First Love Yourself e-Course Is Here!

First Love Yourself

Imagine ignoring the negative voice inside your head and doing what you love and dream DESPITE what it whispers in your ear.

Imagine being able to love and accept yourself as the “perfectly imperfect” soul you are, love your life NOW and be happy where you are NOW.

Imagine giving up dieting and extreme exercising and embracing a lifestyle that allows you to enjoy your workout and have your favorite treats while living a clean – eating, healthy lifestyle with the 80/20 rule.

Imagine creating a vision of your most outrageous goals, seeing it everyday and achieving them.

Imagine beginning a practice of gratitude to help you have more to be grateful for!

Imagine having superhero I AM affirmation statements to draw on daily and to lift you up when you are down and having the tools to quiet your mind to create more peace in your life.

If you are ready to have an incredible shift in your life then the First Love Yourself e-course is just for you! Click here to learn more….

Clothes Strong Enough For An Alaskan Strongman

Clothes For An Alaskan Strongman

As retired mushers, Mark and I had numerous pieces of clothing from a company known for its “brown duck” pants and coveralls popular with mushing people and their handlers. Last fall, we set out to find a pair of bibs from the brown duck company and had a heck of a time finding a pair that was long enough for the big dude. After going from store to store, store to store, and…well you get the picture I was disappointed to find out most of the new styles for this season had a maximum inseam of 32″. With Mark being a solid 6’6″ a 32″ inseam would definitely qualify as “flood pants” for him! Although with as tall as he is, he usually can get by with a 34″ inseam, but only making pants to a size 32??? In the past we bemonaed Big and Tall stores were really just “big” stores. In the few stores we’ve tried to find pants to fit Mark, we can find pants with 50-60″ waists, but not with longer inseams. We always wondered where is the tall part of the store!

An Alaskan Strongman needs strong clothes!

Loyal Customers

For a good part of 30 years, when it came to getting Mark work pants or jeans to fit and be well made, we could count on the said Brown Duck company. That was until last fall when I went in search of the coveralls. Thankfully one of the stores in town had a pair left over from the previous year’s order and when he tried them on, they fit in his backside (all the squatting he’s been doing has made that grow!) and in length! However, for the first time in almost 30 years, he was extremely disappointed in the quality of the hardware on the snap and buttons. Each time he wears them, the worries they are going to break. I thought to myself, maybe it’s time to try something new…

As a haul truck driver, Mark spends 12 hours at a time behind the wheel if this bad boy and needs comfortable, durable pants!

The something new, really isn’t THAT new. I first heard of the company in the 90’s when they introduced The Bucket Boss, a handy canvas cover for a 5 gallon bucket to carry tools and then again in the early 2000’s when they introduced the Long Tail T, the cure for plumbers butt! They then went off our radar a bit when we moved to our remote cabin and lived without TV for 12 years and subsequently retired from sled dogs. Besides, Mark and I tend to be very loyal and stick with things we know and like. That was until the Brown Duck coverall issue.

Duluth Trading Company has been a long-time sponsor of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and we heard great things about their products from mushers and handlers. I thought I’d write the company a quick note explaining our disappointment in the other company’s bibs and asked if they would be interested in letting Mark test out some of their clothes. I was pleasantly surprised I heard back from Kate a couple of days later with a resounding yes! At the time they were extremely busy with Black Friday specials, new store openings and the Christmas shopping season. After a few emails back and forth, sometime in mid-January a huge Duluth Trading box was delivered to our front door. Mark texted me and said it was “like Christmas”! Not only did they send a pair of pants for Mark, they sent an awesome pair of insulated bibs and jacket, but they also sent some pieces for me too!

Something New; Pants From Fire Hose?

As soon as Mark tried on the pair of DuluthFlex Fire Hose Pants, he was SOLD! From the mouth of the dude himself:

What I like about my work pants is that they are so soft and comfortable right away. Not like (the other pants) where you have to wash the a bunch of times before they soften up. I also like all the belt loops; keeps the belt where it belongs! I like the ease of getting stuff in and out of the nice, big pockets. I like the quality of the construction. All in all, like much better than the last pair of (the other company’s) pants I bought. I will be a Duluth customer from here on out!!!

