Tag Archives: alli phillips

Lift Higher

sept18_2016

Point to Ponder:
Who lifts you higher and who do you lift higher?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

With an unbelievable one hundred and five of us in attendance at our tenth birthday bash on Thursday night (crushing all previous party attendance!), all weekend I have contemplated the conversations, smiling faces and old and new friendships that filled the room. It was a humbling, exciting and inspiring evening that will be difficult top. While I continued to reflect, what keeps coming to mind is the quote listed in the picture above, by Oprah, “Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.” This describes the iGnite community, made up of both our leaders and members.

iGnite’s official birthday isn’t until October, but in addition to celebrating in a variety of ways, one thing we will commemorate during the next six weeks are the people in our lives who have and continue to lift us higher.

For the sake of today’s journal, I’m starting with our amazing iGnite team, who are some of my dearest and best friends. Some people may think that mixing business with friendships/pleasure is an irresponsible idea, but for me, working with people whom I admire, respect, love and want to “do life with” is non-negotiable. My personal philosophy is that if I’m going to spend my precious time that God has gifted me to work, it will only be with work and people I love.

Due to schedule and routines, it is difficult to get to every leader’s class and beyond that, getting to know each leader on the same intimate level as I do is challenging. As a result, below is insight from everyone’s bio that sheds light as to why they naturally lift myself and others higher. I also encourage you to click on each of their names, which will take you to their personal iGnite page where more inspiration lies.

Sha Klatt

SHA KLATT   I’m Most Inspired By: My parents are my inspiration! They are in their 80’s and still lead very active lives. They continue to try new things, eat well, exercise daily, travel and most importantly are very involved with their family. They have wonderful relationships with their 3 children and 6 grandchildren, who all adore them. Any gathering is more fun if my parents are there!

Favorite Passage: May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

paula-hPAULA HARNISH   Personal mantra: Keep calm and carry on!!

My Favorite quote, from the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz:

1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don’t take anything personally
3. Don’t make assumption
4. Always do your best

Molly Daniels

MOLLY DANIELS  What Inspires Me Most: Like I mentioned above, I am inspired daily. Being one of the youngest on our team, I look up to all of the women I work with. I treasure and value their advice and take it to heart. The iGnite community inspires me. It is amazing getting to teach women from all different walks of life. I learn something new from them every day. My parents, who have been happily married for over 30 years, inspire me in a new way now that I am married. I seek their wisdom. And lastly, but not least, God amazes me and blesses me every single day. He calls us to serve, love and share, and I feel like I am doing just that in iGnite.

The Best Advice I’ve Been Given: My dad has always told me “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Kathleen Parker

KATHLEEN PARKER   What Inspires Me Most: Staying strong and healthy is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. I believe that if we make fitness a part of our lifestyle, it becomes increasingly easy to LIVE and be well. I am truly inspired every day by the men and women I am blessed to train, and strive each day to make a positive impact on their lives. This life God has blessed me with just gets better every year! I look forward to each day as a new adventure, just as my father does. I am truly enjoying the “ride” and can’t wait to see where He takes me next!

My Favorite Quote: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

babe-bio-4KATHLEEN “BABE” KEAHEY   Who Inspires Me Most: My mom and dad. My mom inspires me to always be true to myself. She is the most unique and caring person and is never afraid to be who she is -which can be a rare quality to find in this world. My dad because of his incredible patience and optimism. He had to deal with not only my mom, but three girls – that is a lot of women to handle in one house and I honestly don’t know how he does it! But he does it with so much kindness and patience, and for that, I thank him.

My Favorite Quote: “Let my faith be stronger than my fears.”

Jill Watts

JILL WATTS    Personal Mantra: “Everyday is a new day!” It’s pretty simple, but sometimes not so easy to live by. I have learned over the past few years as I have had some major changes in my life and as my children have become older (tweens and teens) that things just don’t always go as planned. You can’t waste too much time being stressed or upset. The day will come to an end no matter how hopeless it may seem at the time, and things always seem better in the morning. Each day you can have a fresh start with a new perspective. Teaching and participating in iGnite always helps me too!

