#InfinityGauntletFitness – Intro

It’s that time again! The fog of the holidays has finally lifted (the older I get the longer it lingers.) The weather has been turning warmer and warmer down here in Florida and it’s time to gear up for a brand new fitness series!!

Themed fitness series have been the best thing for me in regards to getting on track with my personal health and fitness. From my #AvengerinTraining series to my #PrincessBootCamp, each one has motivated me beyond just meal plans and fitness routines. These are opportunities to break bad habits, discover new things and make real, lasting lifestyle changes. Even if you only take away 1 or 2 things from each series, that builds up to a really good life. And as my friend Renita always says, #babystepstogreatness.

With Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War on the horizon, I thought I’d start with the franchise that motivates me more than any other franchise out there. Do I think I could be a superhero one day? Yes! Do I think I have some work to do before I achieve superhero status? You betcha. But I don’t like to recycle fitness plans. The thing that worked for me 4 years ago with #AvengerinTraining won’t work for me now. My life is different. My schedule is different. And my body is older. So I have to move at a pace that works for today’s me, not yesterday’s me.

But like my #AvengerinTraining series, I wanted to use Marvel as my inspo. So I came up with a series based on the Infinity Stones. Which have been peppered throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years, if you’ve been watching closely. The stones are the McGuffins that Thanos himself has been seeking since The Avengers hit movie theaters in 2012. They are all powerful gemstones that are tied to all the power in the universe. Each one has a different property and purpose, but when they are all combined in the Infinity Gauntlet, they grant the user…

With that in mind, I devised a 7 week series. 1 week for each of the 6 Infinity Stones (Space, Reality, Power, Mind, Time and Soul Stones) and a 7th week for the full Infinity Gauntlet!

Stay tuned for a full week by week breakdown, starting with Week 1: The Space Stone.

But here’s a little tip if you want to dive into a new fitness series, or anything really…put your money where your dreams are! I’m starting each week by purchasing all my fitness classes up front and creating my schedule right off the bat. That way, I have no excuses. The money has been put aside, the classes have been purchased and it’s just up to me to do the things I say I want to do. So…stay tuned!!

Star Wars Book Camp: Week 2

Week 2 of Star Wars Boot Camp has begun! But before I give you a sneak peek into how Week 2 is going, let’s review Week 1, shall we!

Week 1 of Star Wars Boot Camp was all about the Dark Side, but specifically: Anakin Skywalker. Jedi Padawan and Dark Apprentice. The boy walks the line for sure! And while we find Anakin teetering between the Dark and Light for a lot of the prequel trilogy and know that ultimately his end game is redemption, I’m focusing on his Dark Side this week.

My goal for Week 1 was to work out 6 out of 7 days in the week…CHECK! As well as add on a couple extra workouts here and there…CHECK, CHECK! And as far as food goes, my goal was to normalize better eating habits such as choosing un-buttered popcorn, as a snack, over McDonald’s french fries…BIG CHECK! But because we’re dealing with the Sith in Week 1, it’s important to flirt with your temptations. So, I kept dark chocolate and red wine on my list of approved foods. That will follow me into Week 2, as I’m still firmly settled in with the Dark Side of the Force.

Another distinction about Sith Apprentice Week is that I worked only with what I had available to me. You Tube videos, free weights, runs outside and exercises that utilized my own body weight.

Here’s another look at my morning routine, which I accomplished 5 days of the week and on the 6th day, I swapped my routine out for a cleansing run around my neighborhood and some weights.

Week 1:

  • 1 min of each (3 reps)
    • Jumping Jacks
    • High Knees
    • Squats
    • Butt Kickers
    • Leg Lunges
    • Jog in Place
    • Crunches
    • High Kicks
    • Plank
    • Jump Rope

As we head into Week 2: Sith Lord Week, I have to be honest…I haven’t been as motivated and my early mornings have suffered from Snooze Button Syndrome!! But instead of getting mad at myself (something I do way too regularly) I am forgiving myself and taking the opportunity to give my body a little rest. Apparently, it needed it and when your body is screaming that it needs something and you don’t give it what it needs, eventually it will take it any way it can get it! Sometimes that manifests itself in the form of illness or injury. Which we don’t want!!

