f i s h r i v e r c a n y o n

1 round-trip train ride. 5 days. 8 Peace Corps Volunteers. 500 pictures. 75 kilometers.

Perks of being a Peace Corps Volunteers include opportunities to travel and see the world. Namibia is a country of contrasting beauty, a sentiment included in the nation’s anthem.

Last August, seven volunteers and I took on the challenge of hiking the second largest canyon in the world, Fish River Canyon. Located in southern Namibia, Fish River Canyon hiking trail stretches about 90 kilometers and is one of the most visited attractions in Namibia.

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Fish River Canyon hiking trail contains a steep descent, boulders, rocks, deep sand, slippery river crossings, baboons, snakes, scorpions, and wild game throughout the canyon.

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Being a beginner hiker, here are some things to consider if you plan on taking on Fish River Canyon.

Tips if you plan to hike Fish River Canyon:

Print a route map to carry along. Luckily, one person in our group thought to do that, otherwise, we’d probably still be hiking to this day.

Know your fitness level. Although minimal hiking experience is needed, the trails are a mixture of stones, deep sand, grass, bedrock and in some places steep ascends or descends. It requires moderate fitness level. You will be spending the major of the days walking under the blistering sun, which can add to the difficulty of the hike. Many groups finish the hike in 5 days, but taking the shortcuts can cut about a day and a half off of the hike.

Food and drink

A water filter pump is a huge advantage. Water purification tablets if not.

5-day meal plan for Fish River Canyon

Sleeping

You can either sleep in the open or in a lightweight tent. We had a mix in our group, and those sleeping in tents got the better sleep. The wind picked up at night and sand in the face isn’t a great thing to wake up to. Take a super-warm sleeping bag regardless.

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❤ Krystal

 

rewiring.

Today, I had a blog view from Brazil. That’s pretty awesome. I hope that they weren’t lost on the internet and actually intentionally found me. I know if I found a Brazilian blog, I would be lost. Which happens quite a bit for me. Including today. I started my summer class, good ol’ Anatomy and Physiology I. This is actually my second attempt at this subject. Well, I got lost going to class. I’ve been to this campus over a dozen times, but it was over a year ago. But, still. It’s embarrassing. My lack of direction and whereabouts is atrocious. 

Have you ever had a really great invention idea and some stole it? I have. I mean, it’s not like I ever put the idea into fruition. But, when I was about six years old, I thought it was a grand idea to create a retractable sunshade for the car. Living as a Californian girl (for three years of my life), I always wondered why my parents had to always put their cardboard accordion folded sunshade with the tropical sunglasses on the dash each and every time we got out of the car. I thought to my six year old Krystal self, “why can’t they build that in?” I even verbalized it to my parents one time, without knowing the word “retractable,” and was brushed off with something like, “that’s just not how things are.” Do me a favor, and do not Google “Retractable Auto Sun Shade.” SkyMall, baby!

This week I lifted. A lot. With my work schedule being crazy, as ush, I found made time to lift after work, with a few of my workouts crossing over until the next day. I am doing my best to rewire my routines. If I make the effort and take the time to pack a gym bag, I am making sure I go to the gym. In my mind, part of rewiring is taking pride and appreciation in the time it takes to plan ahead, which should make it harder for me to give into anything other than that. And even if that isn’t the case, it usually challenges me to consider the time I put into planning.

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June 2, 2015 Workout Sets x Reps
WU: Treadmill 1. 00 mile
DB Step Ups 3 x 15
Romanian DL 3 x 15
Leg Press 3 x 15
Stiff Leg DB DL 3 x 15
Leg Ext. 3 x 15
Leg Curls 3 x 15
DB Lunges 3 x 15
Standing Calf Raises 3 x 15
Seated Calf Raises 3 x 15
June 3, 2015
WU: Treadmill 1.00 mile
Bench Med Grip 1 x 15
2 x 15
Incline Med Grip 3 x 15
Dips with Plate 3 x 15
Incline DB Flyes 3 x 15
June 4, 2015
WU: HIIT- Treadmill 15 minutes
DB Rows 1 x 15
1 x 10
2 x 10
Bent Over Rows 3 x 15
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 1 x 15
2 x 15
Iso Row 3 x 15
BO Two DB Row 1 x 15
2 x 15
DB Shrugs 3 x 15
Back Ext 3 x 15
June 8, 2015
WU: HIIT- Treadmill
DB Shoulder Press 3 x 15
Side Lat Raises 1 x 15
2 x 10
Seated BO Delts 3 x 15
Arnold DB Press 3 x 15
BO Rows with Plate 3 x 15
Standing Calf Raises 3 x 15
Seated Calf Raises 1 x 15
2 x 15

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

❤ Krystal

year of transition.