Favorite Quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain!”

iGnite_JessieJESSIE D’ANDREA  Favorite Quotes:“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and now grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” Isaiah 40: 31 / “Everyone smiles in the same language”

What Inspires Me Most: I am inspired by God’s creations: sunrises and sunsets, family, relationships, children, my job I could go on and on. But when I think about who inspires me the most, my sister, Jacky, always comes to mind first. Jacky is a God fearing women who loves her Savior first and her family second. She is a devoted mom to four beautiful children, a loving wife and daughter, and an inspiring big sister.

DelaineTeeple

DELAINE TEEPLE   Favorite Quote: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and you minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7

My iGnite Experience: When I got involved with iGnite 6 years ago, my light began to fully shine again after the accident. My love and appreciation for the outdoors was rekindled. The positive and inspiring environment that iGnite provides led me out of my comfort zone and into a much more exciting way of living. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be on this team as well as learn from all of the amazing women in iGnite.

betty_640px

BETTY CUNNINGHAM   The Best Advice I’ve Been Given: “Look up.” Between carpools and the crazy pace of having 10 children, my mother would pull things out of the air to make us think, especially when we were arguing over things like who had to ride in the “very back” of the station wagon. One of the things she said that has stayed with me is: “Now just think about this, what if God had decided not to share. There would be nothing. No people, no cars, no bikes, no schools, and not even the sun or the moon and the stars. Nothing.”

Personal Mantra: I think I can, I think I can

Amy Younkman

AMY YOUNKMAN   Personal Mantra: “Lord work through me, with me and in me.”

The Best Advice I’ve Been Given: Several years ago my mom, two sisters and I were on a “girls getaway” weekend during which my sister asked, “What is one piece of advice you would like to pass on to us, Mom?” I continue to reflect on my Mom’s reply: “Never look to someone else for your happiness. Find it for yourself.”

Amy Casual headshotAMY CHIBIB   What I Love: I believe life is a delicate balance! I have found that joy in helping others, which is why iGnite and my life and career coaching is the perfect balance for my life. I founded Creating Lives that Work and have passion for promoting people, products, and causes and helping others.

Favorite Quote: “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” — Joseph Pilates

Alli Phillips

ALLI PHILLIPS   What Inspires Me Most: My 5 wonderfully rambunctious and active children, Delaney age 16, Sally age 13, Lucy age 13, Ellie age 13, and Liam age 8, along with their iron-man-daddy, David, to whom I’ve been married 21 years, inspired “Backyard Fitness” and continue to inspire me, every. single. day.

Favorite Quote: What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8


Action Item:
Recognize somebody who lifts you higher and make an effort to elevate someone else.


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How Alli is In the Game

Battling Feelings of Inadequacy
Continued from Are You in the Game or On the Sidelines?

iGnite - Courage

Point to Ponder:
Do you find yourself comparing yourself with others?

by Alli Phillips

by Alli Phillips

To compliment my teaching classes at iGnite, I have accepted a new position at Mecca Gym & Spa, where in addition to iGnite and Backyard fitness, I have worked off and on as a fitness class instructor and personal trainer for many years, hired initially when I was pregnant with my oldest child, Laney, who is now 15. I am very excited (actually “excited” doesn’t even begin to describe it!) about this opportunity, the new direction my career in health and fitness is taking, and about going “back to work”. But I have also felt incredibly, even debilitatingly, nervous approaching the official start date. My new title is…. drumroll…. “Marketing and Communications Director.” (So important sounding right?!) And over the last few weeks of negotiations, which included writing my own job description!, while pinching myself to make sure that this “dream job” isn’t just a dream, I have come to realize that my nervousness has been due to, in large part, comparison, specifically comparison of myself to a co-worker and friend who is leaving Mecca and from whom I will be assuming many responsibilities.

