Swim Life

Spending more time in the water. Less on land. No frivolous talk of plans. Just swimming.

Fave lil’ preworkout swim snack. Small bag of sea salt popcorn and a super short hazelnut latte with coconut milk. 

I don’t rely on the caffeine to push my workout. I drink decafeinnated tea seven days a week. The occasional latte is a nice way to warm up for these chilly LA night swims. I usually consume eighty ounces of water throughout my work day. So by the time I hit the pool later I’m pretty hydrated. Thinning out any heart rushing effects compliments of Starbucks.

Friday’s Runner’s Green

Took my running gear to work yesterday anticipating a lunch run. Didn’t happen. Going for it again today. Refuse to let retail holiday hours wreck certain fitness goals that I’ve set. Shopping for new running shoes this weekend. Stoked. Dig on this green I had for breakfast. 

  

lots of spinach 

frozen cherries 

frozen banana 

flaxseed with blueberries 

chia seed

Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Protein

unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

Mrs. Cooper’s Thanksgiving Throwdown 

By now I’m sure all the remnants of last week’s feast have long since disappeared in the land of leftovers. Friends and family gatherings brought us all a little bit closer as we expressed gratitude for our bounty. The fact that your aunty on yo’ daddy’s side didn’t make that same dry ass pound cake like last year did not go unnoticed. Giving all glory to God. Clap back!

 
Hours before the plate passin’ began a few dozen cousins decided to stop by Mrs. Cooper’s house for her annual Thanksgiving Throwdown. Nah it ain’t a cooking show on Food Network. But it was hot as hell up in her living room. You know the house. The big blue shiny one that sits on top of the hill. 5045 W. Slauson Avenue. Also known as 24HR Fitness Slaucienega. 

ATC Thanksgiving Throwdown 
If you don’t know by now I’m speaking of one of the most beloved fitness instructors in LA, Claudine Cooper. Minneapolis bred. Hollywood fed. No hype needed. She’s as real as they come. Bankable fitness star? Indeed. Her classes play out like an endless drama you can’t stop watching. Yes, she’s created her own Empire and everyone’s part of the cast.

  
Last Thursday morning was no different. Except the usual hour of punishing exercises extended into 90 minutes of, “What in the hell is really going on?” Welcome to the throwdown boys and girls. Mrs. Cooper came out swingin’. Ali style. In the midst of the blur she managed to pop in and out of small pockets of space demoing each drill. Throwing in a few modifications while calling out each cousins name. At one point Jeremy breathlessly asked, “How does she remember everybody’s name?” I mumbled something about her being a writer and having super powers. Slight delirium had already set in and we were barely past the warmup. 

ATC Thanksgiving Throwdown 
And that’s pretty much how the next 84 minutes went. Claudine cajoled and scolded. Daring you to stand up or jump on the furniture. This was her house and although you were invited she expected you to earn your keep. Music went up. Sweat flew. Pressed hair became damp. Scarves got tightened. Loose hair mysteriously whipped up into a bun or ponytail. Legs touched. Arms slapped. Folk yelled. Some cried. Mrs. Cooper was unfazed. She continued to press. Until the very end. And I mean the end.

ATC Thanksgiving Throwdown 
When it was all said and done there were nothing but smiles and talk of how much we’d all pretty much earned multiple plates at dinner later. Hugs and high fives were exchanged. Phones came out. Snapchats were updated. Mrs. Cooper of course was the center of everyone’s universe. There’s just something special about the gatherings at her house. The energy is absolutely contagious. She keeps it one hundred. Everyone’s always welcomed. Whether you’re related or not, it’s all love at the big blue shiny house on the hill. We’re all family here. See ya’ next year.

  

  
  
   
 
   

  

 

  

   

Last Night’s Run

Solid. No breaks. Steady pace. Felt good to be running at night. Passing cars of people trying to duck LA’s cold. Started off on a popular path in Culver City. Eventually taking it to the streets because the path is pretty dark in a lot of spots. Safety first. 

