A Day in the (Thug) Life – Cam

Welcome to the jungle!  I am currently on summer break so you’re going to see a lot of boring pictures in this post.  But I thought you’d all might like to know what a teacher does with her summer vacation.  I know it’s supposed to be ONE day, but I kept forgetting to take pictures.  So I have many days rolled into a synopsis.

Mon-Fri my alarm wakes me up at this god-awful time.

2014-06-19 11.35.27

And I usually look like this…

wake up

And I am usually met with this face. Sookie likes to sleep on my chest. Because she’s trying to suffocate me.


I head out to my first workout, Body Back.  After my divorce, my parents added on a suite to their house so my kids and I could live with them.  In-house babysitting is awesome!  Of course, everyone is still asleep at this time. This particular day we were doing circuits in the studio with a one mile run.  I fuel before the fun with banana and almond butter on an English muffin.  And I sweat.  A lot.

Morning workout

Look at my new, new shoes! Skora Core are the love of my life right now, thanks to the recommendation from one of our readers, kylejkranz .

I come home to find this…I don’t know about you other parents out there, but my kids are obsessed with watching YouTube videos of other people playing video games.  They don’t actually want to play the video games, just watch other people do it.

Summer break is off to a monumentally boring start.

Summer break is off to a monumentally boring start.

After we lounge and eat breakfast, I’ll head out for my second workout of the day.

This day, it was Cardio Barre.  Some days, it’s yoga.

workout no 2

That yoga mat towel is one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Without it, my mat is like a slip and slide.

After I get home and shower, I try to work on homework.  I’m taking classes to earn a Professional Certificate in Common Core instruction.

computer time

I usually start off working and end up reading YA fiction.

On this day, my kids had karate so we headed on down to the dojo.  After my hammock nap, of course.


Kicking ass and taking names. They are very excited they both earned a stripe today.  After karate, we went to Islands for dinner.  They have amazing veggie tacos!

After karate, I had some new patio furniture to put together so I broke out the power tools.

My helper!

Bitches get shit done.

My day usually ends with me fighting my kids to get in bed.

And then I drink a bottle of wine whilst watching Orange is the New Black.  Like a boss.


Ramble On

In other words, the post in which Cam rambles about the various going-ons in her fitness-seeking world.  I have lots to share!  Some of it is exciting.

A. I purchased a new pair of running shoes. 

Finally!  They weren’t even one of the pairs from my list.  I went to a shoe outlet in Lake Arrowhead, because, you know, I was on vacation and what else to do but shoe shop.  I tried on a few pair but these babies caught my eye. They’re colorful and fun and wide…three of my favorite things.  I tried them on and I’ve been kicking them ever since.  I like them still…so far.

New Balance are my new flavor of the month.

New Balance are my new flavor of the month.

I also made the decision to make the switch to a more natural shoe.  Nothing I’ve tried seems to be “made” for me and since I’ve been doing more barefoot exercise, like Barre and Yoga, I’ve come to accept that maybe my feet aren’t made for shoes.  I’m going back to my hunting and gathering roots and trying out what nature gave me.  I don’t intend to go full on nude, but definitely minimal.  I’m going to slosh around in these New Balance until after the April Fools Half in 12 days.  Then, I’m simplifying.

B. I’m playing dodgeball!

And I have never been this sore.  It seems, during my regular workouts, I’m not exerting maximum effort.  Only when there’s a chance of some dude hurling a rubber ball at my head do I really move my ass.  Sure, it stings when you get pegged.  But it’s a total rush and the perfect mix of core, arm/shoulder, and cardio workout.  Moving directions so quickly really does a number on the bod.  And if you get your SO involved, you get to throw balls at each other.  It’s like free therapy.


C. I’m kicking ass at Body Back. 

Yep, down 8 pounds in two weeks.  I’ve been working out like a maniac and eating as clean as I can.  It hasn’t been easy, the meal plan calls for no alcohol.  Not even wine.  I’ve also given up sweets, coffee, dairy, and fast food.  Let’s have a moment of silence for those foods I’ll miss the most…

Brie Cheese


Soft-Serve Ice Cream

In’n’Out Cheeseburger with grilled onions

Chips and Salsa

Chili Cheese Fries

Did I mention cheese?

But I can still have tacos!  Winning!

I love this program.  I feel like it’s exactly the type of exercises I need to get rid of my pouch…you know, that flap of skin left over from my two c-sections.  And I love my trainer.  She’s an inspiration for health and strength, not just a smoking hot bod.  But seriously, she’s smoking hot.  Like fitness-competition-she’s-going-to-be-in-a-magazine hot.  I’m kind of smitten.

