find a friend or family member to team up with you.  Plan to meet at the gym at a certain time and either workout together, or for a certain duration of time.  Keeping your word & showing up for a friend is often easier than doing so for yourself.  Still not enough?  Keep each other accountable; if one of you ditches, (s)he owes the other $5 or coffee, etc.

2. Sign up for classes.  Most gyms offer group fitness classes (some are included in the price of membership while others cost extra) and signing up for a class at a specific date/time will allow you to “block out” that hour-ish in your schedule.  Consider it an “appointment” and you won’t miss it!

3. Register for a Turkey Trot or Jolly Jaunt.  There are 5k walk/runs ALL over the place during the holidays and they are the perfect thing to keep you on track.  Not only will you show up for the race (and have so much FUN) but you will be extra motivated to maintain a training regimen to reach your goal.

4. Make an appointment with a trainer.  Sometimes it all boils down to the fact that Money Talks.  If you make an appointment with a trainer and are paying a decent amount of money to do so, chances are you will be more motivated to actually show up and get your money’s worth.  PLUS, you have the amazing benefit of gaining knowledge, some new exercises, and a professional guide through the gym! [If this option sounds appealing to you, email me at michelle@lucky13fitness.com and we can talk training!!!]

5. Don’t make the pit stop at home.  If you’re a post-work gym goer, do NOT make that tempting stop at home to change or eat before you hit the gym.  While this may not pose a threat during the sunny, warm months, the winter brings a different scenario.  Step inside a warm house, change into comfortable clothes and I bet you’re not going to want to go ANYWHERE but the couch.  Avoid this trap by packing a bag with gym clothes and a pre-workout snack.  Bring this back to work with you and go DIRECTLY to the gym when your work day is done!

What about you? Do you have any tips/tricks for staying motivated and focused on your healthy habits during the holidays and cold winter months??

CrossFit Craze!…my first CrossFit experience

17 Oct

This weekend I tried my first CrossFit workout at CrossFit Boston.  I have been hearing quite a bit about the “CrossFit Craze” from several clients, friends and co-workers; I also have been doing CrossFit inspired workouts on Mondays with my lifting pal.  All the buzz made me very curious so I decided to take advantage of the free trial offer!

CrossFit Boston is in its new home on Western Ave, tucked in the back of a building across the street from Harvard Business School.  I had a bit of trouble locating the actual entrance, as they do not have much signage.  Once inside I joined the other members of my group in a warmup consisting of dynamic stretching, mobility drills and running stride drills.  We then were given our WOD (workout of the day) which had a few different modifications for varying fitness levels.  The 3 levels were beginner, intermediate, and prescribed.  The latter is the legit, real deal CrossFit workout.  Ours was as follows:


100 m sprint [125 m row for those unable to run]

10 squat thrusters [squat w/dumbbell overhead press]

100 m sprint [or row]

10 pullups [or inverted body weight rows on something that looked a lot like gymnastic rings]

30 seconds rest

Weight/Rep Breakdowns:

Beginner: x5 rounds, using 10lb DB for squat thrusters

Intermediate: x7 rounds, using 25lb DB

Prescribed: x10 rounds, using 35lb DB

* The weights are the female amounts…I can’t remember the exact breakdown for the males


We had a quick tutorial and the instructor asked me if I could do a pull up.  I said yes and demonstrated.  He then gave me the go-ahead to do no more than 7 rounds of the WOD.  I was pretty excited to be placed in the Intermediate category.  There were both males and females in each of the 3 categories; I thought it was pretty cool that varying fitness levels were able to workout side by side. He started the clock and music and off we went!  It took every ounce of energy I had to complete those 7 rounds in 31 minutes flat.  What may, at first glance, seem to be 4 simple exercises combined to be a real ass-kicking workout.  I finished the workout sweat-soaked and proud, yet extremely HUMBLED.  It seems that there will always be room for improvement and always someone right there who is just a bit faster, stronger, and fitter.  It definitely got me fired up to crank my workouts up a notch!!!!  I very much enjoyed my first workout at CrossFit Boston and I plan on going back to experience some more craziness.

One other thing that I feel deserves mention is that while I thoroughly enjoyed myself doing this workout, I do not think that CrossFit is for everyone.  To do this type of workout safely [and with any sort of success], one must have a foundation of basic fitness under their belt.  The instructor does not review proper form; rather gives a short demonstration of the components and expects that the participants have a basic understanding of the details that go along with each exercise.  For folks who do not know how to do lunges, pushups, pull ups, squats, overhead presses, etc. properly, this is a MAJOR risk for injury.  As a fitness professional, I would recommend this workout for those individuals who are injury free, and already somewhat fit.

MONSTER Monday Workout Challenge: my results

20 Sep

Yesterday I posted a blog post outlining a workout that I did with a personal trainer friend of mine.  We lift together once a week and this week she brought me a workout called the “Filthy Fifty” which I later found out was created by Crossfit Boston!  IT. WAS. A. BEAST.

The one word we kept repeating during the workout: humbling. This workout was absolutely humbling to two people who consider themselves to be fit!  We managed to give a smack down to every muscle group in approximately 18 hardcore minutes of working out.  We did slightly deviate from the exact way Crossfit executes the workout.  In true Crossfit format, one person performs all exercises in succession w/o stopping while their partner times them; we took turns on each exercise and timed each other.  We also subbed out jumping pull-ups with body weight rows, skipped Burpees, and did box jumps w/step down.  These things were all done to accommodate my ankle which I’m dutifully nursing back to health for my half marathon.  Even with our substitutions and modifications, the workout was NO JOKE.  We were exhausted at the end, and at the same time we felt GREAT.  It was such a great sense of accomplishment!

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!!!

Happy Labor Day!!!

3 Sep

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone! I hope you are enjoying the weekend! 

Labor Day is a celebration of the hard WORK that people do on a daily basis…this includes, but is definitely not limited to, the work done we consider to be our “job” or “career”.  I believe that people do a lot more Work that does not always get recognized or celebrated: staying FIT and HEALTHY most definitely is work!!!!  It comes easier to some people than others; some folks work out and follow healthy habits effortlessly, and others need every ounce of motivation and self-control they can muster up.  Either way, working at one’s health and wellness deserves recognition and applause! 

Give yourself a pat on the back this weekend for all your hard work and make sure to do the same for friends and family.  If there’s someone in your life who has been making an extra effort toward being fit and healthy, give them some positive feedback and support.  Acknowledge the hard work that they are doing and give them a little ego boost! 

Stay active this weekend- spend time OUTSIDE!!!  I hate to say it, but the warmth and sun won’t be around forever!  Hit the beach, bike trail, or park.  If you’re in the Boston area, check out this WONDERFUL outdoor market held on the first Sunday of every month!


Whatever you do this weekend, be sure to stick to those healthy habits and stay active!! Enjoy, and HAPPY LABOR DAY!!