June L.

June L.

Kenzai Kettlebell | Day 17 (Member)
Kenzai Kettlebell
Day 17
 
Program progress:
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Our team was asked to post a superhero we'd like to emulate. Dare I say out loud that I'm not really into Marvel movies or comicbooks (with the exception of Ironman because I've always crushed hard on RDJ!).

But if I had to pick someone as my alter ego, I'd say Black Widow. I saw her in one of the Avengers movies. She's just such a badass with so many mixed emotions and twisted relationships. But she stays true to herself while faced with all kinds of challenging hurdles.

And bonus...Scarlett Johansson plays with kettlebells. We can be friends!!


Resting Pose
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One of the best things I can do for my body is to lay in resting pose for a few minutes after a workout. Like in yoga. It gives the body and mind an opportunity to incorporate all the hard work you just asked them to do. What a gift if you have the time to do this. It makes such a difference.

Shanti, my pup, is always in resting pose. It exhausts her to watch me do the workouts.

10 workouts in a row completed. With added reps and a few extra exercises thrown in. Mostly abs. Proud of myself!


All About Me!
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Who are you?
I'm a soon to be 60 year old ocean lover, outrigger canoe paddler, backcountry wanderer, no kids, one dog, sales and marketing expert, Kauai Island girl, lover of life and being human, Kenzai Slayer and all around badass in my own mind!! Oh...and I love Maine lobster more than anything!!!

How do you spend your time?
Mostly working as the Executive Sales Director (23 years now) for 2 very popular Visitor Magazines on the island of Kauai. I'm outside in the woods or the ocean whenever possible. I'm also a jeweler and am passionate about designing and creating. www.JuneStones.com

What part of Kenzai training makes you happy? Why do you think that is?
I'm not gonna lie. The results are what make me happiest! The way I feel after a workout fills me with bounding energy and a general sense of joy and ease. When I'm consistently working out I feel everything is right in my world. (Note: I say MY world, because the whole world is a bit sideways right now, but Kenzai programs help me cope with that a hell of a lot easier!)

What, obstacles do you anticipate over these next 6 weeks?
I emptied EVERYTHING non-Kenzai out of my cupboards and fridge. I even poured a huge bottle of vodka down the drain! Granted it was Kirkland Costco brand and half empty...I'm not that wasteful!! Cravings can sometimes get the best of me. Especially after dinner. I want something crunchy and salty, like pita chips. So they aren't allowed in my home at the moment. Also, I'll be doing a 5-day kayak trip down the Na Pali Coast with a couple friends at the beginning of September. We're paddling to a secluded beach that takes a year to get permits to camp at. This is an opportunity of of lifetime and I will be off the grid and shuttering Kettle Bells for those 5 days!

Are you managing any injuries?
Ward...you know about my knee. And I'm super aware of how to manage it.


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Took my bells down for a sunrise workout on the beach! Got lots of attention from the local fishermen! Very curious and impressed with me swinging some iron around!

Kauai is magical all the time but especially at sunrise! I'm so blessed!

T-Shirt Representing! Kenzai Strong!!!


Ready, Set, GO!
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Aloha Vanguard Team!

I'm so ready for this challenge! I've been squeaky clean (in my book!) for almost 7 months. Then wine country happened! Sonoma County to be exact! And Cuzzin Ed C. (Kenzai legend and trainer) happened! One of the things we love to do together is drink us some damn good wines! And eat....wait for it....whatever we damn well please! So we did! And now I'm a chunky monkey and he's rubbing aloe vera on the belly rash he got from the button that's to tight on his jeans.

We did manage to get in a couple good kettlebell workouts that Ed was able to deliver! So toxins in, toxins out. Though our sweat did smell a bit like a well balanced pinot gris!

So Hello Kettlebells, I'm in love with you already. The movements just seem right for my body. Length with strength. Function with balance. Can't wait to see what transformations await my mind and body.


Buddy Up for Happiness!!
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Does anyone read these blogs if you're not on a program? Hmmm...we'll find out!

I've been off a program now (chisel was the last one) for 6 weeks. And man oh man is it easy to fall back into old habits. Especially when socializing. Which is hard to do on a program. So I was definitely making up for lost time...or lost social engagements. How I love to have sunset cocktails on the beach, wine with friends at dinner, game night with the girls with a tropical adult beverage. Then there's the visitors coming and going that simply must try those Tai Chi's!! But what happened was I started saying "yes" to way too many invites. In essence, I started having way to much fun in the wrong arena!! A couple extra pounds crept back on and I knew it was time to pull the reins in.