Do you have a familiar face? Every few months I meet a person who either knows someone who looks like me, talks like me, or both. I for one like to think of myself as a one-of-a-kind gem or precious stone, such as a crystal. See what I did there? But, ever since I was 13 or 14, I’ve been told I have a “twin”. Her name may be Kendra and she seems to follow me from coast to coast. This year, I found out she previously worked for the rehab facility I interned at and today, I found out she used to workout at my gym. I have no clue if she’s the same person, but it’s amusing to think I could have a look alike out there. So, Kendra or whoever you are, I would like meet you (and possibly judge if we really look alike). I personally like to credit Atong for being my long lost twin. A woman can dream, right? image IMG_6212 Any who! My calves hurt. And, so do my arms. My everything hurts. In the spirit of getting back on track with my workouts, I decided to hire a personal trainer. I’ve always been a person to rely on my feelings on whether to workout and eat right. The quality (and quantity, for that matter) of my training and dieting often times lands in the the in control of my moods. You heard me, a women can have M-O-O-D-S. Plural not singular. Take notes.

Here’s a few things I learned about being a “feeler” when it comes to working out (adapted from BodyBuilding.com): 1) Easily discouraged.  *I want results sooner rather than later. If I don’t see changes after a couple workouts, I am usually on to the next best thing.

2) Eat or drink for comfort. No limits. *Beer, cookies, cookies, cookies, and cookies. 

3) Self-conscious in the weight room. *I think everyone is watching me do something wrong, I mean isn’t that the reason for all those mirrors?

4) Extremely enthusiastic, so I train hard—maybe too hard. When I’m not enthusiastic, I struggle to get to the gym at all. *Many times my competitiveness and enthusiasm lead to injury because I push myself beyond what I am truly capable of doing and the cycle of pity begins.

Maybe, you’re like me. If you are, there is hope. Just like every other aspect of life: MAKE. A. PLAN. That has been the biggest hurdle for me. But, even one step pass that- Be proud of yourself. EACH. STEP. OF. THE. WAY. For myself, I think a lot of my discouragement comes from comparing my current self to what I was at my “best” self. I forget to compare all the training, sweat, blood, tears, sore muscles, aches, and pains. I need to remember to be proud of myself for each step in reaching my goals.

Limits. I need to learn that indulging is not a bad thing. But, it should not control my life. Excessive anything is usually not a good thing.

Be myself. Who cares if I am doing it wrong? I’m trying. There are so many resources on how to do things right. But, how will I ever learn if I don’t make a few mistakes along the way. I’ve heard that one the your worse enemy is reading about the world, and not going out to see for yourself. I, for one was guilty of reading and hoarding knowledge about how to do something, but never making the initial step into actually doing it. Seriously, I read about yoga for years, but it wasn’t until this past semester I finally took a class.

Don’t take on the world (too quickly). Yeah, I wanna look good by my 10-year reunion and all, but be smart. By default, I typically end up as the “team leader” among my friends. For example, in January two of my girlfriends and I decided we wanted to run a half marathon in April. You can imagine my enthusiasm when by January 24th I had already calculated about 50 miles and by January 31, I could barely walk. Really?! And from February to May I sat on the couch and ate cookies. Pace yourself, girl!

So, short story long. This is my year of transition. 28 years old will be a good year (even though I spent two months thinking I was 29), and it begins with the steps I decide to make each and everyday. Today is a good day for a good day. Today is also a good day to decide to have a good year! image

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Hey there friends!

I have an exciting announcement for you!!!

But, first, let’s take a selfie!

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Can you see my excitement?

I have been chosen as a #FoamFanatics Ambassador!

What exactly does that mean?! Watch below!

As a Foam Fanatic, I have the opportunity to participate in a 5K Foam Fest! I also get the opportunity to earn prizes when friends use my discount code (FF5672) to register for a race. Along with that, this unique code gets YOU $5 off your race registration!!! How awesome is that? Tell yo kids, tell yo wife, tell yo husbands, too!

I will also be participating in the 5K Foam Fest this fall in Dallas!!! Not in Dallas? 5K Foam Fest is taking place all over the globe click here to see when the next one is near you.

Hope to see you in DALLAS!

throwback thursday: relax, relax.

Originally posted August 22, 2011:

To be straightforward, most of us are just plain busy. Between work and other commitments with friends and family, we tend to forget that we all need time to relax. That’s the toughest pill I had to swallow this weekend. The good ol’ mom recommended chill pill accompanied with steroids and antibiotics prescribed to me from the emergency room doctor. Okay, my mom neither the doctor prescribed me the chill pill, but advice from friends and family made it evident I need to step back and take a breather. The past six months have just been go, go, go for me. Right now, I find myself four weeks deep into training for my first half-marathon in November. In the meanwhile, I am currently working a full-time job and a part-time job, while trying to spend time with Eli, stay faithful to my LifeGroup, attend to a garden, begin prepping to facilitate Financial Peace University at work, run at least three days a week, play on an outdoor soccer team, and all of this while keeping commitments with dear friends.