So…Monday, Day 1 of Week 2 was spent frolicking at Universal Studios with my friends Courtney and Courtney! We walked 20,000+ steps and ate delicious foods and I let myself enjoy it instead of being a stickler about my Dark Side meal plan. And while I’m happy with that decision it led to…

Tuesday, Day 2 of Week 2. I definitely slept through that alarm and while I ate really well throughout the day (WIN!) and had every intention of working out when I got home from work…I didn’t do that. I put my running shoes on, sat on my bed and then woke up an hour later. The sun was gone, the hour was late and I was groggy from an ill-timed nap. That’s not what I wanted to do. But it’s what happened. And no workout was had.

Which led to Wednesday, Day 3 of Week 2 and another alarm that I slept right on through…this trend was not boding well for my “jump back on the band wagon” state of mind. It was looking more and more like I’d fallen off the band wagon. But I will not let this morning madness deter my determination!

My goal this week is to get 5 workouts in and if I have to double up…I will.

That is the goal I’ve set. That is what will happen. And since I reached my goal in Week 1, I know that this is attainable! In fact, I’m simply building on to what I started doing in Week 1. My morning routine will remain the same with 1 min of each exercise, but instead of 3 reps, I’ll do 4.

If you want to keep up to date on my progress, come on over to my Instagram where I’m letting you in on my daily wins and also my daily losses! Basically the whole thought process through all 6 weeks of Star Wars Boot Camp are right there for you to engage with in my Insta Story!!

Here’s to clearing out the cobwebs and getting back on track!!!

Star Wars Boot Camp Redo

Star WArs boot Camp fitness series

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men…amiright?

The day I decided to start my brand new Boot Camp series was the day that we found out our friend Wally had died. After attempting to keep on keeping on despite the mounting grief washing through my soul, I finally came to the point where I couldn’t just keep on. I had to stop. Stop what I was doing. Stop and take stock of why I was doing it. And in the aftermath of tragedy, my body didn’t care about getting back into shape. The Dark Side had taken over.

I’d be lying if I said that the Darkness has left…it hasn’t.

But this past Monday, I decided to give my Star Wars Boot Camp a do-over. The desire to tune my body back to healthy has resurfaced and I feel extra motivated to make the best of my life. Especially remembering that there are people who don’t get one more day. It really does put your grief into perspective. It puts your fears and failures into perspective. And for me, it makes me stronger. It makes me want to fight for the best life I can have.

Enter…

Week 1: Sith Apprentice Week (Anakin Skywalker)

I’m altering the routine I had previously shared just a bit (pray I don’t alter it further.) 😉

Here’s a look at my morning routine, which I will do every morning this week:

1 min of each

  • Jumping Jacks
  • High Knees
  • Squats
  • Butt Kickers
  • Leg Lunges
  • Jog in Place
  • Crunches
  • High Kicks
  • Plank
  • Jump Rope

Arm Routine

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press (4 sets, 8 reps)
  • Standing Dumbbell Curls (3 sets, 12 reps)
  • Reverse Curls (3 sets, 12 reps)
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises (3 sets, 12 reps)
  • Hammer Curls (2 sets, 15 reps)
  • Tricep Press (3 sets, 12 reps)
  • Upright Dumbbell Row (3 sets, 12 reps)

Here’s another look at my playlist this week:

 

Bonus Rounds

To add a little extra oomph to this week’s workouts, I’m adding some YouTube videos that will focus on some Sith skills, such as lightsaber combat, Kendo and martial arts.  I chose one of these 4 days out of the week to try. Take a look:

No guarantee that I’ll master these in a week…in fact, it’s a safe bet to say that I won’t. But that’s not really the point of Boot Camp. This Boot Camp is supposed to give me focus. Every morning, I’ll be narrowing in on what’s happening with my body. Where the pain is, where I need to push myself. And by focusing on those things, it will take my eyes off of the unhealthy habits I’ve been forming in the last month or so.

