Filthy Fifty and We’re Going Camping

Hey hey! It’s Monday again.  Is it just me or do weekends fly by extra fast in the summer time?  I guess it’s because we’re busy trying to squeeze in all the sunshine and outdoor time we can.  I’m sad this weekend is over, but happy that I only have to make it through 4 work days this week before I’m on VACATION! 



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After many planning attempts (and let’s be honest…fights), boyfriend and I decided to save our pennies and do a shorter low-key camping trip for our vacation this summer.  Before I get into our camping adventure, let’s rewind and do a quick fitness update.  I haven’t really shared much here lately about my workouts, but I have been consistently going to CrossFit at least 5 times a week.  Sometimes it totally kicks my ass, but I know I’m getting stronger and making some serious progress.  It’s been fun and exciting to see what I’m capable of when I’m just focusing on WODs and weight lifting, instead of trying to balance it with running too.  

During the summer, our gym programs a benchmark WOD every Friday.  Most weeks, Fridays are my rest day, but for the past two weeks I haven’t been so lucky.  Two weeks ago we did “The Chief” workout, which is five 3-minute AMRAPs of 3 Power Cleans, 6 push-ups and 9 air squats, with 1-minute rest between.  I completed the workout Rx (as prescribed), including real push-ups and my chest/shoulders were smoked for days.  

This past Friday, “Filthy Fifty” was programmed.  I hadn’t done this workout yet, but I knew it was a long and brutal one!  It’s 50 reps of 10 different movements, so 500 reps total.  No matter how you slice it, not fun.



Filthy Fifty



If that’s not scary enough, Friday was forecast to be the hottest day we’ve had this summer with 95% humidity.  I was sweating before we even started our warm-up!  Knowing this workout is fairly mental and the hardest movements (for me) come at the very end, I focused on each movement as it came up and tried to maintain a steady pace.  Even at 6 am, the temperature in the gym was rising and there isn’t a lot of air movement.  I felt myself start to overheat early in the workout and slowed my pace significantly.  The wall balls (my nemesis) and burpees were especially brutal.  Other people were starting to finish the workout and I was just getting beginning my burpees, which was super discouraging.  I deserted my spot in the gym to position myself right in front of a fan for those burpees, but it wasn’t much relief.  Finally, I finished the workout with 100 singles because I just couldn’t muster energy to attempt double unders.  After 33 minutes and 10 seconds, I was done.  Well over my (admittedly arbitrary) goal of 30 minutes, but I was happy I completed it especially given the steamy conditions.  I’m looking forward to repeating this workout in 6 months when the weather will be nicer and I can get a badass PR. 😉

So enough about fitness, let’s talk about relaxation.  Boyfriend and I are long overdue for a vacation together and this year that’s going to be a camping trip.  We’re actually kicking off with a Zac Brown Band concert on Friday, then going camping for a few days and then heading home for a few more days of staycation.  You might remember that last year we had the best staycation ever!  I have total wanderlust and a strong love of nature, so camping seemed like a good (and financially responsible) option this year. We bought a tent and some other camping basics and I am really looking forward to a few days of unplugging in the great outdoors.  We’ve never gone camping together before, so it should definitely be interesting.  Any tips/suggestions for us to not kill each other out there are welcome.  I’d also love any ideas for food and recipes while camping!  Wish us luck and stay tuned for a vacation/staycation recap! 🙂

Questions: Have you ever done the Filthy 50?  Camping: love it or hate it?  What’s your favorite place to go on vacation?


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California Adventures with ClifBar Pt. 2

And we’re back today with more California fun!  Before we dive into more of my adventures with Clif Bar & Company, be sure to check out Part 1 of the trip here.  



Cliff HQ



For Day 2, we headed to Clif HQ for a tour and introduction to the company as a whole.  Years ago, long before receiving the invitation to this trip, I had heard about Clif being an awesome company to work for. Some family member of a friend of a friend worked for Clif and talked about how progressive the company was in creating a healthy and sustainable work environment and that has always stuck in my mind.  We visited HQ on a Thursday, which is was perfect for getting a feel for company culture, as Thursdays are when they host a weekly company-wide meeting and provide free breakfast for everyone.  The meeting always starts with a letter or “good news” praise for the company as a whole, a department, or even a specific employee.  Nothing like starting the day off on a positive note! I love it!