I think it was only a matter of time the God finally said, “Krystal, you are not superwoman.” So, this week, I am taking a break from just about everything to relax, catch up on some books, and bake.

Besides the fact the my Saturday morning run ended disastrously. Katie and I have found some fun ways to liven up our run. I am almost hesitant to share them, because I feel like they are such hidden treasures. First, if you are looking for a running app for your iPhone or smartphone, check on RunKeeper.com. It is pretty cool. You can add your Facebook friends that already use the app to your street team, that way you can cheer each other on, as well as track your miles/kilometers, calories burned, speed, and so on. You also get “badges” for longest runs, fastest runs, and what not. Check it out if you are looking for a new app. It also maps your run, so you can check it out on your phone or log in on your computer for all your stats.

Okay, so the hidden treasure. Check out RunningAlphabet.com. The goal is to run in EVERY letter of the alphabet. You can map out your runs prior to running them and then let the fun begin. If you are better at navigating you can try running to letter as you go. You can submit your completed letter to RunningAlphabet.com. Just follow the guidelines placed by the site creator on your letters.

Next week, after a little R&R I should be back to my training again. I will keep you all posted. If I have time. 🙂

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my fit fam.

Tomorrow I begin my summer nutrition course. Although I’m slightly excited to get back into the “groove” of books and school, I’m apprehensive. Apprehensive because I don’t think I’ve been able to find a good balance of school, work, and personal life without feeling like I’m lacking in one or more area at any given time. I used to be very diligent in writing everything down. I mean, EVERYTHING! Plans, budgets, workouts, schedules, ideas, to-dos, etc. I’m sure if I got back into creating my list, I would have an easier time transitioning back into school mode again without feeling overwhelmed, rushed, or flaky.
…….

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This weekend I made it out to Trailhead at the Trinity River. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. After my last post, Carrie texted me because she was just as excited as I was. Our friend Kristin “KK” was in town from Oklahoma for the weekend, so we all ventured down to Trailhead.

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As we showed up, they were just starting to lay mats down for the class. Carrie was hesitant, thinking we were heading to a yoga class. Which would probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for me at this point. My butt still hurts!

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For the next 45 minutes we endured series of squats, leg lifts, crunches, Spiderman pushups, side planks, planks, jumping jacks, and to top it off, sprints!!!

The look on KK’s face was priceless at the mention of sprints. All in all, we had a good time. I’m so proud of my girls. They rocked it. I have a lot of work to catch up on.

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We survived and lived to tell about it. We even got to enjoy the afternoon on the lake! Yeah, we workout!

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I plan on returning next week for a HIIT class. Anyone wanna join?

Have you ever gone to free classes in your area? Did you like it? Would you return?

❤ Krystal

fueling better.

Today, I ran. My muscles are sore and my body was telling me “no.” I didn’t run hard. I didn’t run far, but I ran.
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I lost vision of the goals that I had this year with my running hiatus. I still plan on competing in the TWU Sprint Tri this summer, so therefore, I ran.

Being a Sweat Pink Ambassador has not only provided with me a community of encouraging and inspiring women, who have helped me regain my focus, but sweating pink sometimes means trying out awesome products to tell you all about.

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Vega Sport is an affordable plant-based nutritional supplement unlike any other on the market.

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My issue lately has been finding the “energy” to get out the door, and that’s where Vega Sport Pre Workout Energizer comes to save the day.

I’ve been using Vega Sport Pre Workout Energizer before heading out on my runs. I mix a packet of pre workout with 8-12 ounces of water depending on the amount of “punch” I need. And lately, I’ve needed a lot of punch!

I had the best results consuming Vega Sport Pre Workout 15-20 minutes before my run.

Vega Sport takes a few seconds to really dissolve in my water, but once well dissolved, this pre workout goes down smooth without the artificial fruity flavor found in most pre workouts on the market.

This taste is not as sweet as other pre workouts I’ve used in the past. I enjoyed not having an overwhelming sugar taste in my mouth before a workout. Also, Vega Sport Pre Workout didn’t leave me with the “tingly” feeling. Which was a relief!

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Vega Sport Pre Workout Energizer really helped me get energized and helped with my endurance.

With my return to running, also brings the return of the fuel belt. PS_10f0755f-75f5-4d1a-ba1c-bd52859b5ba6

No better way to fuel better all around.

#FuelYourBetter

❤ Krystal