Thursday, September 14, 2017

Set. Focus. JUMP!

Lately I've been taking note of instances in my daily routine that have been placed there for me to remember to just do my best in any given situation.  If it makes me feel happy, confident, challenged, empowered...LET'S DO IT!

I actually ran across this comment I had saved probably almost a year ago now by Shaun T (celebrity fitness trainer), which came as about my fourth reminder in this lesson.

Shaun's message:

STUFF JUST GOT REAL: Love me or hate me im bout to go IN!!!  I was just reading through some of your comments and I came across something very discouraging and I need to address something.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that will try to discourage you from achieving your goals. The biggest issue I have with this is that most often the people that are making you feel "LESS THAN" are the PEOPLE that closest ones to you. Don't let anyone stop you from trying to achieve a personal goal! Whether you reach a goal or not its about the process. And your process, if you embrace it, will teach you so many lessons about YOU! and THAT is priceless!  That takes me to another subject that I see far to often in the comment threads and conversation. "Doing it for other people!" I DO NOT CARE what your body looks like unless you FEEL GOOD IN IT! YOU have to feel good for you. The heck with people! People don't breathe for you. People don't sweat for you and they damn sure don't exercise FOR YOU!  DO YOU-LIVE IN YOU-AND...  JUST BE YOU!!!!!!!!! -Shaun T


Then there's this guy, Chris Downing, my current trainer, who instructed me to jump, followed by him demonstrating A JUMP (see below)!  Wholly smajolies!   I'm never sure if I should just retreat, clap, curse or what.  Haha!!  It's very humbling for me as someone who takes pride in my natural athleticism.  But I'll never be the best, I just have to strive to be MY BEST.  So I set myself, focus, and JUMP!  Maybe someday I'll even get a short video or photo to display next to this one of Chris.  :D  I'm coming for you, Dude, and I know you'll be cheering me on the entire time!

My friend, Desi, has been an excellent example of this lesson for me as well.  Just the other day she posted in our Summer Accountability group a snap shot of a run she had completed.  She exceeded her expectations, and I guarantee you if she decides her running time is something she wants to improve on, it will happen. I am so inspired by her dedication to self-improvement!  ENJOY your 5K next week Desi!!!

It's not always as easy as "set, focus, jump" for me though.  I've allowed the "I just don't fit in" feelings to push me backwards instead of challenging me to go forward more often than I'd care to admit.

I was once in a Life Group with gals who were comfortable praying, in the practice of daily quiet time, knew the Bible, memorized verses, had attended Bible College, and made church and serving a priority.  Obviously all things I strive for, and excellent attributes to have, but I allowed the Devil to make me feel uncomfortable, feel less-than, and I slowly removed myself from the situation, instead of communicating and asking for guidance, which I 100% know EVERY one of them would have extended, had they known.

Thankfully, I'm getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to get where I want to be in life.

Feel free to share your related stories in the comments!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

RV Life School Plans

I don't blog enough.

I know this because every blog I do write starts with some kind of line just like the one above.

It blame it on the perfectionism tendencies in my personality, which I continue to get nearly giddy about every time I get pulled in to a study on personality traits.

The current series I've been listening to, and Matt even got into—he actually tuned me in to —is by Ashley Logsdon, the first seven episodes of her podcast "Mama Says Namaste."

It's especially fun for us, as she and her husband live in a travel trailer and unschool their kids, which is very relatable for us.

Living in an RV and unschooling.

We got living in an RV down, and love love love it!  Maybe even more so than we ever could've anticipated.  Hayden has a movie titled, "All Creatures Big and Small."  In the movie, there's a father and son "Nestrian" who head to Noah's Ark to stay safe during the flood.  They've been roaming land for awhile, but they just couldn't find a place to call home—a place where they felt they belonged. At the end, as the father jumps in the water to rescue his son who he fears is drowning, they realize they are breathing underwater...THEIR TRUE HOME!

THIS is how I feel about our home on wheels.

I don't know that I ever shared, but we became members of an online community, "Full-Time Families," and we were the 1500th member!!  Kind of fun (we got a fun mailbox number as we set out as nomads as well.)  If you weren't already aware or not quite catching that drift, I'm a bit of a numbers nerd.

But I digress.

Although everyone's story and reason is a little bit different, it's certainly a lifestyle being lived by many. It also amazes me how many of our friends and family have at some point given thought to full-time RVing.  We're [still] advocates after almost 7 months.

