Feeling Empowered Through Self-Defense

I have been wanting to take some kind of self-defense class. Although the trail I typically go jogging on is fairly popular, I always have that nagging worry in the back of my mind. I’m not constantly on guard worrying that somebody will assault me, but the thought is there. These what-if type of thoughts especially arise when I am out jogging with D in the stroller.

I was fortunate this week in that my husband came across some information about a free event that was taking place Saturday at Greenlake Park in Seattle. The event was organized by Fighting Chance Seattle, a martial arts dojo located in Ballard. Jordan, the owner of the dojo, wanted to have the event as a response to an incident that took place in October where a woman had been assaulted while walking around Greenlake. This is terrible, but what was even more terrible was how it was reported by the news. Apparently the message that was conveyed was that women should be afraid; that it’s not safe for women to go jogging alone, especially at Greenlake. To combat this message, an event for a free 1-hour hands-on self-defense course was organized, specifically for female runners.

I was excited when my husband told me about this event and of course I attended the class. The class, called Run Prepared, focused on some key tips on how to be an aware and empowered runner, and how to avoid being a “crappy victim”. We were then shown five different strikes and how to escape three different holds which we then got to practice with the instructors, who, I might mention, are students of the dojo who volunteered their time for the event. The class felt very empowering as I stood alongside 35 women learning how to kick butt and protect themselves should they ever need to. By the end of the class I had a good grasp on how to defend myself and how to avoid finding myself in a dangerous situation to begin with. I left wanting to learn more and am looking forward to taking a full self-defense class.

Today while out on my run, I put what I learned yesterday into practice. I was more aware of my surroundings and focused on making myself not look like a good target. I actually felt more confident as a runner which helped when I came across two men on the trail. They weren’t typical trail-goers. What I mean by that is that they weren’t out for a jog, bike ride, or out enjoying each others company while on a leisurely walk. From what I gathered from their loud conversation, their car had run out of gas. As I ran past them, one of them began catcalling, which pretty much never happens on this trail. Instead of feeling fearful or anxious, I felt mad. How dare you? I thought. Instead of hunching down and making myself small, I made myself bigger and I ran harder and faster, all the while in my mind I replayed the self-defense tactics I had learned the day prior. After I got home I realized just how much one hour had changed my disposition. Just applying some tips and tricks to be more aware of myself and my surroundings while having some defense moves in my back pocket just in case has made me a more confident and empowered woman.

I highly recommend taking a self-defense class. As women, we have the right to feel empowered and confident and to not be afraid. To learn more about Fighting Chance Seattle, check them out here. Also be on the lookout for a documentary about the event yesterday to learn more about what was taught.

Use Home Remedies to Beat a Cold

We recently got over our first nasty cold of the season. The runny noses and coughs have been making the rounds in D’s toddler group, and us adults have been taking hits as well. I figure this would be a good time to share some of my favorite home remedies for colds. Disclaimer: These suggestions are solely informational and are not meant to be a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.

  1. A humidifier is a must! I even add some essential oils to the water to help increase its effectiveness. D’s pediatrician recommended lavender oil for a spasmodic cough and eucalyptus oil to help aid in relieving congestion. I didn’t have eucalyptus oil on hand, so I tried a couple drops of peppermint oil in the humidifier which seemed to help. Make sure to use a cool mist humidifier if it will be within reach of little ones.
  2. I love tea when I have a cold. Chamomile is one of my favorites. I add in a healthy dose of raw honey and fresh lemon juice. Other times I simply do hot water with honey, lemon, and apple cider vinegar. My husband is not a fan of the apple cider vinegar, but even he will drink this mixture when a cold has him down. Make sure not to give honey to infants under 12 months old.
  3. For some reason it’s harder for me to remember to take in extra fluids when I have a cold. I try to make sure I have my water bottle near me as a reminder to keep drinking. D always wants to nurse more when he has a cold, so he doesn’t really need much prodding to stay hydrated.
  4. For this last cold, D was rubbing at his ears a lot and was very irritable. His pediatrician saw some inflammation in his ears and some fluid in one of his ears. She recommended getting him a chiropractic adjustment to relieve the pressure. My friend, who happens to be our chiropractor, adjusted both of us to get the gunk flowing. By the next day we were both 90% better and D was no longer rubbing at his ears. While this isnt quite a home remedy, it is a natural one.
  5. Lastly, my most favorite way to calm a cold is found at a Thai restaurant. When I have a particularly nasty cold, nothing hits the spot more than a big bowl of Tom Yum Soup. The warm, layered flavors and the spice of this soup temporarily relieves any congestion I have, and it leaves me feeling comforted, warm, and happy.
A big bowl of Tom Yum soup with tofu

A big bowl of Tom Yum Soup

How do you beat a cold? Do you have any favorite home remedies that do the trick?

StrollerRun14 Weekend Recap

National Stroller Running Day was in full swing at our house this weekend. I love taking D along with me for my workouts. He enjoys tagging along, and I get to demonstrate to him how important it is to live an active lifestyle. We kicked off the day by going to a Stroller Strides class on Saturday. My hamstrings were begging me not to go. They did not appreciate all of the squats and lunges, but class was fun and it was a great way to start the weekend.