One of my favorite quotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy,” by Theodore Roosevelt, and I have been living this truth for about two weeks now as I have been learning the details of my new responsibilities and transitioning with my co-worker/friend. I have felt joy and confidence, which at times was “sucked out” of me when I have allowed thoughts to enter my head like, “She’s so creative and smart, I’ll never be able to fill her shoes.” But, in the last few days, by sharing with others my feelings of inadequacy, and more specifically admitting my feelings to the friend with whom I have been comparing myself, I have recognized my “faulty thinking” and been able to start re-channelling my nervous energy positively.

Through conversations, emails, and text exchanges, with her as well as with other friends and family, I have been reminded that not only am I qualified for this position, but I am highly and uniquely qualified; and more important, I have passion for this job! I have spent more than half my life leading fitness classes and educating others about lifestyle exercise, so it’s not just what I do, it’s who I am, and this job will be a new platform to continue teaching and sharing my passion with others.

So now, although I still feel a little queasy when I think about this new chapter in my career and in my life, my feelings of inadequacy have been replaced with eager determination to be the best “Marketing and Communications Director” I can be. And although I still feel nervous about my new job and my big fancy-pants title, it is a “good nervous” energy fueled with joy.

Action Item:
Remind yourself that comparison is the thief of joy, and ask your loved ones to remind you of your unique qualities and skills instead of comparing yours with someone else’s.

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Enjoy the Great Outdoors

iGnite - Enjoy the Outdoors

 

by Alli Phillips

by Alli Phillips

I encourage you to watch this short video summarizing new research on the positive effects of outdoor exercise on emotional state and mental health. What I find especially interesting is the finding that not all outdoor exercise is equal in its effects on our mental/emotional health…. Supporting what most outdoor exercise enthusiasts and iGniters already know, the research indicates that exercise in natural outdoor environments has a greater effect on mood and mental-emotional health than exercise in man-made outdoor environments. Although similar in some short-term affects on physical health, exercise in nature compared to indoor or even other outdoor “city-dweller” environments, is vastly more effective in improving mental and emotional state, and therefore important for overall health in the long-term.

Living in Austin, we have so many great opportunities to workout in nature.
Here are some suggestions:

Running/Hiking:
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Bull Creek Trail
Brushy Creek Trails
River Place Preserve Trails
Walnut Creek Trails
McKinney Falls Trails
Hamilton Pool Nature Trail

Swimming or Water-Running/Treading:
Barton Springs Pool
Twin Falls on Barton Creek
Bull Creek
Hippy Hollow
Hamilton Pool

I do hope you’ll get out and enjoy the great outdoors right here in Austin! Add hiking and/or swimming in nature to your summer bucket list…It’s cheaper and more effective than therapy and medicine!

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Alli’s Day 2: 10-Day Body Re-Boot

ignitelogo_daily_journal-01

by Alli Phillips

by Alli Phillips

Day 2 of the “self-care reboot” (as I’ve dubbed it) started with the alarm waking me at 4:30am. I don’t normally bounce out of bed on my “early morning workout” days, but I don’t usually crawl out either; however today I was definitely moving slower than normal making my way to the kitchen for my hot lemon water….
I’ve been a little stressed lately with family health issues and I know that that stress is manifesting itself physically. After a cup of hot lemon water and a bowl-full of gluten-free oats topped with berries, I was feeling better — still not great, but ready to lead my 5:30am workout.

Breakfast: bowl-full of gluten-free oats topped with berries

Breakfast: bowl-full of gluten-free oats topped with berries

When I got home at 6:35am, my husband greeted me with the news that 3 of my 5 children, Sally, Lucy, and Ellie, woke up sick, with fever, headache, sore throat, stuffy nose, all the typical “cold & allergy” stuff. 😦 So after sending the two well kids off to school, despite a long to-do list, I curled up with my triplets, just like I did when they were babies (they’re now 11), and we all went back to sleep.