Obviously the question of schooling was one we addressed from the beginning discussions we had about full-time RVing.  Homeschool would be the logical answer.  I always wanted to be a's my chance without the hours and dollars of the degree.

But how does that work with wanting to be a perfectionist, Kayla?

Ooph. Good question.

I'm relying a lot on the fact of how we felt full-time RVing would be a good fit for our family, despite the "what ifs," and we've found it to be a GREAT fit!  We've discussed it a lot, and feel unschooling will be a good fit for our family, our goals, and our lifestyle, and we will remain hopeful in making the right decision again.

I feel I could go on and on about both our RV life and future intentions with Hayden's education, but it is late, so I will leave you with this thought...

"Parenthood is not a competition to see who has the smartest kids, the cleanest house, the healthiest dinners, or the nicest clothes...Parenthood is YOUR journey with YOUR children."  -author unknown

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales
told to Mom by Hayden Kvacik

"When I was a little boy, I saw a toy, and I brought it home. You were there and you picked me up and squished me."


"When we got this camper, I checked out this bed and the couch, and dad tried the bed, and you tried the bed, and we all fell asleep.  The End."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Base of My Confidence

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few months about our previous lake season.
There are days/nights that I am ashamed of.

I ask myself, “Why?”

One of the reasons that always comes up is because I see how happy Matt is when I am quote-on-quote happy and let loose.
But what if I’m not happy.

Choosing a bikini and being sociable (introvert probs), He sees “confidence.”
I see the opposite.

I want to have a nice physique for Matt, yes.
But only for Matt (and me).

I want my confidence to be in Christ.
To be modest.
And pure.

I want my confidence to be in being a wife.
Who looks and feels good for her husband to enhance our PRIVATE time together.
Who respects other wives and their marriages/husbands.

I want my confidence to be in being a mom.
Who is setting a good example for her child.
Who is playing, enjoying, and making memories in these oh so precious formative years.

I want my confidence to be in being a health and fitness coach.
Who is consistently modeling a healthy lifestyle through my God-given physical strength and my persistence in overcoming my struggles with food.

So why did I drink an entire summer and make poor decision after poor decision…
It was much more than the in-the-moment goal to have a good time.

It was to feel a sense of confidence.
But I lacked the clarity (and/or flat out ignored the signs) of my hearts desires and true confidence I seek as listed above. 

Here’s to a year of knowing better!
The beginning of a lifetime
of being true to myself.

**These comments are based solely on the author's personal struggles.**

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Larson claims horseshoe title

printed in the Echo Press

The new Minnesota Junior Girls State Horseshoe champion started pitching in the backyard of her Evansville home when she was eight.

"I just started throwing with my dad and grandpa for the fun of it," recalls Kayla Larson, whose father, mother and grandfather all participate in the sport.  "I'd throw from about 20 feet, and slowly built up."

Larson's first tournament appearance came in 1998 at an event in Donnelly.  She averaged a humble five percent ringer average, but knew she was hooked on throwing horseshoes.

"It's a really relaxing sport," she noted, "but, I'm a pretty competitive person, so it can be as competitive as I want to make it.  That's what I like."

At the recent state tournament held in Forest Lake, Larson, who also competes in volleyball, basketball and softball, was a perfect 5-0 in head-to-head competition, with a ringer average of 39.52 percent.

Her highest ringer average thus far has been 50 percent.

Since getting serious about the sport, Larson has competed in three state tournaments, two state doubles tournaments and two world championships, the most recent one held earlier this summer in Hibbing, MN.

She was named Minnesota Rookie of the Year in 1999, and last year was the recipient of a $200 scholarship from the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association for achievements both in the classroom and in the sport.

Although Minnesota has the largest roster of junior pitchers in the nation with 72, Larson understands that many of her peers know little about the sport in which she's found so much success.

"Most of the kids in my school know I pitch horseshoes, but it's not a really popular sport right now.

"There are more kids pitching, but there still aren't a lot," said Larson, who last year conducted a horseshoe clinic for kids in grades 4-6 to encourage more young pitchers.  "It's a great sport with a lot of great people."

According to Larson, one of the presenters at the state tournament explained horseshoes best when he called it a gift that's passed on from one enthusiast to the next.

"It really helps if you have friends or family that play," said Larson.  "I let people know if they're interested, that I'll teach them, because that's how it works.  That's how I got started, watching my family."

