Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Make Yourself with Sharapova

Maria Sharapova is just one of Nike's Make Yourself athletes. She is inspirational to me for many different reasons. For a quick sneak peak at how she trains and what has brought her to champion status check out this video filmed by Nike Women for their Make Yourself campaign.

Sharapova's attitude and refusal to give up on every game and every match she plays is unlike most athletes, even at the professional level. What makes her stand out is her massive success. She is easily the highest paid female athlete of all time, has design deals with Nike and it's affiliate brands (Cole Haan), Head, Rolex, and various other companies, yet refuses to give up on what got her where she is, her tennis game (and 3 Grand Slam titles).

Injury, surgery and a painful recovery with some poor match play might have convinced a lessor competitor and champion to give up on the game and explore other exploits. This is not the case for Maria Sharapova. She instead came back with a vengeance and fire that just cannot be quenched. Her run to the finals of both Wimbledon in 2011 and the Australian Open in 2012 show how this hard work has paid off. I can't wait to see more things from this talented tennis player and business woman.

Check out Maria Sharapova and the six other athletes in Nike's "Make Yourself" campaign. You will be inspired to push yourself harder after checking out their videos and words of advice. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Relax and Appreciate the Beauty

Everyday is filled with hundreds of decisions. From what you will eat to how you will present a project to your boss at work. My days are often so hectic I barely have one moment to myself. I often miss the beauty around me.

When I was young I lived in Oregon. Everyone who came and visited told me how beautiful and green the state was, but I didn't see it. I took it for granted because I lived there and it just became something I expected to be there. When I moved to California I missed the green trees and fresh pine smells. I finally realized what every visitor meant. The beauty of Oregon is unmatched. Now when I go back to visit my family I appreciate my surroundings.

What are you taking for granted in your life. Do you see beautiful sunsets everyday? Do you live by the ocean? Take a moment to appreciate the small things in life and notice the beauty around you. It can make a world of difference in your day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Massage Benefits

Pain, tightness and sore muscles are all results of maintaining a busy workout and training schedule. Massage is one way to help reduce this muscle tension and help to restore and regenerate the body. 

Often massages can be expensive and I have just recently begun to have them more often. Here are a few ways to look for more affordable massages and get the healing benefits without breaking the bank.

1. Look for deals in your local paper. Often massage centers offer a percent off for your first massage. This gives you a chance to see if you like the facility and massage practitioner.

2. Sign up for daily Groupon deals and watch for new massage deals every day. I recently purchased a Groupon deal for 2 massages for $55 dollars. You can't go wrong with these deals.

3. Sign up for monthly massages from a massage center and you can often receive a discount on your massages if you have them regularly scheduled.

Massages are a great way to restore and heal your body. They also provide a way for you to set some time out of your day to just relax and treat yourself. What are you waiting for? 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nike+ Training

Has anyone checked out the new Nike+ training shoe and app that is coming out this summer? It looks extremely functional and sleek. The technology of the shoe is incredible. The bottom of the insole actually has sensors built in to measure how you move, how high you jump, and track your progress. You can share all this data through various social media outlets and challenge your friends.

The mobile app built to pair with the shoe provides videos of drills and challenges that you can pick from every day, keeping you training hard with fresh, effective workouts. This app and shoe work together in tandem to help you become stronger, faster and better at whatever sport you are training for. With real-time feedback this app lets you set your goals, check your progress and track your improvement.

Check out this teaser video provided by Nike and start planning what you will use Nike+ Training for this summer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Situations

New situations are a little bit nerve wracking sometimes. They can be a great opportunity to learn new things and to meet new people, but I have to be honest, I don't always seek out new situations. Tonight I stepped out of my comfort zone and met a group of ladies who were forming a tennis league. After I got out the nerves and met the ladies on the USTA tennis team I was hooked.

I love sports of all kinds and the team spirit that comes with group sports. I have always enjoyed the shared love of the game and the team camaraderie. I was never sure if I could have that after I left college and my teammates on the basketball team. Tonight, I think that I found that again. I am looking forward to the coming tennis season and many seasons to come. So get out of your comfort zone and go try something new. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Healthy Pizza

I am always looking for a way to add some extra health benefits to common foods I enjoy and pizza is no exception.

This past weekend I was tasked with making pizza and was faced with the challenge of making it healthy. This is what I came up with.

I started with a whole wheat crust, spread a layer of tomato sauce, then added the tiniest sprinkle of cheese, spinach, mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, onions and fresh sliced tomatoes. It was the most delicious pizza I think I have ever tasted. Plus, I didn't feel bad after eating it, I just felt like I had actually fueled my body properly. It was piled so high with vegetables it looked more like a salad than a pizza, and I know it was packed with health benefits.

