downtime, thoughts, announcements


Barre class at Riversong Dance is on holiday right now. First class of the year will be Wednesday January 18th at 7:30 pm.

That’s 4 weeks of break! If you’re like me, coasting isn’t an option. I have to keep up a workout routine or I gain weight, lose muscle, and become less limber. And I just feel bad.

Here’s what I’ll be doing for the next month:

I purchased Body by Simone on Amazon (tip: buy used) and have begun her core workout . It’s a nice switch-up because it requires a few accessories, such as resistance bands, that we don’t use at the studio .

Tonight I started a 45-day free trial of Grokker so that I can access Brett Larkin‘s yoga + barre workout. She is my fav yoga instructor . Her humble, gentle demeanor . . . love .

I am going to make an effort to swim once a week for the next month. I rarely swim because I get so cold. Also I have asthma and something about a breast stroke makes me wheeze like nothing else. It’s weird. But I need to work on my shoulders and that annoying anterior deltoid tilt thing I have going on, and so I will swim (here).

Also. . . I was talking to my pastor tonight, and it looks like Seymour United Methodist will be offering a Wednesday evening course beginning in January called Made to Crave. I will be helping facilitate this, and I’m excited! It’s a 6-week course that really addresses the mental/emotional/spiritual facets of our health choices, and encourages a lot of introspection and discussion. The premise is that we are indeed made to crave,  but we often crave things that harm us (like food) .  And then there is a 6-week follow-up course that the author developed with a physician that really gets to the nuts and bolts of fitness. Should be good. I think SO OFTEN we attempt to self-treat our physical issues without addressing the underlying emotional issues that led us to unhealthy behaviors in the first place.

Also, registration for Get Fit Seymour is going on now, with a late-January program start date. Word is I’ll be leading an early morning barre class AND a late evening barre class at the Get Fit/The Pound studio in Seymour. Gretchen, the owner, is pregnant. Valerie, the Riversong Dance Studio owner, is pregnant. So I’ll have two pregnant bosses. Perhaps you are a pregnant studio owner who needs a barre instructor? I make really cute baby blankets, just saying.

Guess that’s it. I’ll post here in a week or so, but for now I wish you all a most joyful Christmas . Shalom! ~Shannon



I love The Message version of the Bible so much.  Because I can understand it.  (If the Bible is boring to you, find a version whose words jump right off the page and into your heart. )

And I love this bit:


Sometimes my head hits the pillow at night and I think, “Well, I know what all I did today, but what did I do today?”  Like really do.  It can go by so fast and seem so insignificant, but this verse reminds me that the ordinary can be an offering.  I want to live in such a way that what I put into my body, how I use my body–everything I do–is a gift I can give my creator.  I fail so much.  But I will keep trying.


New SoKno Barre Classes!

This past Spring I was able to lead a barre class with Get Fit Seymour, and when the program ended a bunch of people asked me if I’d be continuing to teach anywhere.  I wanted to, but the timing just wasn’t right until now.  Beginning August 22, 2016, I’ll lead a 45-minute barre class at Riversong Dance Studio in South Knoxville.  Classes will be offered at the following times:

  • Monday: 6:45-7:30pm
  • Wednesday: 7:30-8:15pm
  • Saturday: 10:30-11:15am

Cost is $5/class.  (This is what I call non-social-club-you-shouldn’t-have-to-be-rich-to-exercise pricing.)  Bring your own yoga mat if you’d like, or borrow one of the studio’s.  Some water to sip (or guzzle–#August) is a good idea.

If you’ve never tried a barre class:

There’s nothing magic about the barre; in the case of a barre class, it’s just something to hold onto so you don’t fall over.  You don’t need a dance background to do a barre class.  We don’t dance.  We just hold onto the barre sometimes.  We don’t really “do” yoga–the yoga mat is for lying upon when we do floor work.  Floor work consists of things such as crunches (variations upon), planks, or stretching.  There’s a lot of up-and-down in a barre class.  It’s not necessarily fast-paced…just a few floor exercises, then back up to the bar, then back to the floor, etc.  Oh, and you don’t have to be in perfect shape to take this class.  This class may tone you up like a boss but, like I said, this is non-social-club stuff right here, so just bring your real self.

And you’ll like Valerie’s studio.  (It’s officially Knoxville’s favorite studio.)  And you’ll like Valerie.

So, I’ll see you there, right?  A few weeks from now! Yay!

stay off the boulders

I got a catalog the other day with an ad in it for the company’s athletic clothing line.  Here it is.

Exactly nobody I have ever known–marathoners, half marathoners, casual runners–runs like this.

The jagged boulders.

Those pants.

The fog.

That steady outward gaze, as if she doesn’t need to look down because she does this like every morning, and she knows those boulders like the back of her little hand, and, besides, she has good insurance and she’s in-network.






It’s not about the shoes, or the clothes, or the cars, or the house….

