Truth & Deliberate Positivity

“There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.” – Zora Neale Hurston

Really glad it doesn’t say “lies”! A little sad it doesn’t say “booty”

Another year in the books, and I am currently experiencing that post-holiday clean slate/holy-shit-it’s-been-a-year-already motivational euphoria/gut check. If you’re not feeling it yet, check out this article by Tim Urban, The Tail End. I’m not a big fan of pizza but that part about prioritizing the important people in your life… Word, Tim. Word.

In addition to pizza, I am also not into Jesus. Does being an atheist harsh my holiday spirit, you ask?! Hell no! I love the rituals of the holidays: the lights, the wrapping, the movies, the tall socks and hoodies. It’s even better when you get to spend it with my family. (Yes, my family.) Add some snow in the mix, and, well, it really doesn’t get better than that. (Okay, maybe if the venue were the thermal springs at Vals, but hey now, let’s not get greedy.)

It really doesn’t happen enough, the time with my family, in particular my cousin MJ. This year’s visit was particularly splendid, not for any grand reason, on the contrary, for all the little ones; specifically one adorable two-year-old who is already a lover of books, and who can throw some serious shade to those who question her independence.

Much of my week in Northwestern Iowa was spent on my keister, but I did manage to haul it, the keister, mid-snowstorm to a local globo gym. My 60:00 experience at Anytime Fitness, was a gentle reminder of how much I love  my home gymnasium, the warmth of sunshine, and podcasts. Podcasts? Because, Murphy’s law says that there can be 15 empty machines, but you will no doubt be sandwiched by the two most talkative bitches in the gym and the hooded mouth-breather, whose only pounding is the hammering of his heels on the belt of the treadmill. No judgment.

On the upside, some attentive podcast listening was performed. Power Athlete Radio featured guest Brad Snyder, who had an epic story of resilience. He spoke on his methods for negotiating challenge and on his personal “pillars of life”: deliberate positivity and championing the community you are a part of.

“We interact with people hundreds of times a day; what were those interactions like? You went to Starbucks and got a coffee, or you went to Whole Foods to grab some groceries. You have these transactional relationships with all these people along the way… Most of us just blow through those interactions without even thinking about the fact that I was interacting with a human being. And that person has feelings and emotions and a life of their own, and is negotiating their own challenges.”

December was a challenging month for me, and in retrospect, I can see that a contributing factor of that was indeed, losing a positive mindset.

What word will you assign to 2016? And what pillars will you use to negotiate the challenges of the year ahead?

31 Dec | Th
Warm-up | Run x 400m
BB progression

Work | EMOM x 21:00 (75#)
Curtis P (limiting factor – R glute)

Stretch | 15:00

30 Dec | W
Warm-up | 10:00
Wall press x 10
Back squat x 5
Box jump x 3

Work | 5:00 class
Back squat 4 x 3 (135,145,155,160#)
4 sets:
BTN Seated press x :45 (35#)
Pallof press x 10 ea
DUs x 50
Rest x 2:00

Work | O-Lifting
4 sets:
Banded arm circles x 10 fwd/back
Snatch balance x 3
Snatch x heavy single (90#)

Stretch | 20:00

29 Dec | Tu
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
OH walking lunges x 10
OHS x 5
Ring rows x 10

Work | 6:00 class
EMOM x 16:00
Evens: bench press x 3 (75#)
Odds: snatch x 3 (65#)
EMOM x 16:00
Evens: Tire flips x :20
Odds: AD x 10 cals

Stretch | 10:00

I am feeling recharged and am excited to get back to my goals in and outside of the gymnasium. But seriously, the 400 meter running…


A post shared by Maggie Shipstead (@shipstead) on

This is what happens when the aerobic base narrows and the buddha belly broadens. But, I own where I am at right now. Moving forward… And oh dang, them Curtis P’s deliver on the glute activation. DOMS for days!

What do you do when you’re purging all the holiday vices from your casa? You bake scratch Maple Pecan Bourbon Brownies, that’s what you do!

Booze + Chocolate

And then promptly give them to your neighbor.


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