One of the reasons Mark wanted the bibs was his belt cutting into his back while sitting for 12 hours at time bouncing around in his haul truck. The back of the Fire Hose pants have a long channel as a belt loop, not just one little strip of fabric, that “keeps the belt where it belongs!”. (See photo below, courtesy of Duluth Trading) Since the Fire Hose pants entered his life, the bibs have been worn only once or twice, when I insist on washing them! We will definitely buying more of these in the future! (And this writer realized as she was writing the article, she didn’t get a picture of The Dude in his favorite pants! I will add to this posting at a date in the near future).

Duluth Trading DuluthFlex Fire Hose Carpenter Pants

Alaskan Hardgear Bibs Good Enough For An Alaskan Strongman

Unfortunately the jacket was too big for the Incredible Hulk (yep, he keeps growing), but when he tried on the Alaskan Hardgear bibs, he commented out loud “I wish I had a pair of these while running dogs!” Again, in the words of the Dude:

The bibs I haven’t worn near as much as the pants, but I like all the pockets and they are plenty warm. I wore them at the start of the Iditarod, at 20-30 below, and stayed warm being a spectator. Once I got them zipped and cinched up, they were pretty easy to walk in. Construction seems top notch. Will have to wear them more!!!

Duluth Trading Bibs

In the past, we had bibs custom made to fit his size. With him being broad in the chest, most bibs were too tight on top and too short on the bottom. As you can see in this photo with musher and Duluth Trading sponsored Nathan Schroeder (we knew this guy when he was a pre-teen hanging out at races helping his dad!) at the re-start of the Iditarod in Fairbanks last week. It was 20 below at the start and only warmed up to about 10 below! We were total spectators, not petting a single dog, not bending over to put on a single bootie and not scooping a single pile of dog poo! (There’s a blog already started on the spectator topic…watch for it in the next week or so).

As mentioned earlier, I received a few pieces of clothes as well. I LOVE them and I will share my experience in future post. As this product review comes to a close, The Aging Youthful Dude and I give Duluth Trading’s clothes two thumbs up! Check out their website or one of their retail locations (more are opening every year and we are waiting to hear when a retail store will come to Fairbanks! Thanks Kate and Duluth Trading, you’ll be seeing more orders from this Alaskan Strongman!

We’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite Duluth Trading products. One of mine, is their commercials. HELLO….they are hilarious!!! Leave us a message on our Facebook or Instagram pages with your faves.

Get Fit In 12 Minutes a Week?

The headline “Get Fit In 12 Minutes a Week” is not just one to capture your attention. As a fitness instructor and someone who doesn’t have the time  or likes to spend hours in the gym, I am always on the lookout for fast, effective workouts.

A Killer Workout in Four Minutes

When I first heard of the Tabata protocol, I thought to myself “yeah, whatever, how can a four-minute workout a couple days a week get someone fit?” One thing I’ve learned in my 50 rides around the sun, keeping an open mind is a way to learn new things to make life easier!

The History of Tabata

According to Active.com;

Dr. Izumi Tabata developed the High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, exercise regimen known as the Tabata Protocol while serving as head coach for the Japanese speed skating team.

Tabata and his team conducted research on two groups of athletes. The first group trained at a moderate intensity level while the second group trained at a high-intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high-intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

The results; Group 1 had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group 2 showed much more increase in their aerobic system than Group 1, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.

In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

What is a Tabata?

As mentioned earlier, a Tabata is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout four minutes long. Yes, four minutes. F – O – U – R. You read that right. When done right, four minutes is all you need. As the Active.com site states in the article referenced above “it will be the longest four minutes of your life.”

Group Fitness

I love using Tabatas the fitness classes I teach! The workout portion of my classes are usually around 30 minutes, with a minimum of a five minute warmup and cool down. One of the favorites I’m teaching right now is Monday Mix, 30 minutes of bodyweight HIIT intervals and/or Tabatas sandwiched between 15 minutes of a yoga-inspired warmup and cool-down stretch, including a long lavender-scented facial towel savasana. (I wish someone else would teach a class like this so I could take it!).

An Aging Youthful Tabata

Here is Tabata anyone of any fitness level can do. However, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure you are fit for excercise. Also, be sure to do a proper warmup before and cool down/stretch afterward. Give this little gem a go 3 times in a week, just be sure to have at least one (if not two) days in-between to give your body a chance to recover. Then come back and leave a comment or comment on the linked post on our Facebook or Instagram pages and tell us what you think.

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