Burn, baby, burn!

Burn, baby, burn!  Powering through Power Yoga.  It hurts so good!

D. My kids are kicking ass in karate.

Did you know ADD is genetic?  My dad has it.  I have it.  And I’m almost positive my children have it, in various forms.  My daughter is more mentally distracted.  My son doesn’t stop moving.  Ever.  We’ve tried baseball and cheerleading but the dojo is where we feel at home!  My kids started taking karate at our local U.S.K.O. and they are loving it.  I love the focus and self-discipline it requires of my kids.  And these instructors are amazing the way they corral these kids and keep them under control.  They both just earned their first stripe and they were so excited.  They’re learning respect for their bodies and I can visibly see the boost in self-esteem and confidence.  I can’t say enough good things about it!

Sweep the leg!

Sweep the leg!

Lord of the Dance: Cardio Barre

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of dancing.  I’m an avid viewer of So You Think You Can Dance and various dance movies, including but not limited to the entire Step Up series, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, and Center Stage. I did every biographical report in school on Liza Minnelli.  I watch White Christmas even during the summer and I about died when I discovered Natalie Portman would be playing a ballerina in Black Swan.  Like so many little girls growing up in a time of outstanding dance movies such as Flashdance and Fame, at one point in my life I wanted to be a professional ballerina.  Ballet includes so many things that I love.  Tulle, for one.  And it’s French. I’m a big fan of things that are French.  I soon realized, however, that my body type was not exactly prime for prima.  For one thing, my feet are terrible.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about ballet from years of watching it on television, it’s that you have to have good feet.

This is the extent of my ballet career. I'm the one on the left with knock-knees and flat feet.

The beginning and end of my ballet career. I’m the one on the left with knock-knees and flat feet.

I traded toe for tap shoes and tapped my way through elementary and middle school. I even took tap in college for P.E. credit.  I Belly Danced with Veena and Neena (in my living room) and took a hip hop dance class so I could Step Up to the streets.  However, none of this could prepare me for the hour long, thighs of fire inducing glorious hell that is Cardio Barre.

Cardio Barre is described by PureBarre.com as a total body, low-impact, strength and stretching sequence that tones and lengthens muscles.  It combines basic ballet techniques with weights and focuses on tiny isometric movements.  The key is to only move an inch or two, but you do this many times.  Each toning section is immediately followed by a stretching section, so you strengthen muscles without bulking up.  Some sources say that you can burn from 300-600 calories per 60 minute session.  And this exercise in anaerobic.  Which means you burn calories even after you’re done working out (I find this almost too good to be true).

There are many variations of barre, but my experience has been with Cardio Barre.  Cardio Barre incorporates activities, such as high knees or running place, to increase heart rate.  The activities are done barefoot or in yoga socks and we use very light weights, 2-3 pounds, for basic arm toning exercises.  We squat like 400 times and then lunge for an eternity and then we move to the barre.  This is when the real pain begins.

The barre exercises consist mainly of plies but they’re done on your toes so that your calf muscles are engaged.  Then you drop your booty an inch or two over and over and over until your legs are literally shaking with fatigue.  I reach fatigue about halfway through each section at the barre and it burns so good.  I’ve seriously never experienced this type of fatigue in any exercise I’ve tried.  And I’ve been around the fitness fad sweeping the nation block.

That badass to my right is the instructor.  Her thighs are incredible.

That badass to my right is the instructor. Her thighs are incredible.

The class wraps up with an ab and core section.  Again, tiny, minute movements are stressed.  You’re supposed to be mindful of your muscles and a lot of the core exercises are just holding positions.  Which is harder than moving sometimes.  Barre uses a lot of techniques from Pilates and Yoga as well, incorporating deep breathing and stretching to lengthen muscles.  The best part is the focus on posture and form.  I have a bit of a slouching problem but in this class, I make an effort to make be regal and tall.

My verdict?  I can’t get enough of this class.  It’s so incredibly challenging and that first class is intensely devastating.  I run, I squat, I lift-weights, but my muscles were not prepared for this kind of workout.  It’s a great way to shake up your routine and shake your booty! (Now is the time when you stand up and join me for a booty shake.)

Have you tried Barre?  Did it give you the shakes?  Who would win in a dance battle, Paula Abdul or Janet Jackson? Let’s talk it out in the comments!