I followed my healthy eating with a tough 45 minute Nike Training Club workout and a 3 mile run. It was a great way to end a perfect day. Give this pizza a try, you'll love it!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

3 Day Weekend Fun

This President's day weekend I am spending time doing good things for myself. I am spending my extra few hours free from work to do things I wouldn't otherwise have time for. I had time to play some tennis and watch some Jr's matches. I participated in a Taekwondo tournament, went for a run and enjoyed spending some free time reading and relaxing at home.

On a healthy eating note, I was able to make homemade tomato quinoa soup, fresh cornbread and healthy smoothies. I love having time to just catch up on the things in life that I tend to ignore (and it was nice to finally be able to deep clean my apartment).

All in all, holidays are a time to rejuvenate and find the time to do the things in life that are normally left to a later date. This 3 day weekend was a great time for me to relax and make time for the things I enjoy. I'm already looking forward to my next mini vacation.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Courage to Try

No matter how big, or how small one might be, there is no excuse for not pushing yourself to be your best and train hard. The task itself may be daunting but if you never start you will never know what you can accomplish. No one has ever regretted working towards a goal, because it's not about achieving the goal, it's really about the process.

Don't get me wrong, I love to achieve a goal, the feeling is amazing. I just know that the achievement of that goal would not be nearly as sweet if I didn't take the time in my everyday life to work towards that goal. Pushing the limits of what I can and can't do is something I really enjoy and it has it's rewards. No matter how big the task I know that if I write down small steps and work towards the end goal with a carefully laid out plan I will accomplish what I have set out to do.

Don't be afraid to fail, be afraid of not having the courage to try. Nothing that was worth having has ever come easily. In order to truly appreciate the victory you must have experienced the journey along the way. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blueberry-Coconut-Macadamia Treat

This valentines day enjoy some delicious, healthy muffins instead of the traditional chocolate. There is nothing I like more than a delicious hot, warm muffin straight from the oven. This Valentine's day indulge your taste-buds with this healthy treat. You will not be disappointed. I made this recipe twice in one week when I first found it and they were a hit with my husband. 

There is no reason you can't enjoy something a little different this Valentine's day. For extra sweetness drizzle some local honey over the top. Yum! You won't be able to put these down. Enjoy, and happy Valentines Day!

Blueberry-Coconut-Macadamia Muffins

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 5 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk (or your favorite non-dairy milk and 3/4 Tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut or vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries


    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
    2. Combine coconut, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons macadamia nuts in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; stir to combine. Set aside.
    3. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, egg, egg white, buttermilk, butter and coconut (or vanilla) extract in a medium bowl until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Add blueberries and the remaining 3 tablespoons nuts; stir just to combine. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with the reserved coconut topping and gently press into the batter.
    4. Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack at least 5 minutes more before serving.
  • 210 calories per muffin

Monday, February 13, 2012

Workout Style

I love following the Nike Women Blog for inspiration, motivation and great fitness style advice. Nike once again impressed me with their recent trip to Austin, TX where they found a few women rocking their personal Nike style.

The differences in styles between the 3 girls pictured was not hard to see, but just goes to show how diverse and functional athletic clothes can be. They don't just have to be for the gym. You can work them into any outfit. Depending what piece you use you can dress down, or dress up, a look. This is great news for me considering my obsession with workout clothes. But come on, who doesn't like living in the comfort of some stretch pants and a hoodie?

I love to wear sporty tennis shoes with my jeans and a jacket around town and sometimes I just throw a Nike bag across my shoulder to make my look a little more casual. The colors of many of this season's products really pop and I enjoy pairing them with my darker pants. Inspiration can always be found when I head to the gym and just look around. Right now bright colors and oversized shirts are really in for working out, plus they can often double for a cute top around town.

What's your workout style?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Self-esteem is Earned

Always be proud of what you have achieved, of the strength you have worked to gain. This Nike Women ad says it best. Others will always be there to tear you down, to tell you you're not good enough, strong enough, fast enough, small enough, important enough. Don't believe it. Don't base your self worth on others opinions.

No one is perfect. Everyone has something they want to change, but embracing our differences is what makes us great, it's what makes us unique, and therein lies our strength.

Whether your arms are muscular or thin, your thighs are large or small, or your butt is round or flat, embrace them because they are yours and you have earned the right to accept your own body.

You have earned the right to love who you are and use every part of your being to embrace life.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sofia Boutella

How is this photo for motivation? This takes skill, flexibility and years of practice and study. Sofia Boutella is such an amazing inspiration. She is an amazing dancer and motivator. Every time I see her she is working on something new, practicing to get better and stronger in her sport.