D got tuckered out on our run even though he did none of the running.

D got tuckered out on our run even though he did none of the running.

I decided to keep the momentum of National Stroller Running Day going by taking D out for a jog on Sunday. My legs thought I was crazy but they decided it wasn’t so bad once I started running. About 10 minutes from the house on the way back, I noticed that D was leaning over the side of the stroller looking at something. I was curious what he was looking at and had myself a look. Turns out he was fast asleep. I guess I’ll take that to mean I’m getting better at running with the jogging stroller.

My body is taking a sigh of relief today as it takes the day off from any sort of exercise. I think a warm lavender bath is in order.

Did you do anything fun for National Stroller Running Day?

My First Stroller Strides Class (Ow)

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was gifted a coupon for a free week of classes at FIT4MOM (formally known as Stroller Strides). Today was my first class. I wasn’t too sure how the morning was going to go. D woke up a little before 5AM, went back to sleep at 8, and then I had to wake him up just before 9 to get him ready to go. Not an ideal start to the morning. We arrived at the mall that the Stroller Strides class was taking place at. The sky looked like it didn’t want to decide if it was going to rain or not, but we ended up doing class outside rather than under cover. Before coming to class I was worried I wouldn’t get that great of a workout since I already exercise at home. I was wrong.

The class had a theme which was: Thankful. Each letter of the word stood for an exercise and during each exercise we had to name something that we were thankful for that started with that letter. Trying to think of something you are thankful for that starts with a certain letter while doing, say pushups, is not as easy as it sounds. It was amusing some of the things we came up with on the spot.

The instructor of the class was energetic, encouraging, and didn’t let any of us moms give less than our best. If a mom dropped down while holding the 60-second plank, she would add an extra 10 seconds on to our hold (thank you everybody for not dropping!). The class was go, go, go. We did spurts of cardio and strength training, working out every muscle group. As we ran up and down flights of stairs, I quickly realized going on a jog yesterday may not have been the best idea. At the end of class we cooled down with some stretches. My sore muscles were already feeling the effects of the workout.

The group of moms that were there for the class were wonderful and welcoming. Everyone was at a different fitness level which made me feel more comfortable. D didn’t complain at all the entire time. I occasionally gave him pieces of his fruit bar. Watching us moms workout seemed to keep him entertained, and the moms sang songs during a couple of the workouts. I have my next class scheduled for Saturday, and although my muscles are crying, I am super excited!

To find a local chapter of FIT4MOM near you and to find out more about the programs/services they offer, click here.

National Stroller Running Day

These past few months have been a whirlwind. We moved, my husband started a new job, and D has continued to keep us on our toes. It feels like there is always something needing my attention. Being a stay-at-home mom, there isn’t really a lot of “me time”. Even as I write this, D is taking a break from playing and is now nursing. Now that fall is officially here, it’s even easier to find an excuse to not exercise and eat some Halloween candy instead. That being said, I have learned to make it work. No excuses.

I have a jogging stroller and there is a lovely paved trail within 10 minutes walking distance of our home. My jogging stroller desperately needs an upgrade. It was bought second-hand and according to the manufacture date on the label, it is 10 years old. It’s very basic; no cushioning for D and no bells and whistles. It does the job, though, and gets us around. Today I looked outside and thought, “Ugh, I don’t want to go out in the rain.” I shooed that thought out the door and bundled D up and strapped him in the stroller. I put the rain cover on over the stroller and we headed on out. By the time we were halfway through my jog it had stopped raining, and I felt fantastic as we got home and walked through the door. Nothing beats a good stretch after a run.

I was gifted a coupon for a free week of Stroller Strides classes at our local Fit4Mom community. Stroller Strides is a 60-minute total body workout that incorporates the stroller and your surroundings. I love the idea because there is no need to worry about childcare since your child comes with you. I have some friends that do Stroller Strides and they all love it. I am also in love with the idea that the program is consisted of a group of moms demonstrating to their children that fitness is important. I will report back as to how I like it!

For you parents out there that love hitting the pavement with your little one in a stroller, mark November 8 on your calendar. November 8 is National Stroller Running Day. You can find a stroller-friendly race near you by visiting Run Stroller Run. If you’re not feeling an organized race, just go on a jog with your little one or see if a friend wants to tag along. BOB (those drool worthy strollers), Fit4Mom, Linkouture, and New Balance are sponsors and partners for the event. There is also a giveaway you can check out over at Mom’s Little Running Buddy (I am hoping the odds are in my favor and I win a gorgeous BOB Revolution Pro).

If you need a little push, check out the RunDouble app. I have it on my Android and love it. It uses GPS to track your distance and saves your stats so you can see how you are improving. I can also listen to Spotify while it’s running and it will continue to give me announcements on my intervals. It has different programs, including a Couch-to-5K, 10-K Starter Plans, 5K Improver, 10K Event Training, and Half Marathon Event Training. The first couple weeks of the Couch-to-5K program is free and then you have to purchase the app. For $1.59 you can get the full Couch-to-5K program, or for $3.20 you can get ALL of the above programs.

So get your laces tied, pop open that jogging stroller, and go hit the pavement. What are you waiting for?

Out on a jog on a crisp fall day

Out on a jog on a crisp fall day