As of today, I’m 2 days into it and I’ve had successful morning and evening workouts each day since starting! Now it’s time to add on these extra bonus workouts and push more…just like a Sith Apprentice would. Channeling my inner Anakin!

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Here’s a look at some of the training Hayden Christensen did for Episode III to get you inspired!

Star Wars Boot Camp

Well, once again I’m standing at the start of a workout series. The last one was very successful. I felt good, I felt fit and then life interjected and while I haven’t completely regressed, I have not been at the level of fitness I’d like to be. The kind of level that energizes me. The kind of level that has me feeling my muscles in the good way!

So…here we go. But this time I want to invite you all into the process. Instead of showing you the results and breaking it down after 6 weeks of hard work, you are going to be my inspiration, my accountability, my reason for staying true to my 6:30am alarm each day!!!

If you want to follow along on the whole journey, come on over to my Instagram and keep an eye out for my stories each day. I’ll show you what workouts I’ll be doing and whether or not I actually do them. As well as daily inspiration to get me going and keep me going!

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. What is this workout, you ask? I’m glad you did!! Cause it may just be my best idea yet. It’s a Star Wars Boot Camp!! That’s right…I said Star Wars!! The franchise that beats all other franchises IMHO!

You know my deep and abiding love for that galaxy far, far away. Now it’s turn that love into some fitness currency and put that love to work! Here’s a rough outline of week 1, but I’m leaving myself room to adjust each week as I need to.

I’ll be sharing my journey with you as I go and as usual, if you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below or email me (nerdinthecity01@gmail.com)!! I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

Week 1: Anakin Skywalker (Sith Apprentice)

Week 1 is all about Anakin’s Dark Side, his fight with the ways of the Sith. I’m following the Sith Code this week:

Peace is a lie,

There is only Passion.

Through passion, I gain Strength.

Through strength, I gain Power.

Through power, I gain Victory.

Through victory, my chains are broken.

The Force shall set me free.

This week is all about Passion, Power, Strength and Victory. And since this is Sith Apprentice week, everything I do will be at home utilizing the resources I have at my disposal. You Tube videos, apps, weights, bodyweight exercises. This week is all about quantity over quality. Reps, reps, reps! Going till I can’t go anymore. Channeling my anger and my passions into strong fitness routines that will be explosive. Just like Anakin Skywalker and his decent into the Dark Side.

Here’s my playlist for Week 1:

Let’s talk food. This week I’m going to be eating lots of protein and cutting out all those foods that weigh me down: dairy, bread, bad sugars. And replacing those things with dark greens, black beans, black berries, red raspberries, black lentils, black teas, basically anything dark, black, red, bitter, etc. Things that will keep me on the path to the Dark Side. 

Here is a look at my morning power workout. I’ll be doing this every morning and pairing it with workouts like Power Yoga, Boxing, Arm Workouts and Tumbling/ Acrobatics.

Morning Routine:

-1 min indoor jog

-1 min mountain climbers

-1 min jump rope

-1 min jumping jacks

-1 min skiers

-1 min front kicks

-1 min power skips

-1 min high knees

-1 min squats

-1 min butt kickers 

(Repeat 3 times)

Embrace your Dark Side and together…we can rule the galaxy!!!

#PrincessBootCamp Recap

Disney Princess boot Camp recap blog post fitness Lizzie Nerd in the City happy nerd

Princess Boot Camp Disney Inspiration Fitness Plan Blog Series

So…8 weeks ago I embarked on an adventure to share with you my homemade fitness plan: Disney Princess Boot Camp. I told you at the beginning that I wouldn’t be stepping foot on a scale and I haven’t…for the whole of this 8 week plan, I have listened to my body and really relied on my senses to guide me.

Foods that didn’t sit well got cut out, surprisingly that included a lot of breads and dairies. Foods that energized me will be added to my permanent shopping list, like spinach and pork cutlets and all things coconut.


