Amanda Elliston

Amanda Elliston

Kenzai Chisel | Day 20 (Member)
Assistant Trainer
Kenzai Chisel
Day 20
Program progress:
Back to work!

It can't be coincidence that my lower back felt tight after returning to work---lots of sitting and listening. However much I love cycle workouts and running--the variety, the flow, and the challenge. It was a good reminder of all I learned in Reach. I need more stretching in my life. Here's to opening, stretching into the new school year.

I knew that I would have to be creative while juggling the vacation-with-family schedule, my race prep, and Chisel. I just didn't expect the dehydration to wreck me today. Usually I run long on Sundays which are cardio days! Needed a few more carbs and water to get back to normal. Tomorrow is new day to reset diet and cycle workouts!

Chisel Time

Hey fellow chiselers! I am excited for this program because it’s blast to fire up the muscles and shake up workouts with the cycle routine—it suits me for sure! I’m starting this program while in the road, watching my son play baseball, and head back to Bay Area to start the school year off with a great energy boosting diet and exercise schedule! Let’s get to those burpees!

Always Reaching Grad Post 

This program came at the right time for me. Maybe I didn't stick to it meticulously, and didn't get quite as nimble and supple as I had hoped. But what I do know is that I will carry on with more attention to breath, stretching, twisting, and sitting with my body to open up to possibilities.

At the beginning of this program my husband fell and severely tore his patella tendon (completely severed from the quad) and he was a regular yoga practitioner. It is incredible how much he can do with one leg unable to fully bend. It was inspiring to keep a stretching practice going in my life. It also supports what Patrick said about incorporating this into my daily strength and running routine (especially Happy Baby and Child's Pose !)

Now I feel more open to a mindful stretching practice after a long era of avoidance. I will definitely keep up with morning stretches. And find time to sit with stretches longer. I'm in this for the LONG STRETCH! All the best fellow REACHERS!

I'm feeling good today, day 55. My energy has returned and I while I'm not much more flexible, I love engaging, twisting, breathing to remind myself that my body needs that stretching movement. When I do the sun salutation asanas I am taken back to my days of Ashtanga yoga, and I kinda of like it.
I've been pretty solid on the strict diet, and I threw in my own indulgence day for the 4th of July.

hanging and reaching

I’m still here—fitting in twists and hanging in tightness. Still wondering about my achy Achilles. I love the morning dynamic stretches. Can I find more options?

I wish I could say that I have been able to hit every single stretch session. With summer break comes a shake up of the routine, making it harder to follow the three separate parts of this program. And I need it. I really want to twist and wring out the old patterns, the negativity, the cynicism, and be open and supple.
As I stretch more, too, my old achilles injury has been bothering me on my runs. Any thoughts? Here's to a week of reaching out of this negative space!

As the school year ends, my threshold for strict diet weakens. The stress eating, the negative self-talk, all impede my ability to reach and open up. I am following the morning stretches easily, and I like the suns salutations when I can fit them in. I can barely hold the long minutes in evenings. Hoping by next Wednesday, I'll be opening up to new possibilities--


I am enjoying the three intervals of stretches, but I'll admit it's been tough to push through the longer minutes in the evening. As a teacher we call May "The Thousand Days of May, " and this year is no different, except my husband fell on a slippery floor in a Boba Tea shop while getting my son his favorite drink, and he ended up needing surgery on a completely torn quad! He is grateful for all the yoga he did to keep himself limber enough to put on his socks and shoes with a knee brace on. It's been motivational for me, for sure. Over the years I have been rejecting all the yoga talk and opting to run, run, run! But Reach has helped me add to my daily routine, and forced me to sit with my tightness for longer. While I don't feel much looser, my achilles is feeling a bit better, and I am so grateful for my body. I want to be a strong support for my husband while he heals. Happy Day 19!

Hi I'm Amanda, Kenzai member for 18 months, living in Bay Area, CA where you can run pretty much everyday of year if you have the right clothing. That's what I love to do. I found Kenzai after watching a colleague get lean and strong, and I knew that if I wanted to reach my half-century milestone while crushing new PRs, I needed to try it. It was an amazing experience to feel my body get stronger and faster. So, I've been doing all the programs, and I realized that I have neglected flexibility in all these ways. I'm strong but to maintain my running I need to be more pliable and loose. That's why I'm Reach-ing. I also think I am a bit stuck in a rut at home and work, so I'm hopeful the increased pliability will open me up to new possibilities in life, as well.
I love Queer Eye show on Netflix, Russian Doll blew my mind, and so many podcasts: The Daily, Still Processing, Here's the Thing, Wait Wait, WTF, The Sporkfull, so many...
Here's to reaching for the stars!

The body assessment was a wake-up call for sure! I'm a runner; and while I attempt a stretch or two post-run, I often opt for more strength training. I hate yoga, too, but the dynamic stretches I love!
So, I hope to grow pliable in both body and mind as I near half-century status.

Ranger r (Over)!

Sorry for delay. I was camping out with 42 8th graders last week, so while I got altitude training in, my pull up progress was, shall we say, weak?
Here are my stats:

Baseline 2mins: Pull-ups (none) but Pull Down 122 --End: 11/2 pull-ups Conclusion: I need my own bar to practice
Push-ups 38 End: 47
Sit ups--92 End: 95
40 min run: 5.2 miles End: 5.1 miles in 40 mins.

So, I think I could have improved more if I had really pulled up instead of substituted exercise. My running is affected by rest days, and I ran this final one after a long run, so not idea. I can run faster, I know I can.
Now, on to REACH because I need to stretch those tight muscles!

Ranger Report

I need to find a pull up bar to test my progress--getting to all the exercises, throwing in a few 8min Abs or 9min Abs to keep the run days interesting. Hoping to crush an upcoming friendly competition against rival school teachers....;-) Hope everyone is enjoying a great week!

What a week! It was nice to have a plan, but it wasn't always pretty this week. My fartlek runs fizzled and working to failure came quicker than usual. But today's last distance run felt good, so I added an 8min ab workout. Here's hoping there's more pep in my step next week! Onward!

Ranger Day 10

Thanks to Matt for inspiration, I'm going to try this after distance run

Ranger On!


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