Saturday, November 22, 2014


I know I haven't updated yet this week, but it may have something to do with the crazy Glasgow, London, Atlanta, Chicago travelling that's been going on.

I've finished SHF and have figured that I need to go back to body weight workouts given the facilities situation for the majority of the next few months (read: practically none). Finishing up a 21 day yoga challenge has also inspired me to try a new flows, and *gasp*, flows longer than 45 minutes (because someone here finds it hard to concentrate after that long).

Promising more updates and photos later tonight. Mainly I'm glad to be back in my own bed, even if it's only for 2 nights before we set off on our next adventure.  
Sophie Life Explorer

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. All with plenty of hugs.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lucky travelling

I'm incredibly lucky to be able to travel the world for work. This week, I was in NYC, then the UK, and am currently sitting in a hotel in Madrid, Spain.

I'm incredibly tired with the amount of travelling and work involved (including an international red eye flight sandwiched between two meetings), but there are definitely rewards for the effort. I'm remembering to be grateful for the opportunity, especially when I'm stressed, hungry, tired and sore.

Segovia is so very European and beautiful, even if the weather didn't cooperate with ominous clouds all around. 

I find feeding myself right and exercising to a plan difficult while travelling, but I do make the effort when I can because I just feel that much better when I look after my body. I have one final workout left of SHF and have been keeping up with the yoga challenge (with modifications to keep within time restrictions as needed). I've had fun with workouts, making full use of pull-up bars and squat racks when they've been available because, why not? 

I've made sensible food choices for at least 50% of the time, but the other 50% have been delicious but not too good for me. Roast suckling pig, meat platters and fried pig ears and pimento peppers anyone? Mmmmm fat.

Back to the UK (Scotland) tomorrow, then in London for a few more days before Atlanta, then finally home to Chicago for the weekend. Phew!

Happy and grateful indeed. Hasta luego!

Sophie Life Explorer

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. All with plenty of hugs.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Life goes full circle

So I'm back in NYC yet again, this time for a conference. While I don't particularly feel excitement anymore coming to the city that never sleeps, I'll always be grateful for the opportunities that bring me here.

After my post last week, I spent a day each in Columbus OH, Washington D.C. (or close enough) and Atlanta GA (not really, but the biggest city near where I was) before returning home. By Friday night, I was exhausted and honestly ready to do nothing. I didn't even unpack.

Not that I had much time to relax: the weekend was so busy that M had actually thought to put together a schedule (which actually made sure we got everything done). Chores around the house was followed by a yoga session, training, a well-deserved massage (ahhhh), a long drive in traffic into Chicago, dinner at Chick-Fil-A (not the healthiest choice but convenience sometimes just wins out), a spectacularly wonderful Jason Mraz concert and a nightcap affogato. That was just Saturday.

Sunday was less crazy: EPL + workout while watching, packing for the next fortnight, the Dr Who season finale while doing some paperwork before heading to the airport, a plane ride than then finally arriving in NYC. 

Back to the Jason Mraz concert though. I'm always amazed how music can bring people together. I have my doubts whether M and I would have gotten together if it weren't for the music or whether it would simply have meant we would have gotten together later. Perhaps the latter, but music and the the eloquence of how it phrases our emotions is to thank for a lot of things being put into motion. And that's pretty wonderful.

Sitting at the concert, I was consistently filled with wonder and inspiration and occasionally got a little teary, not only because Mraz's voice and songwriting are truly magical (because they are), but because everyone finds that music resonates within them at some level. I love feeling emotion (for the most part, sometimes I wish I didn't show it as easily) as it makes me feel alive. Needless to say, it was a very blissful 3 hours for me.

My workouts have been on point this week and I even managed a jog around Central Park with a colleague during the day (slowly for 4.4 km in 27:14). I've been keeping up with the YogaDownload challenge every day even though some days it's been hard to fit in even 20 minutes worth, and finishing up the final stage of SHF. I'm getting strong and it definitely feels wonderful. Now to find the next program to tackle. Any suggestions?

Eating has been less on point, with little indulgences here and here, but on the whole, it's been a good week. This week will be challenging, but nothing I can't handle. One more day in NYC, before heading back to Columbus, then on to the UK and definitely looking forward to spending the weekend in Madrid.

Life is wonderful.

And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is
It takes some fears to make you trust
It takes those tears to make it rust
It takes the dust to have it polished

Ha la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is so full of
Ah la la la la la la life is so rough
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is our love
Ah la la la la la
Sophie Life Explorer

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. All with plenty of hugs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

400 miles from home

It's been almost a week since my last post and I'm currently typing from a hotel room in Columbus OH. The drive over took two days, with a short stop at Purdue, and a long stop in Indianapolis.

Taking a step back though, I've been keeping myself busy over the last week. While there's been a somewhat/not-really/not-sure-if-I'm-actually-doing-enough-work rush for the month's upcoming work trips, for the most part, I've had plenty of time to cook and move and generally just look after myself.

I'm still going strong with #fallfreedom, making sure that I'm being kind to myself and moving each day and I must say I've seen positive changes in my mindset already (although I do think of myself as a pretty happy person already).

It's meant that I've been spending more time outside, and have been well rewarded by some beautiful sights, and the cold.

My running pace seems to be getting progressively slower and while it's certainly not ideal (because I really want to be Road Runner), it's fine. At least I'm outside, and moving, and still enjoying myself. 4km runs are manageable for now, but who knows, come spring I might get bitten by the running bug and want to do something crazy like run a half-marathon or something. Maybe. I'd need convincing from someone willing to be a running partner though. Or make friends with a baby deer who can at least start off at my pace.

I still haven't convinced myself that the treadmill is 'fun', but I do feel sweaty and successful afterwards.


Also, I love back bends and BlackMilk leggings. The perfect combination and by all the Instagram posts, at least 5% of the world agrees with me. And training Wushu twice a week - I find my body responds much better when training frequency is a bit higher.

Short story from a movement perspective, I've been moving a lot, and in fairly different ways. This makes me happy - all the oxygen and endorphins must be doing me good.  

After the Sunday morning outdoor run though, it was time to pick up a rental car and drive east. And then some more east. 

It wasn't all boring work though - I got to stop by Purdue and catch up with my cousin. Who I haven't seen in 13 years. 13 years! Last time we met we were far from being adults.

Who would have thought we would be meeting in the Midwest? The universe works in strange ways sometimes. And I need some sunglasses, or rather, need to remember to wear mine. 

Driving a bit further east, I arrived in Indianapolis Sunday night for a conference.  

While my job is still still squarely in a 'doesn't-really-belong-in-a-box' category, it's incredibly fun to meet new people and learn more about what they do. Many a fun conversation was had. Some not about work. One dinner I ended up at a table full of runners - there are many out there it would seem!

Also, the JW Marriott Indianapolis has a pretty awesome gym. Plenty of free weights, a pull-up machine, and an area just to do your own stuff like body-weight circuits - all things that make me happy. 

Today consisted of more driving east so I've ended up in Columbus, Ohio for a few more meetings, before flying east to Washington DC, then south to Atlanta, before flying home to Chicago. What a busy week!

To help me organise my yoga, I'm grateful that the YogaDownload 21 day challenge has started up again, which is bringing new flows into my workout rotation. Right now, the less decisions I need to make, the more manageable things feel. This week is going to fly by. 

Sophie Life Explorer

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. All with plenty of hugs.