The Record We Didn’t Set

As a member of I was invited to the Rose Bowl Stadium to be a part of 2,000 people planking for 60 seconds on Saturday morning.

I left Friday morning and stopped at Rail Side Cafe in San Dimas for lunch.

I check into my room on the fourth floor and change into my swimsuit.

I get to enjoy this hot bubbly massage bowl by myself and share the pool with kids squealing and splashing around.

The hotel’s evening reception snack before I set out on foot to find more food.

A mural in downtown Arcadia on my way to Monarch Donuts where I got to dip my own in the kitchen.

A walk through the park before dinner.

Up too early, apple from hotel, and wait 30 minutes as first in line to get blue shirt, drink tons of water, and get to the field.

A Q&A with Jillian Michaels before she helps count us in for the official plank.

Cassey Ho leading a body-burning workout after we find out we only had 1,200 out of 2,000 participants — notice the empty mats.

I grab an extra mat as we leave the field and then eat lunch (kale, egg, quinoa, etc.) with my planking friends before going to the Norton Simon Museum for some Van Gogh and air conditioning.

I walk around Old Pasadena and around their market before eating berries, hummus, and olive paste at the hotel.

I soak my sore muscles and put them in a queen bed with pillows and darkness.

I wake up for eggs, pancake, pineapple, and yogurt and go back to sleep. I get more eggs, another pancake, and a banana before I check out.

I see this beautiful peacock at the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens along with flowers, squirrels, a waterfall, and some beautiful trees.

I drive home with some classical music, NPR education, and phone time with Caleb.

“Life is about the journey, not the destination.” I will remain open to another opportunity to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.

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IDEA World Convention 2018

I had trouble sleeping the night before and was up at 5 am to ensure a timely arrival for the Rookie Rumble at IDEA World Convention being held at the San Diego Convention Center (along with the RBC in halls A-C) and the Manchester Grand Hyatt, floors 1-3, where I got to get elbow-to-elbow and hip-to-hip with other noobs in this large professional arena. The introduction style would be led by Brett Klika, a likable   personality and CEO of SpiderFit Kids.


read the slide

My second session on Thursday was led by Len Kravitz, a doctor with awards to prove his awesomeness and intelligence, some of which he shared with us.


crooked picture of a crowded room

The Opening Ceremonies where people are recognized for sharing their passion with others. I sat on the floor and ate a large sandwich of protein peanut butter, tomato, egg, and goat cheese on sourdough while moving my head around the guy swinging his ass from side-to-side in front of me and blocking my view of the screen. I left early.


view from the stairs

Seeing all the pictures the international travelers and locals took makes me feel bad that I didn’t take more. I thought I was so focused on the event, which is why I didn’t take a picture of every slide, but they wanted to share everything with their clients and followers. I too want to share what I saw and learned.


La Croix helping hydrate the gains

Elizabeth keeping me company through the Nutrition Pavilion of the Expo where locals could exchange their name and email for a free pass and plenty of samples.


mechanical movement

We expected more equipment in the Mechanics of Lifting and Strength Training by Michael Cunico. What we got were buddy pictures of how we hold a bar and a video of how easily an arm breaks when you do it wrong. Another networking opportunity.


view from the second floor balcony

I appreciate the time between lectures, workshops, expo samples, workouts, and networking to take in the view and step away from the crowds.


downtown views

When you want to park for free you’ve got to walk, cycle, scooter, ride share, and use other event timings to your advantage. It’s been a long time since I’ve put that many steps on the downtown sidewalks.


I forgot my swimsuit

I was ready to go in, but was waiting on Deborah so we could prep for the One EPIC Night Party and reorganizing my bags to find the leaking bottle. Turns out an old friend now manages this Marilyn Monroe Spa, so I will be back for a relaxing day.


One EPIC Night Party

Free food and I’m too full from all the free samples — Yoplait yogurt, Good Culture cottage cheese, Daiya quesadilla, chips from Quest, Barnana bites, and coffee from Chike, etc.


