Monday, March 17, 2014

Creating Good Habits

It has almost been a month since Louis and I have graduated from the On-Ramp class at CrossFit Bay Area. We are slowly being integrated into the “regular” (it seems difficult to call it that because it is anything but “regular”) class but I guess that is true of all CrossFit classes. Our past experience with weight training has been different from the Olympic Lifts we are learning in CrossFit. Traditionally Mr. Rico and I would work a particular body part and do the recommended lifting for that area. For example with Leg Day that consisted of squats, lunges, extensions, etc. Now our workouts are more of a functional style of training which will consist of box jumps, deadlifts, thrusters, kettle bell swings and so on. We are enjoying the changes with this new program as they are explosive movements and are never boring. The fun part is that the WODs are timed and for me I love the competition. I can track not only how much I can do but also compare my time and weight lifted with that of others. I never really knew how competitive I am. Because I did not participate in competitive athletics growing up, the urge to go faster and strong then the person next to me is foreign…but I like it. Now I am constantly looking for ways to improve my fitness goals.

Deadlifts are my Favorite!
I recently read an article posted on titled 8 Habits of Highly Successful Fit People which for the most part was helpful. Like anything else we read we should discover what it means for us and take away what we feel could benefit us. Some of the habits I agree with and am already doing, while others I hope to adopt into my life. There was one that I am still skeptical about and requires more research on my part. You can check it out at the following link: .

After review of the habits I found that become successfully fit requires a major commitment to a lifestyle change. Of the 8 habits I pledge to work on the following two and then once it becomes second nature to me I plan to add a couple more until I have them all down. The first two habits that I plan on working on are: documenting my workout (which is something required of CrossFit anyway) and make fitness social; this is also an advantage of being a member of CrossFit; everyone gets to know each other and motivates each other. I have made more friends through CrossFit than in any other activity. Here is a shout out to Gary, LeeAnn, Amy, Andy, Kiersten, Christy, Thea, Jordan, Joe and Troy just to name a few. Thanks to Amy for checking my push-ups and making sure I was not cheating myself. You can see our group at!/pages/CrossFit-Bay-Area/147430358638783.

I hope this is helpful to you in continuing to stay committed to your fitness and wellness goals!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Get in A Quickie"

Mr. Rico and I complement each other well. I am good about starting something and he is better at finishing it. The other night we were crunched for time so we decided to do a twenty minute WOD at home aka a quickie. My husband got out his handy dandy dry erase marker and started to plan our “workout of the day.” As you can see he wrote the plan on our mirror. He does this often by the way and sometimes I look at the mirror in our bathroom and think I am in the Beautiful Minds movie…got to love him! It does not take much space or equipment to get an effective workout by the way, especially if you do it Con Ganas (with desire)!
The WOD consisted of 5 Pull Ups, 7 Thrusters and 10 Push Ups (they were decline by the way for added oomph!)
We set our phone timer for 20 minutes and repeated the work out without a rest until the 20 minutes were up. I believe we did about 6 to 7 cycles – we lost count after a while. They were the longest 20 minutes ever and they were killer.
We live in a small one bedroom apartment so space is not an issue. As for exercise equipment and furniture used:
·         A pull up bar which is easy to set up and remove
·         A set of dumbbells – pick a good weight that is challenging
·         Workout gloves – nothing fancy is needed. We use cheap leather gardening gloves with the fingers cut off
·         Ottoman – which was used for propping up our feet during the decline push ups
So there you have it. 20 minutes of fun with the one you love.
Added Bonus:
These power workouts are great for endurance and stamina by the way J!
Suffering together through a workout and encouraging one another strengthens your relationship too.
Grab your mate and get in a quickie!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Staying Committed

My husband aka Mr. Rico and I had been working out together as a couple for the past 7 years. And in that time we learned to motivate, encourage and even push one another. Working out with my husband has reaped great gains. Not only are we working on our health and fitness for the purpose of a longer life and quality of life together but through our challenges in improving one’s self we have experience great joy and appreciation for one another.

As we were driving home from our third CrossFit On-Ramp session (were beginners learn basic skills and techniques over 9 sessions to successfully transition into CrossFit) I began reflecting on one of our past goals. Last year Mr. Rico and I were intently watching the CrossFit Games wishing that someday that could be us competing. Then and there we had vowed to one another to try CrossFit in the New Year. We planned to try a few different “Boxes”; which is what CrossFit calls their gyms, before signing on the dotted line. And that we did, we tried a few and found CrossFit Bay Area. Dr. Thea Taylor, owner of CrossFit Bay Area impressed us with her lecture on nutrition and emphasis on technique. We found her to have a good solid, educated foundation in overall wellness. It is refreshing to be surrounded by likeminded people.