The solution: My dear friend Kathryn, who recently completed KB1, and I decided to revisit the last 3 weeks of the KB1 program together. Perfect timing since I'm heading to wine country in California for vacation in a couple weeks and Lord knows I'm jumpin right back into the party arena!

It's amazing how much easier it is to stick to a commitment when you have someone along for the ride. Especially the last 3 weeks of KB1, which is essentially 6 sets of everything, everyday! But let me tell you...I feel fricken fantastic.

It just feels so good to work the body hard. To feel the body get stronger. To experience the subsequent benefits of working your muscles everyday. That rush of euphoria that comes after a good hard workout. The increased energy, better posture, and the ease of movement. Daily things like climbing stairs or lifting groceries become effortless! You feel your muscles working and you love them, thank them, rejoice in their strength. But what I really notice more than anything is, I'm much happier. My stress levels go way down. Things that would normally bother me simply don't when I'm doing daily workouts. I generally feel a sense of ease, comfort and joy. I feel smarter too! Brain fog is lifted and problem solving is not a heavy chore. My wellbeing is both physically and mentally noticeable by myself and others around me. People say things like; "June, you seem to be in such a good space in your life!" "You look amazing and you're glowing all the time!" "You seem happier then you've ever been!" These are huge testaments to making strength training part of your weekly, if not daily, routine.

Kathryn and I hold each other accountable on a daily basis. We send each other texts throughout the day. We send ✅I DID IT! when the workouts are done and share valuable insights on how we're both doing. Including new recipes that we've both been loving. It's so much fun! Our texts and conversations make me giggle. And we've both dropped a couple pounds!

So if you're in between programs and need a quick fix, grab a friend and do your own mini program. You can do any part of a program you've already completed.

Get Happy! Get Swole! Get Better! At Everything!


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Kenzai For Life Baby! 
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I’ve now completed KB1 and Chisel back to back.

When I became a Kenzai newbie back in January, I, like so many of us, had reached a point of desperation. I simply couldn’t look at myself in the mirror anymore. I was pudgy, out of shape and didn't feel good.

5 months later I’m happy to say I’ve become a new person!! Well at least a much better version of whom I was.

Let’s take a look at some takeaways from the Chisel program and beyond.

🏆 There’s a lot of jumping and explosive propulsions in Chisel. I had to sub a fair amount out but was also able to perfect some exercises I never, ever thought I’d be able to do. Especially the dreaded Burpee. I can do 15 of those bitches in a row with perfect, smooth, control. HUGE accomplishment. Couldn’t do 1 to save my life 5 months ago.

🏆 My lungs, heart and muscles were challenged like never before. Not only did they persevere, they are champions now. Man do I feel strong. I mean bad ass strong! VO2 Max increased! ForChisel!

🏆 After struggling with overheating during the first few weeks from the extreme exertion Chisel demands, I figured out my sweet spot in the Red Zone. Though I wouldn’t say I mastered all of the crazy exercises, I definitely didn’t let myself flail or limp through them. Learning to control my movements with extreme awareness was a huge part of being in the Red Zone for me. Even if it meant slowing down or taking breaks to recover in between sets.

🏆 I laughed at myself a lot, all the time. Flap Jacks, Crab Crawls, Fakies, Frog Walk, Russian Dancers! I’d just imagine what I looked like doing these, while dripping sweat, beet red in the face and grunting like a glistening pig in the eyes of my dog!! She be like “WTF mom?” I mostly had fun with the workouts as punishing as they were.

🏆 The daily Lessons were paramount for me during this program. Motivating, educational and always timely.

While this 60 year old body still has some lumps and bumps and cellulite and crepey skin, I feel and look amazing. I’ve learned through Kenzai what it truly means to be fit in your own personal body. I don’t compare myself to other bodies like I used to. I look at myself with pride and confidence for the accomplishments I have achieved thus far. And I look forward to the future accomplishments yet to be achieved. I’m proud of myself and elated at how far I’ve come with the Kenzai programs. I am a devout lifer!

A special shout out to my cousin Ed Center for introducing me to Kenzai. You are my hero and mentor. And to Kim, Clark, Catherine, Kip and Vicky for hanging tough through another 6 weeks of insanity. I hope to see you all again in future programs.

Before pics are from January 7th, Day 1 of KB1. After pics yesterday at the completion of Chisel.


