Monday, May 29, 2017

Spartan Races ... fight through your fears

Spartan Races what are they and why do them? Usually, when I tell people I am doing Spartan Races I get puzzled faces. Spartan races? Insert really strange look of confusion. I then will proceed to say it is just like a run, more trail running with obstacles. Ohhhhhhhhh, ok typically says the person. Why do you do that? Ha. My response back is usually, why not? This year my life has been filled with races, training, and more races. Last July I registered and finished the Beast in Morizine (my first Spartan Race) and was hooked. Right after, I quickly registered and completed the Super and Sprint in Barcelona, to now only being a week a way from my first race in the Competitive Heat in Paris, where I will be doing a Super and Sprint in one day. Being that Spartan Races are a huge part of my life I thought I would explain what a Spartan Race is, why I do them, and maybe inspire you to register for one yourself. I really caught the bug for Spartan Races after doing Spartan's first Sprint in the snow at Valmorel in France.

 Here I registered for two days of racing. I don't know the exact number but I am pretty sure I was one of the only few along with my fave training partner to register for two races in two days. Two days of running in the icy, cold snow, with obstacles, burpees, exactly what was I thinking?

I will be completely honest with you ... the first day was very challenging. This California girl is really just not use to the snow. I ran with a team and thankfully they offered words of encouragement, motivation, and were there to literally pick me up when I fell. This was enough to get me to the finish line, and boy did it feel great. That evening I laid in bed thinking, "why the heck am I doing another Sprint tomorrow?" I contemplated making a thousand excuses but knew in my heart I would be so disappointed if I didn't race. What I have learned doing these Spartan Races is to: not let fear dictate one's decisions in life. 

Often our fears are unrealistic, not rational, and often worse than the actual outcome. 

So, I laced up my shoes, wore my special waterproof socks that actually did nothing after an hour of running in the snow, and was determined to finish the race. Annnnnnnnd thank goodness I raced. The second day was incredible, challenging, but oh so incredible. I completed every obstacle and did not have to do one burpee (and for my fellow Spartans you know what this means). It is the best feeling. But, my greatest achievement this race was keeping my mental game strong and focusing on the present moment. 

 I was sore, tired, bruised, but I was able to race again. 
I pushed through. The moment I jumped over the fire pit, and crossed the icy finish line I realized: Wow, I can push through. 
Push through moments that are less than ideal, 
push through negative thoughts, 
and push through future challenges that may come.

It is pretty surreal to me when I list off the races I have done in the past year. I had this crazy idea to do an Ultra Beast (this July 1st) but I had no idea how much I would change physically and mentally during the time training and racing in between.

 I thought I was strong before, but I was scared. 
Scared to fail, scared to fall down, scared to try big things, scared to even try 
but what I can say now is:

I am still scared but I do the things I am scared of, and that is why I love Spartan Races. 

*this is not a sponsored post, and are all my personal opinions :) 
however if you do want to Sponsor me email me at:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Let Life Flow" ... Emilie of Naoussa Studio

I am a big believer that there is nothing by "chance" in life. That the people we meet are people who are pivotal factors in one's journey. I also have come to realize that with time being fleeting the people who you associate with, call your friends, and engage with daily directly shape who you are. For example, how you feel ... they can lift you up or bring you down.

Moving to a new country was intimidating and often a little isolating in the beginning. Making friends felt impossible and especially trying to do so in a new language. How was I suppose to create friendships without being able to express myself?

In an effort to be more social I signed up for a yoga event with Summerlab Events (more on this later). I was nervous because I knew the yoga class would be entirely in French, and socializing in French at the time wasn't the easiest. But, upon arriving the atmosphere at Yoga Searcher was inviting and warm. Olivia from Summer Lab Events (I will introduce her on here soon) created a morning yoga event reminiscent of yoga events in California. I immediately felt excited and happy to meet new people.

The yoga class was inspiring but what stood out was the instructor, which now gets me to the point of my post. Emilie, one of the best yoga instructors I have ever had. Her presence, knowledge, and the affirmations that she offers to her students in her practice are incredible. I introduced myself before class and she made sure to say things in French and English. Immediately, I knew she was a bright light, someone who makes people feel better after meeting her. Not to mention, her yoga classes are the perfect balance of mediation and flow. I thought without further ado I would share Emilie's bio with all of you. She is one talented lady that I feel like the world needs to know :) And if you are visiting Annecy, France you must take a class with her.

My name is Emilie, I am 25 years and 9 months old and I define myself as a poet novice botanist. I have difficulty with the fact that our profession or our activity defines us. I love poetry and nature so this is the best definition I have found for me at the moment. Otherwise, I practice and teach yoga, and I create things. I am very happy to introduce myself to all of you.
General background in yoga
 I have practiced yoga for almost 10 years. I teach Hatha and Yin. It is a discipline, an art, and a philosophy that accompanies me in every part of my existence. It is also one of my most precious friends who teaches me a lot about myself and about the world around me!
My first yoga experience was a disaster, I think I was not ready but I also believe it depends a lot on the teacher.  He or she must give you confidence. I graduated 200 hours in India, in Goa, and another near Geneva.

Why I teach
 Two years ago, during an internship in Greece, I had the "revelation" that I had to teach, that the time had come. I started because it was obvious. It fills me with happiness. However, when the students thank me for a lesson at which they feel good, I want to tell them "it's not me, it's yoga.
 Yoga, like life, is magical.