Training days have become date nights for us. Our marriage is stronger because of it. I have had to learn to trust my husband in ways I may not have known had it not been for our training together. The pleasure of working out as a couple is not my new discovery. There are at least 5 couples in our box. It is my personal opinion that couples like these will help make for a stronger more united community.

I encourage you to grab your partner and workout together after all a relationship is something we must continually work on in order for it to remain healthy and strong.

Here I am in front of the WOD “Workout of the Day” board.

Here is Mr. Rico practicing the proper technique of a Push Press.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Year, New Goals

Toni Rocha Rico

Artist, Life Coach and Columnist for Mover El Bote – Nuestra Voz

Most people describe Toni as having a calming effect. This calming nature comes from a lifetime of Reinventing, Recharging and Renewing herself as she has continually sought out self-leadership skills and the knowledge of overall wellness. The world can be a monotonous cycle where not much changes in the average lifestyle. What does change is our health or lack of it. As we age our body degrades and at some point the rate at which it degrades speeds up. Unfortunately in recent years it is reported that our youth is starting that cycle of degradation at an alarmingly younger age. Rather than blaming someone else Toni wants to empower the individual to take charge of their life.

Toni believes that we should all dare to dream and actively seek out our health through all aspects of wellness. She promotes three truths that can be defined as:

Reinvent – to create new version of something: to change radically the appearance, form, or presentation of something or somebody

Recharge – a process to restore power

Renew – to begin or take up again

As a first generation college student she had it in her heart to finish what she started. After graduating from Lubbock Christian University with a Bachelor’s in Organizational Management and a Master’s in Leadership Toni thought it necessary to apply what she has learned by actively pursuing new goals. New goals required the ability to recharge. With so many years of being the student you can be left drained. Physically Toni was ready to go. At age 43 she has been working on multiple projects. Currently she has new goals that requires renewing her lists of things to accomplish. With a new list of goals means reinventing who she is. For Toni this meant becoming NSCA CPT certified, joining her local CrossFit and working out at a level to earn the right to compete, getting Zumba certified and teach others that fitness can be fun, eating Clean and continue her first passions of writing and art.

Join Toni on the journey to Reinvent, Recharge and Renew yourself.

One final thought: when attending a Women and Leadership session there is one message that has stuck with her:

It is never too late to start a new goal no matter what your age. Time will continue moving forward, it is up to you to decide what you are going to do with it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Working through the illustrations

I have been off and on talking to my mom on the phone tonight. Sadly I live 9 hours away from her. I am working on the illustrations for my first book which is based on stories that my grandmother would share with me about her children. I am asking mom about the house she grew up in and I am learning so much about her childhood. For some reason I found myself getting teary eyed as I drew the screen door of the kitchen and while looking up what the Gene Autry lunch box looked like. Hearing mom talk about her mother and how she would iron the tablecloths with liquid starch and how her dad worked so hard to provide for them makes me think how different things were back then.

I have so many stories to share and my fingers cannot type fast enough and there is not enough time in the day.

Until next time...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Learning that less is more

I had hoped to post a new blog at least once a week but I have been busy getting back in the groove this year. My husband and I have decided to take the P90X Challenge. In order to fit it in in our day we have decided that the best time to do it, or shall I say the only time to do it is at 5:30 am. Aside from that I am learning about computer graphics, interface with Photo Shop and at the same time trying to fit in my children's picture books venture.

After my first meeting with a critique group I learned that my picture book story is actually 3 picture books. I guess there are not that many 3000 word picture books out there.  I am learning to chop it up and visualize the layout on a picture book dummy template. That being said I am ahead of the game with my 12x12 picture book challenge. I hope every one is having a good jump start of their new year. I certainly am.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Taking the Characters Out of the Sketch Book for the First Time

As a new member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) I have gotten plugged in with many helpful individuals in the field. Being a part of this group has shown me that becoming an illustrator and writer is an attainable goal. I had casually toyed with the idea of someday becoming a writer of children’s books but for years abandoned that dream while working on other endeavors.

Recently I have visited a few of the blogs posted by other members of the SCBWI and enjoyed reading of their triumphs and the journey they took toward accomplishing their goals. I enjoyed it so much so that I have decided to follow in their footsteps and post some of my works in progress. As a newbie in the field I have the “first time” hesitations of posting my work as I feel that I have a lot to learn. This is not to say that I am afraid of critiques. On the contrary I welcome them. Even though I am new to the field I am not new to feedback when it comes to my art. That being said here is a look at my characters for my first book; It was a warm summer night. Without further ado I give you Jose, Pablo, Rosita and Alberto.

By the way this is the first of the 12 books I hope to draft this year.