So Close!
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18 Buttons, 3 Mismatched Socks, 2 Buns and 1 Horse! HA!!

It's crazy how different each day has been for me this past week. One day I'm on blazing fire, the next I'm a smoldering ember.

Tuesday's cycle workout was super tough for me to get through. My legs felt like cement, my arms were hard to lift over my head, my lungs were rebelling and my heart didn't want anything to do with the workout. It took a lot of mental effort to get through the entire workout. But in all honestly I was only able to give about 75%. I tried every mind trick in the hat to get through it but there are times when the body simply won't cooperate with what your brain is telling it. Thus all the lessons about recovery were justified. My body was simply tired and in recovery mode. No punishing myself necessary!

But then today happened. The Beast within roared. Everything was on fire and amped to high voltage! The brain and body were in sync. All muscles cooperating. Thank you brain, thank you muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons and especially thank you heart and lungs!! I'm very proud of all my parts!!

"🎼I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter! 🎼Dancing through the fire! 🎼'Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar🎼!" Katy Perry obviously wrote that song about me!! At least "Today Me"!

Today's image was "Tuesday Me".

Let's hope the next 3 days are full of cooperation!!


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I've blogged a fair amount about how hot I get during, after and throughout the day after a successful HIIT workout. I really put my body through some serious punishment. Glorious as that may be....I do sweat more then the average bear!

Finding ways to keep myself from collapsing from heatstroke has been my mission. The cold towels from the freezer have been glorious. Taking a few minutes to rest after the workout has helped. But the number one thing that has been the best find is this electrolyte replacement powder. I mix it with lots of water and ice, sip it throughout my workouts, then add more water and finish it after the workout. It has made such a significant difference in how I feel following a tough routine. Seriously awesome stuff. Replenishes the puddle I left behind on the mat!! And I feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day and tend to sweat less. What a score!

I recommend it highly for any of you who are working out in extremely hot conditions. My favorite is the cherry pomegranate. I'm not a big Stevia fan but this has minimal after taste if you mix it with a lot of water.

I ordered it from Amazon!

I will always belong to the Glistening Pig Club but these things make it manageable without having to call an ambulance!!


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I got these awesome bands in the mail yesterday and decided to challenge myself by using the lighter resistance one around my thighs through the Cycle A workout. Challenge nailed.

These bands add just enough to get more leg muscles engaged and to keep things tight. I couldn't do today's Cycle B workout with the band because there were to many exercises that wouldn't allow my legs the range of motion necessary. I am in love with these bands. they're made of fabric and don't pinch, tear or burn your skin! You can do so much with them.

I must be cuckoo bananas for adding more pain to the workouts but what the hell...it's only 10 more days. Why not blow this bitch off the charts!


Rest for Success
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I've finally finished a huge deadline and I can literally and finally take a deep breath and relax a bit. So the last couple days, after my workouts, I was able to take some time to really get some true stretching in. I mean mindful, deliberate, long stretches. And then, as done in yoga, I've been taking a long conscious rest right after I've stretched. Just like Shavasana. For 8-10 minutes. To lay in corpse pose and let the workout really seep into my body. To absorb all the hard work I just put my body through so it can assimilate that work on a delicious level.

I have felt so insanely good after the last few workouts followed by the stretching and resting pose. I am going to try to build this into the time I need to do each and every workout. What a gift to the body to work it so hard, then reward it with deep stretches and yummy rest.

Bonus: Put a cold facecloth with lavender and lemon essential oils over your face or chest when in rest pose. So cooling and relaxing. Calms the mind as well as the body.


Timely Lessons
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Yesterday's lesson couldn't have been more timely. The Wall.

After hitting a serious wall last week (see previous blog), I felt myself going down a slippery slope and actually started to feed my moment-to-moment thoughts in a negative way. "I'm done with this", "I feel like shit all the time", "I want cookies and wine and I want to complain", "Why am I even doing this, this program is NOT THE BOSS OF ME"! Negative feeds negative, and then it snowballs and it's just the thing you do. You go around berating yourself and everything you do and everything around you. You toss one negative log on the fire after the other until you have an enormous heat throwing bonfire. I actually found myself screaming (inwardly mind you) at a disabled person to hurry up and get across the street because the light had turned green and he wasn't across yet. That was the wake up call. The Observer jumped into the driver's seat and took the wheel.