It’s just sweaty, stinky, sometimes hot, sometimes humid, sometimes rainy, sometimes cold…work.

No glamor, no status, no comparison.  Just you, your own resolve, your own life, your own rewards.

Stay off the boulders.


World’s worst title there.

So here’s something positive about getting older: you get to know your body better.  Because when you’ve seen something happen enough times, you will finally make a connection.  Like Ohhhhhhh, when I eat garlic I feel all itchy.  Or Ohhhhhhh, when I don’t drink enough water my allergy symptoms seem worse.  Continue reading

me at the range

My son and I went with my brother and his wife to a shooting range this past weekend.  My brother is a Marine, my sister-in-law is, apparently, Sarah Palin, and my son is a precision shooter.  I’m, uh, nawt.  Do you remember the Police Academy movies?  Pick a character.  That’s me.  The glasses hurt my head and the ear things hurt my ears and the recoil hurt my arms and the report hurt my head and it was cold in there and it smelled like combustion.  I felt out-of-place not having any camo on my person, or not having any military background…or not having any enthusiasm.  One very nice fellow began shouting at me (because you have to shout over the shooting sounds, and also you can’t hear because you have these ginormous ear mufflers on) about shooting.  He said, “You like shooting?”  He was a happy fellow.  I shouted, “No!”  But I smiled.  I tried to be cheerful.  He looked confused.  “No?”  I repeated, “No!”  There were several awkward seconds, and I felt sorry for him because I think maybe he didn’t have a response for that answer, so I tried to clarify by shouting, “But I like to sew!!”  He nodded many, many times.  Many times.  And then he gave me some advice that didn’t really work, which was: “Well, just pretend that when you’re shooting…you’re sewing!”

I’m here to tell you that shooting and sewing are nothing alike, and it is impossible to pretend you’re sewing when you’re shooting.

My brother kept asking me what in the heck I was aiming at.  Aim was something I couldn’t even think about.  My goals were to A) keep my eyes open when I pulled the trigger.  (I couldn’t.  I cannot.) B) Not jump every time I heard a gun shot.  (I’d say I jumped a mere 90% of the time.) C) Not cry.  (I cried.)

I’m not even kidding, I think Krav Maga is a much better self-defense option for me at this point.  I think anything, like even a whistle, would be a better self-defense option for me.

OK, but, I have been informed that going to the shooting range is a really, really great stress reliever for so, so many normal women.  That it’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  That it keeps you active and engaged and your reflexes sharp.  That’s it’s easier than you may think.  That all you have to do is show your driver’s license and pay a minimal lane fee and target fee.  That some ranges rent guns (so you can try out different ones–see what you like), and even have date nights.

That it’s a lot better than sitting at home on the couch watching TV.

But not necessarily better than sewing.

Consider the Hemp Seed

Do you know anything about hemp hearts/seed?  I really didn’t until recently.  I hear about “super foods” and my eyes glaze over.  I’m so not running to Whole Foods to load up on the latest food trend–kombucha, rooibos, quinoa, jicama…  What is it this week?  Ghee?  Clarified butter?  Butter from grass-fed Irish cows?

OK, but hemp seed made me look.  If you have a moment, read this.  And then just get some.  (I found it on an actual shelf at an actual store–Kroger in Maryville.)  And then start by making these delicious things.  Then mix some flaxseed and hemp seed into some peanut butter and eat it with an apple.  Cannot.  Go.  Wrong.

just a bit about BPM

I do this thing where I load a bunch of new songs onto my device–songs I think are really fast, that will really match my tempo (Heh. Not that I’m really fast.)–and then after the first run with my new playlist I’ve deleted nearly half the songs because they aren’t nearly fast as I thought they were, and they slow me down.  On the flip-side, if I am working out and my music is faster than I’m moving, I feel like I’m falling behind and I sort of want to quit.  The key is finding music with the appropriate beats per minute–or BPM– for my activity.  An idea of appropriate BPM for different workouts:

160 BPM range: crazy fast spin class, intense running

150 range: kickboxing, bootcamp, faster jogging

140 range: cardio, cardio dance, some indoor cycling, slowish jogging

130 range: step class, sculpt, some cardio dance, faster aquatics classes, TRX, barre, core conditioning

120 range:  step, sculpt, barre, aquatics

110-120 range:  sculpt, low-tempo work

100-110 range:  yoga, pilates, sculpt, cool-down

80-100 range:  yoga/pilates cooldown

And there are websites such as this one in which you can search songs according to BPM.  Or just Google “songs by BPM” or some such query.  And this is interesting regarding BPM and running.   One thing I love about barre workouts is that they get my heart rate up, but not to that point where I’m breathless and red-faced.  And I’m not so hungry for the next 24 hours as I am after a run.  I tend to think of the barre/core conditioning as for my muscles and bones, but the cardio as mainly for my heart and lungs and brain/mood.  But that’s just me.  It’s all good stuff. 🙂