Here’s a recap of each week’s theme and fitness:

Week 1: Cinderella Week

Princess Boot Camp Cinderella Week Fitness Blog series

This week I shopped the diet of a 18th century peasant, lots of staple foods, very lean cuts of meat and fruits and vegetables that might be grown in an English garden. And the fitness routine this week included: deep cleaning my parent’s garage and pool, running down stairs and ball room dancing.

Week 2: Ariel Week

Princess Boot Camp Ariel Week Disney Fitness Blog

This week’s meal plan was all about the ocean. Fish, seafood, seaweed, vegetables that might translate like cabbage and lettuce. And the only activity I did was swimming. But I utilized a variety of strokes in order to change things up. This was the week that my arms really started to feel the burn!!

Week 3: Pocahontas Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness Pocahontas WEek nerd blog post

For Pocahontas Week, I faithfully followed a traditional Native American diet. Lots of foods that come from the Earth. Nuts, grains, game meats like pork, berries and vegetables that might be grown by Native Americans like Pocahontas. The activities this week included rowing, running and canoeing. And I fell in love with canoeing. I really felt like it was the kind of full body workout that was both energizing and relaxing at the same time!

Week 4: Mulan Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week stick fighting nerd fitness blog post

This week I paid homage to China. The foods they eat, Chinese movies and fitness that one might find in China. My shopping list included things I had never eaten before like: bitter melon, rambutan, lychee, ya pears, bok choy and napa cabbage. The fitness routines this week really kicked my ass as I tried Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu!!

Week 5: Rapunzel Week

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This week, my shopping list had a lot of items inspired by Rapunzel and the Disney movie Tangled, more than an actual diet Rapunzel might have eaten. Whimsical things like angel hair pasta (get it!) and flax seed items (a food that promotes hair growth) as well as other proteins good for hair growth and of course, Rapunzel’s favorite, hazelnut soup! For fitness I tried rock climbing and folk dancing (line dancing…I live in the South!)

Week 6: Merida Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp Merida Week meal plan nerd blog post fitness

Merida Week was spent eating a classic Scottish diet consisting of cabbage, leeks, berries, shellfish, wild game meats and yes, even Haggis. And while Merida didn’t exhibit a love for Scottish dancing in her movie, Brave, I felt I just had to add it to my fitness plan after seeing an ad at the local community center! As well as Scottish dancing, I went horseback riding and tried archery. This week was very active and exciting!

Week 7: Elsa Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week nerd blog post fitness

I thought Elsa Week might prove a little harder for a Florida girl like me, seeing as how Elsa is all Frozen and stuff and in the middle of summer, a cool breeze is hard to come by in the sunshine state. But with a Scandinavian diet of foods like: root vegetables, nordic yogurt, whole grains, beans and fish and the surprising discovery of a virtual reality Winter Ski Club as well as ice skating at the RDV Sport’s Complex, I felt all those cool, frosty, Frozen vibes even in the midst of a balmy Florida summer!

Week 8: Moana Week

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I finished my plan strong with Moana week and a Polynesian diet of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, chicken, pork, fish, coconut, starchy fruits and nuts. For fitness this week, I did a lot of paddle boarding and hot hula. This was one of my favorite weeks!


Because I’d given up weighing myself from day 1, I can’t actually tell you how much weight I lost. I like not weighing myself. I like listening to my body and not some number on a scale. Don’t ever forget that muscle weighs more than fat and numbers don’t tell the whole story!! I’m gonna go ahead and estimate it to around 20-25 pounds. What I can tell you is how I feel. I feel stronger. I feel happier in my own skin. I dropped 2.5 pant sizes and feel confident when I look in the mirror that what I’m seeing in myself is what I’m presenting to others.

Don’t read this and think that you need to change! Don’t read this and think that I don’t believe with all my heart that all sizes and shapes are beautiful…they are and I do believe that! But I also know that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin anymore. The 20-30 pounds I had gained were from stress and sadness. And I couldn’t seem to get over the hump of releasing that garbage from my soul and from my body.