I constantly need to be getting motivation from somewhere and Sofia Boutella provides that extra push I need to get out the door and go to work. Check out some of her videos on youtube, they are nothing short of amazing.

Check out her bonus ab workout on the Nike Training Club app for iphone or on youtube. It is an incredible workout and will leave your abs burning. You'll be busting some of your own dance moves in no time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Train Harder

I don't think I can really say anything to make this video any more meaningful to you. So my praise goes to Nike; thanks for making another amazing video and inspiring me to better myself and train as if my breath and life depended on it. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Passionate Pursuit

Passion. Drive. Desire. These are all a part of the pursuit. It is the pursuit that makes reaching my goals so rewarding. It's the challenges that come up along the way that make the pursuit so great. I can think of no greater team to demonstrate this than the United States Women's National Team (soccer). They have been pursuing greatness for so long and just recently their regular season was cancelled on the heels of an incredible season ending in a heartbreaking loss to Japan in the World Cup.

The funny thing is it's the loss that defines this team more than a win would have. The USWNT went on to share their story after the games many times and the fire in their eyes shows how much they want to come back and win in 2012. The team practices unrelentingly and works so hard every day. Each girl on the team is inspirational to me and Hope Solo is my absolute favorite player. In every game she is the last defense and always sacrifices herself for her team. She is strong and passionate about the game, always pursuing perfection. But a goalie can never be perfect, they can only pursue perfection, and in that pursuit she finds her passion.

No matter what I do and how many times I succeed or fail, it will always be the pursuit that makes my dreams truly worth reaching for. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Women, Sports and the Superbowl

The Superbowl this past Sunday was a huge hit among both men and women. If anyone has been following espnW this weekend they would have seen the recent stats they have been sharing about women's increased participation in watching the game (44%) and purchasing NFL memorabilia. 

Women are starting to participate more and more in sports and sporting events and are becoming a huge target market. Women have every right to be involved both on and off the field and it is about time that they are recognized as the large market that they are. 

I know I have always enjoyed both playing and watching sports. Nothing could tear me away from the Australian Open this year. Part of my obsession with tennis is the fact that women and men are treated on an equal level. Both men and women share equal prize money and equal television coverage at the Grand Slams. The tennis tour has discovered that women are integral in sports and are working to equalize their pay and tournaments across the globe. It is only a matter of time before other sports take note and women begin to share equal time with their male counterparts. 

For more info on women and sports check out and Both are great resources for information on women and their pursuits in the sporting world. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Dreams aren't born of nothing. They are made of blood, sweat and tears. It takes discipline, faith and a little bit of luck to truly reach your grandest and most challenging dreams. The beauty of having and maintaining a dream is that there is always the chance that that dream will come true. Don't give up on your dreams, never let them go because you never know when you may get a chance to pursue exactly what you have been dreaming about.

No one ever achieved success without failing a few times first. Steve Jobs was asked to leave the company he founded and he did. But he came back even stronger, he never gave up hope and never gave up on his dreams. He had every right to just walk away and forget about his company, but he didn't give up - he believed.

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. H didn't give up, instead he went and practiced, believed and worked. He would not give up on his dreams and it paid dividends for him. He became arguably the best basketball player of all time and has an entire brand at Nike named after him (Jordan Brand). Not too bad for someone who wasn't even considered a good enough player to be on high school team.

Everyone falls, everyone fails, everyone has dreams. The difference between success and failure is how may times you get back up. To fail is to experience life. There is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, we should embrace failure, because with failure comes success.

I don't want to live someone else's dream. I want to live my own dream and that means traveling into uncharted territory, charting my own course and having my own failures that will lead to my ultimate success. I have been turned down by Nike a few times, which is my ultimate dream company to work for, but I won't ever stop trying, because each of those failures have taught me about myself and helped me to learn more about the company I admire. When the opportunity presents itself, I will be ready to embrace my dream, because I will know that I have put in the hard work and I deserve to be successful and live my dream.

A motivational video to give you some inspiration.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Girls and Women in Sports Day!

Today is National Girls and Women in sports day. What a great way to spend a Wednesday. With all of the advances in women's sports lately it is important to celebrate how women achieve success in sports.

Girls need to know that sports are making a difference in women's lives everywhere and setting aside a special day to recognize that is an incredible opportunity. With the rise of espnW, Nike Women, the US Women's National Soccer team, the WTA and many other women-focused organizations it is no wonder that we are celebrating our successes and ability to enhance other women's lives through sports.

Women need to press forward and continue reaching for higher and higher goals. Never give up, never back down, and never stop.