No sidewalks for the kid either. Too many cracks. Too much knee pounding. At least in the street I felt my shoes absorb most of the impact and I could see the cracks. Finished as strongly as I started. Newbie runner on deck. Baby steps. Indeed. 

  

Write Past Wrongs

The past plagues us all. It’s like an unwanted breath on the neck when someone is hinting at romance while your body language suggests they pop a couple of Altoids. Over the years I’ve made a game of running from mine. Only to find myself thrown headlong back into that which I’d proposed was now behind me. Days. Months. Years. Matters not how long it takes. The past will always remain present if you don’t deal with shit. I mean really deal with it.

I use to find comfort in its embrace. Settling for that which is familiar. Expecting it to find me as it had once left me. Broken. Unhinged. All too compromising. Even giddy at times at the very thought of someone else zeroing in on me when clearly they were just making room for their own landing. 

As of late I find myself more willing to write about what has already happened instead of letting it remain present in my energy space. It’s a healthier approach. One that is more honest. It also takes the power of who or what represents such away. Leaving me more aware yet unaffected. And that is the goal. At least for me. Y’all still gonna have to wait for the movie. 

About Shon

Bear with me while I update my blog. Still figuring out layouts and where my categories have suddenly disappeared to. In the meantime read how I got here. Cheers!

In April 2013 I was an overweight, heavy drinking emotional eater who no longer recognized my own mirrored image. Filled with anger and resentment at what I perceived as life’s disappointments. Not realizing that it was me. I was the problem.

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I had settled for a life that was not my own. One that was sad and unfulfilling. No one person or series of events was responsible. Only me. It was after this moment of realization is when I decided to take my life back. And I haven’t looked back since. I made health and fitness not only a priority it became a lifestyle. Mine.

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I’d been an off and on vegan over the years. Once I truly made the health connection to the foods that I was consuming I decided to fully commit. After doing so I experienced an increase in energy, weight loss and shorter recovery times in between workouts. I loved my life. Every aspect of it.

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Then like a Lifetime movie, tragedy struck. In September 2014 I seriously injured my right ankle. I didn’t know it at the time. Initially I was misdiagnosed so I continued to train on what I thought was just a bad sprain. No bueno. it was much worse. A couple of fractures, ligament damage and bone bruising.

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Since then I’ve gone through, x-Rays, MRIs, two sets of crunches, two walking boots and an array of ankle braces and physical therapy.

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Needless to say this past year has been a disheartening journey. Lots of ups and downs. Fluctuating weight. Poor eating habits. And yes depression. I watched a year’s worth of clean eating and having an active lifestyle slowly disappear. Wondering if I’d ever get it back. I still wonder.

And yes my ankle has been prone to re-injury. Probably because I won’t stop skating for more than a week.

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Follow me on my journey to get healthy and strong again. Not interested in who I was before. Only in who I am becoming. Dig ya’ for cruising by. Wigtoss!

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Sitting At A Bus Stop

Missed two buses so far in my attempt to head to a job where I am invisible to most. Hardly seen by others. The humidity that swallows the air burns my ears. Head is on fire. Too many thoughts. Could be attributed to my unit’s lack of air conditioning.

A slight rain specks my phone. Cooling nothing. Is it possible to be this alone?

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NTC Tour Throwback

Happy granola eating coffee contemplating maybe I’ll have a green juice instead throwback
Thursday to ya’. I’ve decided that the world could use a bit more laughter. Here’s my daily crack. Follow me on Instagram @gymclasseshero. I’m weigh more funnier there. Bye Felicia!

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Pre-Workout Tips

There’s nothing worse than feeling sluggish during a workout. You’re low on energy and all you can think about is the finish line. Here’s the kicker, you haven’t even gotten started yet. You lose out on achieving any benefits from that yoga sesh or kickboxing class by not properly preparing beforehand.

Here are a few simple tips to keep you all in check(singing in my Busta Busta voice) Like it says I’ve learned the hard way.

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