Top of the Hyatt

When all the dancing starts and the cake pops are gone at the party, we head upstairs for the city view and fireworks with more quiet conversation.


BOSU Pilates Core Power

Thank you Erika Quest for the jokes and Jessica Maurer for the moves on this incredible piece of equipment and showing this class (with two guys, one of them Jessica’s husband) how to incorporate more of a workout using both sides of the BOSU while standing, sitting, kneeling, lying prone and supine and sideways.


Elizabeth and Kaisa

When you get to be twinsies with your role model, Kaisa Keranen of KaisaFit on Instagram, before she makes you sweat in her Signature-High-Intensity Body-Weight Training. Kaisa has a master mind and energy to motivate people to move in a way that keeps them smiling while sweating.


selfie for Chike

I will trade a selfie for swag any day, especially when it comes in comfy blue and bright pink shirts and coffee with protein. Look for ilikechike on Instagram.


Cassey Ho with fan

I have done Cassey Ho’s “On Fire” series on YouTube among the many others she’s posted and got the opportunity to meet her fiancé, Sam Livits, and their dog Sir George the Magnificent, but didn’t feel like waiting in another line for another photo opportunity when I’m hoping to meet her in August where there will definitely be another line.


mini paradise

So many things going on and I take a minute to smell the fire and little plastic tree at the BlogFest buffet as I grab a bite, and not a bag, of granola.


Padres vs Pirates

The view from the Fit Athletic Club balcony where members can take equipment out and watch on the big screen or be inside on the couch, foam roller, or window cushions and watch from the many TV’s inside. This place is fantastic and complete with hot tub,  hibiscus rose kombucha, and tiny caffeine candy.


pre-sweat selfie with Jacob and Elizabeth

It’s always great to see familiar faces in a crowded place, whether you spent two semesters with them, sometimes shirtless, or just met them walking down the sidewalk.


breakfast seminar calories

From the yogurt bar and large coffee pot comes bran cereal, raspberries, blueberries, banana, cottage cheese, and granola with a medium roast and soy milk. We listen to Christopher Mohr, a food doctor, about eating nutrient dense foods — it is ok to replace your nightly box of Cheez-It and wine with some canned veggies.


k-tape party

Not only was I able to get my left knee, lower back, and right shoulder taped, I was able to return the favor to my taping partner Deborah and leave with some pink rolls and packages of pre-cut tape (about $6 each). The knee came off before I left the hotel and I painfully peeled off the rest before getting into my midnight shower.


I won a prize!

Another class with Brett Klika, with his wife watching and daughter dancing, is a great experience in friendly competition that can be done with partners in small groups — perfect for kids during PE. We use agility ladders, beach balls, soccer cones, bodyweight, and a SKLZ weighted med ball with maximum grip and bounce back (about $40 for one).


a princess balcony feel

Deborah decided to celebrate another successful day with dinner at Sally’s Fish House & Bar. I helped eat the rosemary bread, a more upscale version of Red Lobster biscuits, before we grabbed her car and drove to find mine by 7:30pm.


Touch of Grey

When the blue skies turn to grey just keep on walking towards the bay and say hey to the homeless you meet along the way.


bodies and balls

Just a bunch of fitness professionals getting in touch with all the layers of their core via balls available at — purple Coregeous, grey Alpha, green Yoga Tune Up, and the blue Roll Model therapy pair — with guidance from Jill Miller, the creator, on proprioception, mobility, and breath mechanics.


the view between convention center and Grand Hyatt

The organizers guessed the walking time based on the closest walls of these two buildings, but I’m ok with the extra steps and sunshine.


set up for group photo with Alex McLean

It’s not every day you get to workout with a professional dancer and educator of TRX, Schwinn, and Strong by Zumba to name a few. He turned the adults into a room full of creative children ready to learn and share too.


good words to live by

Grabbing a late lunch with Deborah and we stop by the market in the street. I was hoping for food, but it’s mostly positive clothing and shiny jewelry to not compete with all the open restaurants.


poolside summertime

Finishing a productive morning with some relaxation by the pool with the baseball game in the background, another round of Pirates vs Padres, (another loss for the home team), but a win in the World Cup for Russia and Croatia.


samples much

The California Almonds tin is my favorite because it’s reusable and a perfect portion size. I appreciate the samples, though I’m more likely to buy these foods whole to reduce my intake of additives and use of plastic packaging.


work in progress

After a protein packed dinner of greens, beans, and sweet potato the night before from a husband who missed me while I was in convention mode and a motivated sweat session I attempted the Sleepy Side Crow; an amazing way to finish an awesome 96 hours.