Lesson learned: Sometimes family care = self care and vice versa.  🙂

After my nap, with my “babies” still sleeping, I decided to make it a morning of home self-care with an Epsom salt bath…. mind you, I do not like baths. I’m a “quick shower” kind of girl, but I am also a rule follower, so since it is on the list of elements for the re-boot, and since I was home anyway, I decided to “get it over with;” the laundry, errands, and other to-dos could wait. Also, I decided to “multi-task” and add another treatment I usually dread to my bath: ice-water soaks for my feet and ankles to treat plantar fasciitis. Painful, but so therapeutic and healing — so much needed!

Bath time! Never too far away from my cranberry water...

Bath time! Never too far away from my cranberry water…

I must admit, the first 10 minutes in the Epsom salt bath felt good (especially compared to the ice soaking!), but after about 15 minutes I started pouring sweat and feeling really anxious (not at all relaxed), and I only made it 20.  I may have to “train” to make it the full 40 minutes like I train for a marathon(!), with slow progression, I’ll shoot for 25 minutes next time. 🙂 Writing some of this journal and sipping on the iGnite cranberry water as I soaked definitely helped.

Fast forward to my favorite lunch from Wheatsville Grocery (I still managed to squeeze in a few errands), black beans and brown rice, topped with salsa, avocado, jalapeños and sprouts, which I ate during our iGnite leader meeting so I forgot to take a picture. 🙂

Late afternoon snack of figs, raspberries, and blackberries

Late afternoon snack of figs, raspberries, and blackberries

Fast forward again, to the end-of-school-day chaos and a late afternoon snack of figs, raspberries, and blackberries. Taking time to eat in the late afternoon or early evening, for me, takes some effort; I often go from lunch through the “after school blur” to dinner without eating or even drinking anything; but being more mindful of staying hydrated and nourished throughout the day, and adhering to the re-boot rule of eating 5 meals/snacks daily (again I’m a rule follower!), I’ve been reminded the last two days of what a huge difference a nutritious snack makes in maintaining a high level of energy and a positive attitude/mood.  Today it helped me get through the “homework hour” (my girls love school and their amazing teachers and asked that work be sent home!), and then to volleyball (for Lucy who had a miraculous recovery and didn’t want to miss practice ;)), and also fueled me through the youth running group that I coach.

beet borsch served with quinoa and avocado

beet borsch served with quinoa and avocado

Exhale…. and finally, DINNER! My husband’s delicious (and beautiful!) beet borsch (beets, carrots, cabbage, leeks, tomatoes, and potatoes) served with quinoa and avocado. I LOVE this meal; it is delicious and it certainly doesn’t hurt that my husband makes it instead of me! And the kids gobble it up too. Warms my belly and my heart.

And now, bedtime…. which, with 5 school-age kids, means the day isn’t over yet!
🙂

How is YOUR Day 2 going?  Are you feeling any bit like Alli? Leave an anonymous comment below to share your experiences and ask questions — the iGnite team will get back to you with tips and more great info to help you through the process!

5 Tips for Proper Running Technique

iGnite instructor and running expert Alli Phillips shares her top 5 tips for proper running form and technique to improve running efficiency and speed, prevent common running injuries, and allow runners to enjoy this most elemental, fundamental, and wonderful exercise for a lifetime.  Running with better form will make you more efficient and faster; and vice versa, running faster makes you more efficient and improves form.

1. Upper body alignment

  • Stay in a stacked vertical plank: head in alignment with shoulders, ribs and hips.
  • Strong core: all runners should have a strong core to support that vertical plank, so be sure to include some good core strengthening exercises into your running routine
  • Relax the shoulders

2. Lower body position

  • Pelvis under ribs: keep hips neutrally aligned under the ribs. Think of your pelvis like a bucket, not tipping it one way or another, hold it steady under your vertical plank.
  • Strong glutes: be sure to incorporate glute-strengthening exercises like squats, lunges & step-ups in your running routine because strong hips & glutes will help maintain that neutral pelvis
  • Keep  soft, slightly bent knees through all points in your run, keeping your knee like a loaded spring. This reduces the impact on your joints.
  • Feet under the hips

