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Summit 2018: Recap

Hey guys!

Can you believe it is JULY? This year is flying by….it’s insane!

I’ve been in go-go-go mode for a bit, but now that I’m back home and all settled I am able to finally get back into blogging mode. Make sure you guys let me know topics/things you want me to blog on. I have a long list of things you have submitted, but I always like to have more for the future. After all, this blog is for you, and I want to hook you up with info you like reading about!

Before I start hitting some of those topics, I have to fill you all in on my recent trip to Indianapolis for our yearly convention! It was much earlier than usual (typically it is in July), and I was really excited to go to this unfamiliar city. If you remember, last year’s location in New Orleans wasn’t my favorite, and I was hopeful this city would be much better suited for this big event. And let’s not forget the one big win with it being in Indy: it was only a short 4.5 hr drive from my house!

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Off to Indy!

Last year the sparkle coaches who were accompanying me and I rented a big house, but this year we opted for hotel rooms based on the logistics of the events. I was stoked to not only road trip with two of my besties but get to room with them there, too, which was perfect since our lives are crazy and we we don’t get to spend as much time together as I would like. In addition to us, three sparkle bombshells from my team joined us. There were supposed to be quite a few more, but due to a variety of situations, they had to cancel. I always wish every single coach could go, but I always understand when life happens.

We got into town Wednesday afternoon and were pleasantly surprised to find our hotel was directly across the street from the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium, the two locations where our events would take place. Besides that, the hotel had covered walkways to both AND was attached to a mall, so you know I was pretty freaking pleased, especially since Indy had strange weather that included rain every day at some point…..I think we all know I’m not a fan of getting caught in the rain.

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The view from our hotel, right in the center of the city!

Everything began Thursday evening, so we used Wednesday to hang with the team. We enjoyed a nice team dinner and some shopping. Since I am considered a “legend”, I get special privileges like getting to explore the special Beachbody shopping center called The Core Wednesday evening. I always love getting in and not fighting the crowds, plus things sell out so quickly I wanted to make sure I got what I wanted. Hey, it’s a tax write off, right???!!!

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Team dinner!

Thursday we had a team lunch and a big team photo before opening ceremonies kicked off. Opening ceremonies are always such a blast….new programs, new products, new trainings are announced….all things that excite me to no end! Two things that really excited me: a new Shaun T workout that is only 20 minutes a day AND a pumpkin spice shakeology flavor launching with limited release! Basic bitches everywhere, unite!

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I love my Dynasty United crew!

Friday started off extremely early, and what better way to start than day than getting your ass kicked by Shaun T. Naturally I had my unicorn blood (two scoops) and still felt like a walking zombie, but we crushed that workout! I did slightly hurt my ankle during one of the moves (hence why you haven’t seen me working out the past few days) but loved the moves and, as always, Shaun’s motivation. There is something about how that man fires you up that can’t be duplicated.

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I love so many parts of Summit, but I am kind of a nerd, so my favorite aspect is always the workshops. I love to learn from others, gain a different perspective, and just think outside the box. I’m still going through my notes! Friday and Saturday afternoons were spent in workshops hitting a variety of topics and every last one was fabulous.

Friday evening I earned the right to some exclusive parties based on my success during the year, and I brought my coach Christen with me as my date. These parties are always over the top and so much fun, so I gave my team the opportunity to earn my plus one. Christen was the winner! Not only did I get to hang with one of my other faves, Tony Horton, but I enjoyed a tasty cupcake in bed post celebration!


Saturday was the final day of our trip, as we had to leave earlier than anticipated to get back home. It included a super workout, more trainings, and lots of laughs.  Fortunately we were able to stream closing ceremonies on the way home….it stunk to have to leave early, but because I had a dog sitting issue Saturday evening, I had to make it back to take care of my guys.

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Before we headed home there was one thing I absolutely had to do, and if you know me you aren’t surprised when I say we went to the best donut shop in Indy: Jack’s Donuts! Every time I travel I always have to find out where the most amazing donuts are then find out for myself! The best part of this quick stop: I got busted by a bunch of coaches in my coach family. It’s like they knew where to find me!

Next year our conference is back in Indy, and I couldn’t be happier. It was such a great city for so many reasons and one that really welcomed us with open arms.