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Kings of Cancun


An orange muffin with yogurt (I’m developing a habit) before driving to the dive shop around 9 to get signatures, locations, and stamps in our dive books from Lore and Ulises.



We visited El Rey Ruins and saw lots of iguanas, learned from a guide that it rains here (we already knew that), and sweat was rolling down my shirt. The ruins are the original main street and at the end is a forest of vampires (some call them mosquitoes). On our way out of the park a little boy took it upon himself to be disobedient so I scolded him and his mother didn’t approve, but it’s not my fault her kid wants to damage something that has stood for so long without his disrespect.



We drove back to the room and had pancakes and popcorn as a snack before getting hungry again and walking into the Ramada because I saw a sign for sandwiches. Caleb got a roast beef sandwich with Roquefort and I had Nutella on ice (it looked better while he was making the other one).



Caleb was ready for a nap after that but I talked him into staying up until I get hungry again. I was ready to get outta the house at 6 and we walked to Wal-Mart for spinach, eggs, carrot, and cheese for dinner and overnight oats again for breakfast, but this time with cantaloupe instead of pineapple.



Back to the room and we settle down and eat some salad. I get the bottle of Bailey’s only to find out that Finn had finished most of it. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about it, but he is one rude person. The one night his friends do the dishes is the same night where they spend hours pouring beer on the floor and spreading the mess through the house.



We shower and I blow dry my hair, probably more so than I should have since I forget how short the back is. Bags are packed and Caleb is regretting his food choices while I laugh to tears because of timing. (“My tummy hurts.” Fart. Pinches butt cheeks to toilet.)





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Why Listen to the Computer



I chow down on a blueberry muffin with yogurt for breakfast (an old snack I introduced Caleb to years ago — back when we still ate sweetened yogurt and mini muffins from the market). This is our last day of diving in Cancun and we forget to bring the dive book. It’s a good thing the room isn’t far from the shop.


yellow spotted stingray


Lore is our guide and we’re free to stay within eyesight as she instructs a newbie. We leave the dock at 9 am, and it’s about an hour before we’re down in the water taking selfies. We hunt for fish and other creatures (spider crab, spiny lobster, brittle stars, scorpionfish, eels, squirrelfish) for 40 minutes and then take a 30 minute surface interval before going back down and having an eel approach me.


Our computers limit our bottom time as they want us to wait a few more minutes, but Lore reassures us that our computers are super conservative and that we’ll be fine. We would be relying on her recommendation if we didn’t have our own, so down we go. I stay down ten minutes past my bottom time and skip five of the eight minutes at the safety stop because everyone else was ready.


scorpionfish camouflage — so beautiful and deadly

My watch beeps angrily at me for a minute and then tells me no dive/fly for 48 hours and turns off the dive planning capability. Lesson learned and I will allow this fancy gadget to do its job without me interfering more than I already do with my ascension rates.


We tip Lore, as she rinses our gear, and Ulises before going for hotcakes and divorciados eggs (one with green sauce, the other red, and sometimes beans between) for lunch and a burger for Caleb. I bring two pancakes back to the room at 3 pm and we try to grow barnacles on the couch till 6 pm after sharing the arugula egg salad we made days ago.


pan to plate to palate

Caleb puts on shoes and it’s back to 100% Natural for dinner. I get wild mushroom tacos and a prehispanic drink (maize, cocoa, cinnamon, etc. with sparkling water). The staff remembers us and gives us some bread and salsa too.


roundabout to dinner


Do you Nintendo?