3.  Foot placement or strike

  • You want to the foot to land right under the hip when you’re running
  • Forefoot takes the weight

4. Forward lean

  • When you run, you want a slightly forward lean with your full body
  • Lean & drive from your hips (or your center of mass)
  • Maintain neutral connected plank position as you lean forward

5.  Cadence

  • Fast Turnover: to go faster, simply increase the rate of your step — don’t widen your stride
  • Quick light steps

DRILL: Sub-Max Sprints
Complete this drill after a 10 minute warm-up. This drill will teach your body how to maintain proper running form at a higher cadence/speed.

  1. Run in place 5-10 seconds focusing on body position and high cadence/turnover
  2. Lean or “fall forward” and run fast for 20-60 seconds or until your cadence slows and/or form is lost

Repeat 3-10 times based on your level of fitness.

 

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Cleanse day 7: by Alli

by Alli Phillips

by Alli Phillips

6:30am
I’ve been waking up with a mild headache since I started the cleanse, but after two cups of hot lemon water in my favorite coffee mug, the headache is gone and I’m feeling pretty much like my normal caffeinated self. Also, despite the headache, my “craving” for coffee upon waking was very low today; I think a lemon-water “brain-trail” has formed over the last 7 days. (It’s not yet a well-developed “brain-pathway”, but getting there.)
7:15am
I am really enjoying the GF Oatmeal with walnuts, chia seeds, and berries as an alternative to my typical toast with peanut butter. And eating it out of my favorite coffee mug has also helped me replace the second cup of coffee I usually have in the morning. Starting to get good at “outsmarting my brain.”

11am
I enjoyed a post-workout late-morning snack of pear, blueberries, blackberries, and walnuts. I wouldn’t normally spend time on presentation when making a simple snack for myself (I wouldn’t normally even use a dish!) but since I am photographing my food today, I got inspired. And actually, slowing down to cut the pear, arrange the fruit and nuts on a dish, and sit at the table to eat a “simple snack” made it very satisfying; felt like I was “treating” myself, not just nourishing myself. Typically I eat mindlessly, although nutritiously, while on the run or doing house-work (dishes, laundry, tidying, etc), and sitting down to snack helped me to really enjoy the food, and also increased my self-awareness of mood/energy/attitude, etc. Also noteworthy, typically I grab a handful of crackers with fruit or hummus for a snack; the nuts have been a great replacement for crackers, with a similar crunch and saltiness. (One day this week I sprinkled them on top of hummus and ate it with a spoon!)

1:15pm
Leftovers from the previous two nights’ dinners made for a delicious and hearty lunch, gorgeous purple and white fingerling potatoes and a mix of sautéed kale, chard, onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell and jalapeño peppers. Again, I wouldn’t typically take the time to arrange and present my lunch on a dinner-plate, especially a lunch of leftovers, nor would I even sit down to eat it; typically I’d eat right out of the tupperware in which the leftovers were stored, and I’d eat while doing a gazillion other things…. But journaling and photographing my food forces me to slow down and increases my self-awareness.
More thoughtful food prep and slower, mindful eating, allow me to truly taste and enjoy my food, a nice bonus of this cleanse.

5:15pm
An evening snack of avocado and cherry-tomatoes got me through “homework-time” with the kids.And every evening during the cleanse I’ve enjoyed a cocktail of cranberry-water with a “shot” of ACV and a twist of lemon, served in the Crystal glass in which I usually enjoy wine.

