#AvengerinTraining – Captain America Week

Finishing Strong

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Entering the final week, I felt strong. Stronger than I’ve ever felt before. I discovered muscles I didn’t know could ache. I had better balance and control in my workouts. And since Captain America is my very favorite Avenger, I’d been looking forward to this week since the beginning of this challenge. And this week certainly did not disappoint!! It was an amazing finish to an amazing 6 weeks of focus and determination. I’m not an actress! And I’ll probably never be in a big budget action film. I’ll never have a crazy six pack or weigh 140 pounds. But I lost 15 pounds on this program and I have felt healthier than I ever have before! And that is success.

Week 6: Captain America Week

Watercolor Art by Blule
Watercolor Art by Blule

Steve Rogers, an average man with above average morals and a desire to do more than he was born to do. After joining the Army, Rogers was given a “Super Soldier Serum” that transformed him from a small town Brooklyn boy into the superhero known as Captain America.

To become what he needed to be to play the Super Soldier, Chris Evans packed on 30 pounds of muscle and spent a lot of time in the gym training as he never had before. Take a look over at BodyBuilding.com for the full report.

Inspiration

Movies

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Avengers, Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are all obvious. And if there’s on other comic book hero that will bring that all-American spirit, it’s DC Comic’s Superman. The alien who started it all. Without Supes there might be no Cap. And just imagine that sad, sad world!!

Music

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap comes back the world but is out of his time and has missed decades of pop culture, music, movies, etc. To try and catch up, Cap keeps a running list of things that people suggest he see or do or listen to. I tried to add some of the music to this list that Cap might have missed in the decades he spent in the ice. Including Falcon’s suggestion, Trouble Man by Marvin Gaye.

Meals

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I really loved having steak back on my shopping list!! Thanks Chris Evans!! Take a look at Evans’ meal plan at BodyBuilding.com

Weekly Workout Challenge

I chose an army crawl challenge for Captain America Week for the obvious reason. Before becoming Captain America, puny Steve Rogers joins the army to try to make something more out of himself, not knowing at the time what that would mean for him in the long run. So army crawls it was!!

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Day 1: 2 Army Crawls across living room (Hands and Feet)

Day 2: 3 Army Crawls across living room (Hands and Feet)

Day 3: 4 Army Crawls across living room (Hands and Feet)

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: 3 Army Crawls across living room (Elbows and Knees)

Day 6: 4 Army Crawls across living room (Elbows and Knees)

Day 7: 6 Army Crawls across living room (Elbows and Knees)

Extra Credit

Boxing @ Church Street Boxing Gym

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Photo from Church Street Boxing Gym

This was my favorite class of the entire 6 week program. I’d never taken a full on boxing class before. Church Street Boxing Gym is everything a boxing gym should be. It’s in the basement of a building in downtown Manhattan. There are pictures plastered on the walls, a giant ring in the middle of the gym and punching bags hanging around every corner. Church Street offers a free intro class and it was so great! Best workout of the entire series. I love that they allow you to start punching the bags right away. Halfway through the class we were hitting the bags. I gotta tell you, it’s addictive and after all the other classes I’ve taken, I would sign up to do this weekly!!

Parkour @ Brooklyn Zoo

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Photo from Brooklyn Zoo

Parkour, for those of you who don’t know this word, is a form of free running. You’ll often see it in high speed action chases in movies/ TV like: Casino Royale, Arrow and of course Captain America. It’s the art of being able to handle any challenge that comes in your path as you run. Jumping, swinging, ducking. Throwing your body into the movements needed to keep your momentum up. Brooklyn Zoo specializes in a lot of amazing high intensity classes. And their parkour class did not disappoint!!! If I thought the boxing class or the cirque class was intense, I was mistaken after taking this!!! Another class I would definitely try again sometime. And their gym is really cool!! Classes are $20 if you pre register online. Give it a try and stretch yourself far beyond what you think you can accomplish!

Check out Iron Man week,  Hulk weekBlack Widow WeekThor Week and Hawkeye Week in case you missed them.

And make sure to comment below with any questions, comments, etc! And let me know if you are trying any of these. I would love to hear from you!!

Brand New Episode

Episode 28: Bushwick Stalker

Starring:

Liz Tailor

Ethical Closet (Click the links below):

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Check back every Tuesday for brand new episodes!!