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Kit (co-owner of Clif)

The best place to start in explaining Clif company culture is with the five aspirations that serve as their guide for doing business.   The 5 aspirations focus on sustaining Clif’s Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet.  Their commitment to these aspirations were apparent during our tour of HQ and the farms, as well as in our interactions with employees.  



Sustainability Clif



The HQ building itself is LEED Certified, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  This means there is a focus on conserving water and energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The interior, including furniture, artwork and sound panels are all from recycled sources.  Large windows and garden areas allow for natural sunlight and solar panels on the roof create the heat for hot water.  The work area is open, with half walls separating cubicles, some of which house standing desks (which I’m a big fan of).   To create some division and privacy, plants are used as natural dividers and to add a little greenery.  


Clif HQ


As far as sustaining their people, Clif totally rocks. For starters, everyday is bring your dog to work day.  What could be better than a workplace where there are always pups hanging around?! I’m not sure Rocky would go for it, but my friend Gus here sure seemed to like going to work for Clif!


Gus


If the dogs aren’t enough to convince you how great Clif is to their people, there are just a few more perks.  There is a subsidized daycare (called Base Camp–so cute!) right next door to HQ, so parents can check in with their kids during the workday.  There are dedicated mommy rooms for breastfeeding, with pumps and all supplies provided, so nursing moms don’t have to lug everything to work each day.  Employees are also incentivized to leave their cars at home and bike to work, or switch to a fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicle.  

Clif HQ also has an on-site fitness center, with classes and a rock-climbing wall.  Oh, and employees get a 30-minute paid break each day to utilize the fitness center.  That’s right–THEY GET PAID TO WORK OUT DURING THE DAY.  



RockClimbing



Massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and health coaches are also available on site.  Clif offers telecommuting and flexible work weeks, with an option to work 80 hours in 9 days and get every other Friday off.  After seven years with the company, employees are rewarded with an opportunity to take sabbatical for personal development and growth.  I mean, seriously?! 

Clif is also committed to the community, allowing employees to volunteer (on company time) to serve any non-profit organization of their choice.  This year the goal is 11,440 hours of service, which they track on this awesome board in the office.



Volunteer



HQ also has a cafe, which is employee run and focuses on local, sustainable food.  Breakfast is served for free daily and lunch is subsidized.  They have soups, salads, sandwiches and more, plus they receive some produce from the Clif Family Farm too!  



Kali's



Last, but not least, there is an entire wall at the office which is stocked daily with all Clif products, which employees can grab and snack on during the day.  We were allowed to snag some goodies on our tour, so you know I grabbed some of those Kit’s Organic Fruit & Nut bars!  The Dark Chocolate Chili Almond is my jam!



Clif Bars



After our tour, we broke into groups to build our own Clif bars.  Erica, Toby and I created a Matcha Machine bar with almonds, matcha, blueberries and mulberries.  We ran out of time to bake and taste-test, but I’m pretty sure we had a winner!



DIY Bar



During lunch, we sat in on a panel discussion with Clif athletes Maghalie Rochette, Lakey Peterson and Kimmy Fasani.  It was awesome to see what these badass women are doing in their respective sports and hear how they like to fuel their workouts.



Athlete Panel



After spending the day learning about the Clif company, we were treated to an energizing yoga class to end the retreat.  It was the perfect mix of heart-pumping movement and calming breathing techniques that I love in yoga.



Yoga clip



As you can probably tell, I had a great time experiencing the Clif company culture with incredible colleagues.  I was beyond impressed by the transparency of the brand and their willingness and interest in creating open dialogue with us nutrition professionals.  Big thanks again to the Clif team!  Here’s hoping they keep making waves and inspire other companies to follow suit with their dedication to health, wellness and sustainability.

What are some of your company perks?  Have you ever had a bring-your-dog-to-work day?  What’s your favorite Clif bar product or flavor?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

Disclosure: All of my travel and accommodations for this trip were covered by ClifBar.  I was not compensated for writing this post or asked to share any of my experience.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.