Choosing to be aware of and changing my thoughts was as simple as taking a deep breath into the negative thought and replacing it with a positive one. Every time a critical or gloomy thought popped up I changed it immediately with a cheery, productive thought. It takes uber awareness and diligence, but it works. And I'm delighted to say it's been working these past few days and I'm feeling my old self again. It's constant work to change the brain. Just like the body. It needs exercising. Reshaping. And it can be painful. But it's more painful to let it get out of shape and lazy and harmful.

Wow. We all must go through this sort of bump. And these programs probably bring bumps (and hurdles) up more often for us. So thank you for the insightful Lessons everyday and keeping us focused on changing our brains as well as our bodies.

My energy has returned, my drive is alive and I'm motivated and excited to take on the rest of this challenge! Kenzai Rocks!!

@Scott B. Took your advice and have frozen towels in the freezer for post-workouts. I throw a few drops of lavender and lemongrass essential oils on them and I feel like I'm at a spa! It helps tremendously. Thank you.


Only Human!
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I’m not gonna sugar coat it (ahhh but how I long to...with whip cream and nuts on top!). I’ve felt like absolute crap this past week. I’ve had extremely low energy. I’ve been exceptionally unmotivated. I've been getting headaches. And I’ve been experiencing some minor aches and pains in my joints. Mainly wrists and hips. (Burpees/Russian Dancers/Scissor Jumps?)

I think the biggest culprit has been how overheated I get doing the HIIT workouts. My face seriously turns a color of red I don’t think God intended. It takes at least an hour to go back to normal. And I sweat so much I feel zapped for the rest of the day.

So I took it down a notch this past week. Missed a couple workouts, but stayed 85-90% diet compliant. Drinking tons of water. Eating lots of water-based fruits and veggies. Even had some steak last night thinking the protein would help me recover.

I know the HIIT workouts are suppose to leave you in a pool of your own body fluids but it’s been so hot here on Kauai and I tend to overheat easily when exercising anyway. I’ve got to figure this out somehow because I love HIIT workouts.

The good news is I haven’t caved into alcohol even though I’m under enormous stress with work deadlines and a hundred people pulling me in a thousand different directions. Could be why I’m tapped out right now (and why my wrists hurt!!!)

But oh do I crave a nice cold glass (or 3) of Chardonnay on my lanai at the end of the day. But I’m good with my cucumber/melon infused fuzzy water. I go through 4-5 a day plus plain water. It’s all fine...just fucking fine!!!


Glistening!
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Note to self:
✸ Do Cycle A and B workouts at least 2-3 hours before getting ready for work.

I literally sweat buckets for at least a couple hours after these workouts. So if I do the workout, get in the shower, do my hair and makeup, get in the car and drive to work, I look like a drowned rat by the time I get there.

Some people might glisten but I drip!! I feel like I go through a full body rinse cycle every time I do a HIIT workout. No sauna necessary. And it ain't pretty! At all.


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Sometimes I feel like these exercises were taken right out of a Cirque du Soleil routine. Crab walks down my hall!! (Not a pretty sight when I do them in my bikini!!) Russian Dancers? Come on!! I look more like I'm trying to stay above water without using my arms. Doubt anyone would be rushing to save me looking like that!!

Loving the HIIT but I'm definitely subbing out some things.
Here's where I'm at:

● My knees won't allow jump roping but I have a mini trampoline that I do 5 minutes on instead of the 2 minute jump rope. The last minute I do fast squat running. Kicks my ass!
● I could barely do 1 burpee when I started so there's no way I can do HT let alone DHT. I'm finally getting to the point where I can do 10 smooth burpees without breaking the movement up into segments. Wicked happy about that.
● I can't do Heel to Butt Kicks so I do squat jumps with my TRX. That gets my heart pumping super fast and hard. Great for the butt and hammies!
● Chest Dip with Chairs hurts in so many ways, so I do elevated decline pushups. I feel like a beast when I can get through 15!
● Can't do Lunge Jumps so I sub them for pistol squats with the TRX. Burn baby burn!
● I can easily do Wall Chair for 2 minutes. My quads must be cannons!!

However, I'm absolutely amazed at some of the other jumpy type exercises that my body IS allowing me to do. I'm feeling insanely strong in so many places and in so many ways.

My diet is strict and on point. Except for a few almonds here and there.
I do crave my vanilla lattes with a hurt so deep I want to throw glass at the wall!

The meme today is dedicated to Russian Dancers!!


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