Fun facts about me
1) I have a cat that sticks out it's tongue constantly. It is both funny and tragic, since it missing a piece of the lower jaw. It had a fall from a 3rd floor ... however that does not prevent it from devouring his croquettes, so everything is well! 

2) Even if I have a little difficulty in admitting it ... I was the one who asked my husband to marry me. We celebrated our one year in India and I asked his hand (to marry me) in a tuk tuk ! Of course, I forced him to re-ask the next day, where he dropped to one knee.

3) I am phobic of the papers ... This is really embarrassing for a French girl ! I really struggle with administrative tasks. I would love to have someone take care of them for me ... :)

I've traveled extensively on every continent since I was a little girl, thanks to a travel agent mom and a dad passionate by adventure. This has become a kind of addiction to me. The journey opens horizons, pushes us out of our comfort zone, and to be more attentive. I like the feeling of a change of scenery. I also like to go home after a trip!

Why I travel
Travel is a constant question. The people we meet, the flavors, the landscapes, the climates help encourage a type of rethinking of what we think we know. I'm passionate about that. I also travel alone, I spent 6 months alone in India. When no one is available to go with me, it does not bother me to pack my bags for a solo weekend. It is very different from a couples trip or with others, but I invite everyone to do the same at least once !

1) Naoussa Collection
About 5 months ago, I launched my collection of yoga mat bags, Naoussa Collection. They are inspired by the world and travels. 

I would like people to see them as bags not only for yoga but also for life, that they can slip their drawings if they are architects, their sports outfit,  or a bouquet of flowers 

2) Radyoga 

Radyoga! This radio should be broadcast continuously and everywhere. I created it with my friend and associate Boris, who is a great guy.

We wish to transmit well-being and happiness through this radio. In addition, on the site, you can buy items like decorative objects, or draw recipes and tips to make you feel better. Learn more on our website : !!!

3) Yoga & Meditation for all ... Community classes

For me, yoga should not be reserved for an elite who has money. Of course, people who work a lot are often stressed, but there are also people in difficulty, unemployed or students who do not allow themselves to go to yoga classes. That's why I created the community yoga classes, the price is free from a minimum of 5 €. Each month, the profits are donated to a charity. 
Do not hesitate to come, Thursday from 16h to 17h at the Studio du Pâquier in Annecy!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Update on Training

I had all these grand plans to post more about my training for the Spartan Ultra Beast that I will be doing this coming July, however, with so much training I am too exhausted to blog. Thus, I decided to give myself a break and post when I can.

The training has been difficult to say the least. Lots of running, several injuries (a mild stress fracture in my foot and a back injury however both have healed up) but I have remained steadily on course.  Training for such a big race, balancing life, work, and scheduling workouts has been challenging. I also have found that people are either completely supportive or don't care how training is going. For me, it's like knowing a friend who is a mom and never asking ... how are your kids?(ok maybe not the same, but I imagine it would feel that way).  Training for this race is a huge part of my life that I somewhat expected to have people as pumped on my goals as I am ... but that's not the case and you know what ... that's perfectly ok. This race is my goal, not theirs and on race day I will be doing the race.

In the past month I have ran a marathon in Milan, Italy, a 28k trail race (the longest trail I have ever done) a half marathon, and then coming up a trail marathon (luckily I have the BEST training partner). It has been easy for me to compare times and I start to feel like I am running too slow. Then I overthink and get discouraged about my overall performance ...  so I pause and try to put things into perspective. I list out the actual races that I have done and I begin to see that ... it is a road to an Ultra Beast. The training, the miles,  and everything in between matters.  I am training for something big. Recently, I got really sick and my body literally shut down and forced me to rest. So, while I've been resting I have been craving juice. More specifically, orange carrot ginger juice ... it's incredible what your body knows it needs. My little recipe of my "rest up juice" reminds me that rest is just as important in training as logging in the miles, lifting the weights, and hitting the trail.

One of the first things I bought abroad was a 40 euro mini juicer (nothing fancy) that makes a tasty juice. An important thing to remember when making juice is: drink your juice when it's fresh if not it will loose nutrients and vitamins the longer it sits. Feel free to add lemon to your juice, ginger, or mint for natural stimulants. I am not an expert but I do know and pay attention to how my body feels before, during, and after a workout. I believe in moderation and eating/drinking what your body craves. Ok, now for the recipe :)

3 large carrots washed and peeled
Ginger root peeled and chopped (I use one small root as I like my juice potent) use it to your liking and sparingly if needed
5 oranges peeled
1 small apple (green is my favorite)

1. Put all ingredients into your juicer, one piece or two at a time.  I try to vary between carrots and oranges, so my juicer doesn't work too hard.

Super tip: I use a plastic bag in the back of my juicer where the pulp goes. This saves time cleaning. You can also use the pulp for baking muffins or as compost in your garden.

2. I pour the juice into old jam jars ... this definitely comes from my days at UC Santa Cruz and I still have that hippie in my soul. I loved carrying around a jam jar hiking to class .... ah some of the best of times.

3. Drink your juice as soon as it is juiced. I use to think I needed to drink my juice cold but you get more nutrients if it is warm, straight after juicing... fresh is better.  I also add a little turmeric or cayenne to my juice, but do as you want.

4. Cheers and happy juicing

And remember, wellness is all about taking care of yourself. Knowing what suits "your" body and listening to your gut, literally your gut and doing things in moderation.