Of her most recent – and most prestigious to date – crowning moment, Larson said it was almost unreal.

"I was pitching with the same people I usually pitch with," she recalled.  "When I won, it was just like any other win, until I thought about it.  I was the top girl pitcher in the state!

"That was pretty good," she added.  "Definitely pretty good!"

The Game of My Life

written by Kayla Larson

The pressure was on as soon as I walked into the Forest Lake hockey arena.  The atmosphere in the arena was not a typical hockey arena.  Inside the Plexiglas walls, there were 24 horseshoe courts sectioned off with blue tarp barriers into three pitching areas consisting of 8 courts each.  Each court has a scoreboard and a scorekeeper's chair placed at the center, just out of the pitcher's way.  The arena is filled with laughter, visiting, and constant clanging of horseshoes hitting the stakes.  This is my home every Labor Day weekend.  In 2001, I became the MN Junior Girls State Champion.  Now, in 2002, could I defend my title?

I had to compete against 3 other girls, approximately my same age and same ringer percent.  Since the numbers were down in our class, we used a double round robin format.  We played 6 games to 40 points.  After a couple hours of friendly competition, we awaited the results.  The leader board showed a tie between Colette and I.

Off the court, Colette and I have become good friends throughout the years, but when it comes time to compete, it's all or nothing.  We've competed against each other in local tournaments, past State Tournaments, and two World Tournaments.  For us, the only game that matters is when we match up against each other.  Every time we play each other we hope for our best game, but never as much as we wanted it during this championship deciding game.

After a short break, it was time to start our playoff game.  By this time, everyone else who had been competing on the other courts had finished up their games.  Now, all the spectators had made their way to the bleachers where Colette and I were about to start our game.  The laughter, the visiting, and the clanging of horseshoes hitting the stakes were gone.  An uncomfortable hush filled the arena.

I had never experienced anything like this before.  I was shaking on the inside and probably on the outside, too.  My heart was working overtime as it pounded and pounded inside my chest.  It amazed me that I could even throw the horseshoes my first few throws.  However, everything eventually started to feel normal again.  The crowd slowly faded out of my sight and the only thing I saw was the stake.  I was effortlessly throwing ringer after ringer.  Everything felt so easy and natural.

Finally, I could see my win in sight.  The Girls State Champion was about to be crowned.  I only needed 1 point to win.  I threw two ringers on for 6 points.  The only way I could lose was if Colette covered both of my horseshoes.  She threw her first shoe–missed.  She threw her second shoe–missed!  The crowd exploded with cheers and applause.  I earned my second consecutive State Championship.

Defending my title was very important to me.  The pressure was hard to overcome, but I managed.  You'd have to experience playing in a playoff game to understand how I felt.  It was amazing.  I pitched at the top of my game to defeat Colette and defend my title.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

FITNESS: New Workout Playlist

I've been taking advantage of the feature allowing me to do my workout with "no music" and supplying my own playlist.  Up until yesterday I had just used iHeart Radio and put it on a station titled "Caffeinated Country," but after putting my iTunes on shuffle the other day while working around the kitchen, I was reminded of how many upbeat Christian songs I have in my library that make me want to MOVE.  I decided to put together a playlist "Christian Jams" to use during my workouts.  Tested it out last night for my INSANITY: Max Recovery workout, and LOVED it!  I feel like Christian music almost doubles as personal development for me, which I also happen to LOVE!

Here's a look at the playlist if you're interested in changing things up and finding a new groove for your workout time!

Beautiful Ending by BarlowGirl
Boomin' by TobyMac
Bring 'Em Out by Hawk Nelson
Catchafire (Whoopsi-Daisy) by TobyMac
Dear X (You Don't Own Me) by Disciple
Diverse City by TobyMac
Forgiven by Skillet
I Am Yours (feat. Ben Donnelly) by Brinson
I'm Not Alright by Sanctus Real
It's On by Superchick
Joyful Noise by Flame
Let Us Love by Need to Breathe
Live Life Loud by Hawk Nelson
Lose It All by Rush of Fools
Me Against The World by Superchick
NY2LA by Press Play
Second Chances by Stellar Kart
Something To Believe In by FM Static
Something To Say by Matthew West
Stronger by Mandisa
Temporary Fills by Mandisa
The Slam by TobyMac
Where I Belong by Building 429
Who I Am Hates Who I've Been by Relient K

Throw out some of your favorite workout tunes. All genres welcome!