Now that I’m back and settled back into my routine my team and I are working toward a huge goal. I’ve never been more excited, and I can’t wait. If you have been thinking about doing what I do or just learning more, fill out this quick interest form HERE so I can reach out and see if this is a good fit!

Already looking forward to seeing you next July, Indy, and of course, I’ll be back to Jack’s.

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#Squadgoals

People.

People make the difference.

I know you’ve heard that before, and it’s completely true…especially when it comes to fitness.

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If you have been struggling with reaching your health goals, I recommend finding a fitness tribe to help you out. It doesn’t matter if you are rocking a Beachbody program or a Richard Simmons DVD or just enjoy jogging around the block. It’s easier to stick to goals when you have a tribe to back you up!

When I think back to my own fitness journey….the one I started nearly four years ago and the one I am still on today…..my fitness tribe is the #1 reason why I have been successful.

       Here are five reasons why I love my fitness tribe and why you need to find one:

1. Accountability.

Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, there are going to be days you just aren’t going to want to workout….there are days where you want to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting and wash it down with a gallon of Sweet Tea from Chick Fil A. When you are paired up with others with similar goals and doing things like sending sweaty selfies via snapchat or sharing your weekly meal plans, you have more motivation to stick to those healthy activities. There are days where I will log into my challenge group and see that all 30 of my challengers have posted their workout for the day but I still haven’t….do I want to be the only one who didn’t log their workout for the day? Hell No! The accountability pushes me to get past my excuses. 

2. Breaks you out of your comfort zone.

I had so many reservations about joining a fitness support group online in the beginning…..when you are getting started it can be a little scary! I was so embarrassed I had gotten to such a low point with my health and didn’t want to be the loser in the group, plus I didn’t know ANYONE in the group…..not one person! I used that as an excuse for a little bit, and then I realized that good comes at the end of comfort zones…..so I jumped in. Fitness tribes make you get past the uncomfortable excuses so you get results. Sometimes we need that….I needed that….and I still do.

3. Resources.

None of us have all of the answers with what will help, and in the beginning it can be challenging when words like “meal plans” and “measurements” and “portions” are being thrown around. I love being connected with people who share their recipes, meal plans, and tips because it helps me come up with new ideas that I can apply to my own routine. So many of the recipes I love and use on a weekly basis have come to me through my fellow fitness tribe members….they are way better than Pinterest!

4. A Celebration Committee.

I love love love love LOVE when someone hits a goal and EVERYONE celebrates your success with you. I hate when I look around and see others cut down people who are achieving goals (trust me, it happens all the time) or when I see people giving up on their goals because they feel like a failure. In a fitness community, small victories are celebrated, as well as those monumental victories, too. Small victories add up to those big ones…..and it is nice to have people who are genuinely happy for your success! Plus, celebration and positive energy is contagious!

5. Hope.

There have been so many days when I wanted to give up. Last year as I struggled with the loss of my dad, I felt like there was no hope for me and that I was going to revert back to old ways. My fitness tribe didn’t give up on me then….they encouraged me and supported me and gave me the hope I needed to know I would be okay. Little things like that make such a difference. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us we CAN do something.

Your fitness tribe can be made up of whomever you want….family members, coworkers, neighbors……the important thing is you want people who have similar goals and will hold you accountable….and who aren’t afraid to dish out tough love if you need it.

If you don’t know who to turn to to help you on your journey, let me know. There’s always room in my tribe for you 🙂

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O’Kramer for a Day

I’ve always been a fan of St. Patty’s Day.

Back in the day it was all about drinking…..I would hit up every St. Patty’s parade, spend the day at the bar enjoying green beer, and acted like a complete foolish leprechaun. I’m not Irish….not one bit….but I was on March 17th!

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The Old St Patty’s Day Katie

These days St. Patty’s Day is totally different, and I couldn’t be happier! The holiday for me is all about one big event that I am in charge of, the Shamrock 5k and 15k race, which is put on by my running club, Summit Athletic Running Club. I still get to rock green and put an “O” before my last name so others think I have a little Irish in my blood….so I am a happy camper.

This year the race was a little bit earlier in the month of March and took place this past weekend. Thank heavens! Originally it was scheduled to take place when I was scheduled to be in Jamaica, so I was happy we could move the date around and I could be there.