On the way back to the room, I hail a cab on our right, just done at the convenience store, for a girl to my left looking at oncoming traffic. Finn came in drunk this morning and left the place more sticky and disgusting. He doesn’t crawl out of his room till 5 pm and we can hear him now at 8 pm, but will stay in the safety of our bed.


looking for the muffin man

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Hot Hero with Queso


one fish, two fish, scuba diver, blue fish

Yogurt and a Snickers for breakfast before a day of diving. The wreck dive would take us to 81 feet and allow swim throughs, cutting my pinky on something, and seeing a few lion fish with a couple that’s now local that met in Guadalajara and moved here seven months ago (she’s from Australia) and Ulysses our guide. Our next dive would be 40 minutes later in a sandy and grassy area with a turtle on the surface and a pufferfish below. We average 40 feet swim depth and stay under for 48 minutes.


swimming through a wreck


swimming out the forecastle 

We’re swimming along and Caleb is taking videos and I get his attention to a moray that makes me feel like the little mermaid — full of wonder — as he opens his mouth and reveals the robins egg blue color inside. What I didn’t know was that eels have a pharyngeal jaw that they thrust into their mouth to grab prey and then pull them into their throat and digestive system. I suppose that’s where the mini snake coming out of the larger snake idea comes from in the movies.


another exit, another view


There are schools of blue, yellow, and grey fish among the few sole fish, striped shrimp, porkfish, sea cucumbers, and Christmas tree worms among the bubble gum-like algae growing on wreck and reef. We return to the dive shop for our intermission — surface interval, lunch of sandwiches and salt-free water, and to pick up another diver. Dany, from Beijing, would join us for the underwater museum and the reef wall with his new GoPro Hero 6, as he unwraps his $400 purchase as we get underway.


underwater art


Christmas tree worms (Spirobranchus giganteus)

Ulises was worried about the waterproof depth (which we wouldn’t surpass), but Dany didn’t know enough about this camera to have it ready for the dives, so he asked if any of us had a spare GoPro he could borrow. Divers are known to bring extra goggles, gloves, batteries, o-rings, and snacks, etc., but never a spare camera should you think to put yourself in the same position. Caleb offered instead to lend his wife’s time to get some footage of this guy so he could complete the video he is making of his travels.


the people of MUSA


underwater museum selfie

The MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) was created as an alternative to the Manchones Reef to divert tourist destruction (hands, fins, anchors) and create the world’s biggest artificial reef with the help of locals who were the molds for most of the statues; of which there are about 400 human figures and one hundred other sculptures. There are over 20 replicas on land at Plaza Kukulcán for those not interested in snorkeling, diving, or sitting on a glass-bottom boat.


swim over the people


das auto der fische

We swim up to the statues and I take the tourist-blocking-the-view photo and I will take another one ten minutes later with Caleb and Dany in the background. Dany lets me know he’s ready for me to video. I hold myself steady and watch as he does a ‘hungry power to the people’ thing with his arm. He will ask for a second video, but I only pretend on that one. I take a picture of Caleb next to the businessmen with their heads in the sand, just one of the ways people interact with their environment.


as seen from behind


my mellow yellow

Then I look at the men from behind, not to see if they work out, but to see the round stingray with his buddy fish. We see more schools of blue and yellow fish, a lionfish, some more rockfish, and a remora (also known as a suckerfish attached to sharks and whales) on our way to the surface. I rode stretched out on the front of the boat next to my wet clothes on the ride back. I don’t know if I got sunburned from that or diving without a suit on 3 out of 4 dives.


Air, Boat, Caleb


must see all the fish

We walked through the Chedraui Supermarket before dinner and bought donuts and muffins for breakfast tomorrow. We dropped them at the house for exercise and so I could eat a donut before going back to the taco cart for dos pollo con queso tacos.
We stop at the convenience store on the corner for a drink and some chips before bed at 10pm. I will help Caleb edit the footage and email it to Dany when we get back.

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