New York-iversary

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Photo by Liz Tailor

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the day I moved to the big city! 8 years ago, I was a young, naive country girl who really had no idea what I was my life was about to become. I’d always liked New York and dreamed of it. But actually moving there? Who did I think I was? Sarah Jessica Parker?

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Photo by Liz Tailor

For the first year I basically lived in a dream. Everywhere I went was new, everything I saw enchanted me. And I kept thinking I’d wake up from this awesome dream I was in and I’d be back at home doing something downright ordinary. But 8 years later, I’m still dreaming! So I guess some really do come true.

Here’s a couple things that have become my favorites over the years.

Favorite Building: The Chrysler Building

I think most people tend to favor the Empire State Building or the new Freedom Tower. Both are beautiful and impressive. But it’s the Chrysler Building that always caught my eye. I always felt it looked like it was covered in dragon scales or was secretly an alien space ship waiting to take off at any given moment.

Favorite Thinking Spot: Central Park Rocks

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Photo by Liz Tailor

When I was a nanny in this city, not so long ago, I used to come and just sit in Central Park between jobs and dream of my future. I was constantly inspired by my surroundings and seemed to find a peace there that was so lacking in the rest of the city.

Favorite Restaurant: Cafe Lalo

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Photos by Audrey Carlson

This is the restaurant that was used in the filming of You’ve Got Mail. And I always loved to eat there and just imagine Tom Hanks just outside debating whether or not to come inside. And who are we kidding… I took Pride and Prejudice along with me just in case! As an added bonus they have delicious brunch options. My favorite is the Grilled French Brie sandwich and the Aloha (it’s a mimosa but with pineapple juice!)

Favorite Celebrity Sighting: Peter Dinklage

It’s a rather frequent occurrence to spot a celebrity on the streets of New York. I’ve seen Wallace Shawn, Stanley Tucci, Gerard Butler, Sarah Paulson and more. But my very favorite celebrity sighting was this past Halloween when I saw Peter Dinklage out trick or treating with his family. I was walking behind this mom and dad pushing a stroller. The dad was wearing a hoodie, so I couldn’t see who he was at first and actually didn’t really pay the family any notice, other than that they were directly in front of me on the overcrowded street in the West Village. The mother stopped short, causing me to run into her. So I said “Excuse me” and attempted to walk around them. As I did, I believe Mr. Dinklage thought I was saying excuse me to him. I think he believed that I was going to ask for a picture or an autograph or something. But until he turned around to give me what I can only describe as a ‘Tyrion Lannister stare’, I didn’t even know it was him. It was the coolest thing ever!!!

Favorite Tourist Trap: Times Square

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Photo by Liz Tailor

To be honest, Times Square and I have a deep love/ hate relationship. On a busy New York day, I HATE Times Square. Too many people crammed in too small a space and everyone walking way too slow for me. But at odd hours or rainy days, I actually like it. It’s never night time in Times Square. And you feel almost as if you’re in a movie or a TV show or something. As I said, my first year in New York felt exactly like a dream. Back then I used to go to Times Square all the time. I’d sit in the public chairs and just people watch for hours. Something I haven’t enjoyed doing in a very long time (sadly.)

Favorite Borough: Brooklyn

In my 8 years living in New York, I have lived in New Jersey (obviously not a borough, but I’ve lived there), The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. And out of all of them, I’ve loved Brooklyn best. I’ve lived in 4 different areas if Brooklyn. Williamsburg, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Bushwick. Brooklyn is a lot like Manhattan in that any area you go to in Brooklyn feels entirely it’s own. Bensonhurst is old world Italian Brooklyn and has the best San Gennaro festival I’ve ever been to. Williamsburg is trendy and has thrift ships and coffee shops and pizza places that just beg to be tried. Bay Ridge felt like the suburbs. Like perhaps I wasn’t in New York at all. And Bushwick was straight up scary! But in a few years, I suspect it will feel a little more like Williamsburg, because it can be rather trendy as well.

Favorite Museum: Museum of Natural History

When I was a nanny, I used to take the kids here all the time. I think I’ve been there about 13 times since I’ve lived here. And I have never been bored with it. There is so much to see that I always feel like I’m seeing new things every time I go.

What are a few of your favorite things? Let me know in the comments below! And I hope your New Year is off to an amazing start!