I’ve talked about my running club before, and I can guarantee I will talk about it again. It is a club that I am very proud to be a part of, not only as a runner, but as their Membership Director. Of course I think everyone should join us! We are fabulous! If you ever want to come to a meeting, let me know….I’d love for you to be my guest! (P.S. We serve pizza at the meetings…..we all know how I feel about that).

The Shamrock 5k and 15k is a race that has a very special place in my heart, so I was thrilled when I was asked to take over it prior to it taking place last year. Back in January 2013 I attended my very first SARC meeting, attending with major nerves since I knew absolutely no one and did not know what to expect from the club. All I knew is that I was relatively new to the area and wanted to find some people who shared my love of running. I also had a very lofty goal that year to run 31 races (you can read about that here ), and I was hell bent on achieving it.

The very first race I ran that year was the Shamrock 5k and 15k. Not only was it my first race of the year, but my first race as a SARC member and my first SARC race. Of course I rocked a tiny hat and some green! Since I was just returning to the world of running, I knew that I would be slow and was worried about the cold weather, and I was happy when one of my BFFs, Whitney, agreed to run with me. Fortunately for us, my two biggest cheerleaders, my mom and dad, drove up to brave the cold and support us, even making signs. It meant the world to me.

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During my red hair days

Fast forward to this year, which was my first year running the race completely by myself (Last year I Co-Directed with a fellow SARC member who was retiring, which helped me get my feet wet with directing a running event.) I had a lot of emotions with the race this year, mostly because I knew my dad would not be there physically to support me. Anything involving running gets me emotional…that was our thing. He is so missed.

Race directing is so much more involved than a lot of people think. Last week I felt like I was living, breathing, and eating Shamrock, and my friends and family can attest to that….I was MIA! Following up on permits, police officers, porta potties, food sponsorship, bobble heads for the award winners, volunteers…….there is a lot involved to make sure the day goes off without a hitch!

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Our bagpiper was phenomenal!

I decided to bypass my complete leprechaun costume this year (yes, I have one) to pay homage to my original Shamrock getup, a tiny hat and faux leprechaun tuxedo. Something about doing so just made me feel a little bit better, which may sound a little weird, but it’s true. I found an amazing faux leprechaun tuxedo that was perfect for the day….several people actually thought it was a real tuxedo! I also contacted my favorite hat maker, ChikiBird, who has made several custom hats for me in the past, and purchased a special little St. Patty’s Day leprechaun hat. Look how cute it was……..

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Our crowd this year was awesome! We had 665+ runners join us at Woodridge High School in Cuyahoga Falls to run the 5k or 15k, and I’d like to give a shout out to the weather for being so kind to us….it was perfect running weather! I couldn’t have been happier with how the event with, and I think everyone had a great time! I was super proud of Whitney for running her first 5k since having Baby L….she did great!

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Whit and I before the race

These events could not be the success they are without the many amazing volunteers who help behind the scenes. Many were up before the sun came up to help get things set up on the course, and some were with me until the very end of the day, which was about 5pm…..a long, long, long day. I had two very special volunteers assist me this year….my mother in law, Diane, and my incredible mother, Sherrin. It was wonderful having them both there to see the behind the scenes activity, and I was so happy my mom could be with me to help me if I had an emotional moment or struggled.

Thank you to everyone who ran, volunteered, donated and supported not only me in this event, but SARC. Your kindness, generosity, and enthusiasm for running is so greatly appreciated! I have to give a special shout out to Earthfare, who donated food for the event (and happens to be one of my go-to favorite grocery stores), Eat N Park…who provided their signature Shamrock cookies and coupons for the runners, Acme Fresh Market, who hooked us up with water for the runners, Giant Eagle for the bananas, Winking Lizard for their delicious soup, and Bumble Bar, who provided their gluten free bars for those who aren’t fans of the gluten. Our event couldn’t have been possible without you!

I know my dad was with us in spirit Sunday….. I like thinking that….it definitely helps me get though the difficult moments. Dad, I hope you had fun cracking jokes about my outfit….because I know you had them.

Mark your calendars now….next March you have a date with me to run the Shamrock 5k and 15k!

I’m off to get ready for Jamaica! Keep sparkling, my friends.

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Yes, I’m just really tall. 

 

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