7:15pm
Dinner was roasted brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash for me; and for my husband and kids, it was those yummy veggies along with cheese tortellini and Caesar salad. Obviously, they are not participating in the cleanse, although they have very much enjoyed trying new “cleansing foods” at dinner, with what my husband now calls their “clogging foods.” 🙂

9:00pm
“Logging off” and unwinding with hot lemon-water at my kids’ bedtime, and making their bedtime my bedtime too, has made our evenings much more enjoyable…. I have been more present with my kids because I’m not distracted by “going back to work” after they go to sleep…. I’m “done for the night” when they are, and that feels good. The social media cleanse has also helped me be more present with my family, and I haven’t really missed “keeping up” with my FB friends, like I thought I would. According to an email I received from FB today, “You’ve missed a lot since you last logged in.” Ha! The focused time I’ve had for self-care this week, which has also translated into family-care, has been like a vacation…. I’ve “missed” nothing, and learned and gained so much…. As I finish this week of cleansing, I feel energized and, well… iGnited! 🙂

A huge thank you to Neissa, Kate, the iGnite community, and my inner-circle of cleansing friends with whom I shared successes and challenges all week. Yay! We did it! And we are wiser, with some new healthy habits, and with new brain pathways!

With love and joy,
Alli

Wait…Can I Have YOUR Mantra?

“Once you become consciously aware of just how powerful your thoughts are, you will realize everything in your life is exactly how you allow it to be.”
-Melaine Moushigian Koulouris

Point to Ponder:
Have you been putting off determining your mantra?
Remind yourself that it can’t hurt to create one,  why put it off when it could do nothing but GOOD for your life?

Action Item:
If you have already determined your spring mantra, repeat it to yourself at least once a day.  If you haven’t, do it this week!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Now that we’ve been sharing mantras for the past two weeks, I’m curious if you are suffering from “mantra envy” like I am?  Perhaps you have even asked, “Wait..can I have your mantra?”

I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with identifying with and wanting someone else’s mantra, as it simply means that we have a lot in common. And, the more we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share, the greater opportunity we have to connect on intimate levels, inspire one another and have the greatest impact. So in the spirit of sharing, below are the  personal mantras of three more of our amazing leaders: Alli, Jill and Kathleen

“Conceive – Believe – Achieve”

by Alli Phillips

by Alli Phillips

For the last several months my husband and I have been casually brainstorming a business idea that has me very excited. Not only do I think our idea is a good one, but I love that it involves us working together. However, even though I WANT to work toward making our idea a reality, I am prone to self-doubt as well as letting the busyness of day-to-day life consume me…. So, this spring, the areas of wellness on which I’d like to focus are “occupation” and “personal growth.” My mantra is “Conceive – Believe – Achieve” based on the quote from Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

“Embrace Life’s Challenges, Eager to Gain all the Blessings Hidden in the Difficulties”

by Jill Watts

by Jill Watts

Over the past year I have had many life challenges to deal with, and as I am not always able to stay positive and push through whatever comes my way, I certainly have not embraced many of these challenges. I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out why they happened the way they did, how they could have been different and have whined about them. I realized that if I just accept things exactly as they are in the present moment and embrace the challenge, trusting that everything will work out in the end and that something good will come out of them– a blessing– that life would be so much easier and happier. This pertains to my work, my marriage, my children, relationships…ALL aspects of my life. We are constantly faced with challenges in our lives, especially as we get older and our children get older. Life is constantly changing and bringing upon new challenges, which is what makes us grow and become stronger, wiser and live with more gratitude. I often have to remind myself these days to embrace it rather than complain about it!  Almost always there is a blessing that comes out of it in same way. It also helps me realize how truly blessed I am.

“Don’t Be Afraid to Be Amazing!”

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

I have to confess I borrowed my mantra from the words of Olympic Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler. When I first read her words I knew they meant something to me. Growing up with a driven and goal-oriented father, I remember his words to us 6 kids: “You can search for happiness your whole life and you will never find it. It is through your accomplishments that you find happiness.” Often I get “comfortable” with my day to day life, and at times get stagnant and stuck. “Don’t be afraid to be amazing” motivates me to continue to challenge myself in ALL aspects of my life, even if it leads to some failures and disappointments. My failures have been a vehicle for learning and growth, and if I did not go through them I would not be a better version of myself. BRING IT ON 2014!! I will NOT be afraid to be amazing!!

 

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