Leave it to Disney to inspire me to get off my ass and get fit in a really fun and magical way (it’s not like magic is their thing or anything!) But listen, this worked for me!

I’m not a doctor…don’t do what I said and think that this is medical research. But guess what…if you take the pressure off of yourself by putting your focus on something fun, eat a moderate and healthy amount of foods that are good for you and up your fitness level…you’ll probably lose a little weight or at the very least feel a little happier in your own skin. That’s all I can offer. That’s all that I did! And damn…it feels good!

Disney Princess boot Camp recap blog post fitness Lizzie Nerd in the City happy nerd

If you want to try my Disney Princess Boot Camp, let me know!! I am a great encourager and would be happy to send thoughts, memes, gifs, encouragement and inspiration your way, as well as offer the tips and tricks I used to stay motivated!! If I can feel this good…you can too!

#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Fitness Plan

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

I am a summer girl through and through. So Moana Week is right up my alley with the beachiness, the tropical food and the love of water. Next to Pocahontas, I think Moana is the next Disney Princess that I most connect to.

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week fitness blog post

The call of the unknown certainly calls to me and sometimes I feel like I don’t have the freedom to just pick up and follow that call. But also like Moana, I continue to learn over and over again that “the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me. It’s like the tide always rising and falling!”

In order to get fit like Moana, this week, here’s a look at the activities that will help you channel the spirit of Moana:

Surfing

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Picture from Patagonia.com

I wasn’t actually able to take surf lessons this week. But it’s on my master bucket list of things to do one day. And, I think, if surfing was an option on the tiny island of Motunui, Moana would really be great at it. It’s similar to our next fitness activity, but much harder. The reason I decided not to go through with a singular lesson, is because it’s an activity that needs a lot more dedicated lessons and practice to really get down. One day!

Paddle Boarding

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Picture from paddleboardthrills.com

Paddle Boarding is having a serious moment this summer. It’s a cousin to surfing and utilizes a lot of the same muscles groups, but is far easier. You don’t have to be as attuned to the ebb and flow of the tide for paddle boarding. In fact, I did all my paddle boarding this week in a lake. So no need for tides at all! What I love about paddle boarding is that you can do it a couple different ways. You can stand and paddle or sit down or be on your knees. You can also go on full paddle boarding adventures and take breaks during the day. I packed a little lunch, threw it onto my board and had some really amazing moments out on the water. No one else was around and it was relaxing and energizing at the same time. I went out on the water 3 times this week. This is an activity that can feel like you aren’t burning as much as you are…I was sore, to say the least! The good kind of sore!

Hula Dancing

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Picture from Vimeo.com

To finish out the activities this week, I added Hula Dancing to my list. Hot Hula to be exact. There was actually a hula class at the community center that I wanted to try out, since the community center had worked for me during other weeks. But the scheduling didn’t work out. I think I will try it some time in the future, though. And if you have a live class available to you, I encourage you to try it. I always prefer a class of other human beings over a video at home. There’s something great about doing something new with people. It helps you create new connections. But this week, it was videos for me. Specifically these on You Tube:

 

Enjoy!!

#PrincessBootCamp – Elsa Meal Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week nerd blog post fitness

Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

Let’s first discuss that Elsa is no Princess…she is the Queen! Now that we got that out of the way…

This week we are off to Arendelle for our fitspiration. Home of mystical powers that only Queen Elsa has and only those rock trolls know anything about. Home of some seriously dead Disney parents. And home of Elsa and Anna, two sisters that just can’t seem to talk things out until it gets really, really bad.

After the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents, (and possibly leading to the birth of their brother Tarzan, fan theory…Google it!) the sisters become distanced by a secret that Elsa has been keeping since she was a little girl. She has ice powers. Where did she get them? We don’t know. Why was it the best idea to keep them a secret and make her feel like the villain in her own story? Oh, it wasn’t! But here is where we find ourselves.

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Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Years of not building snowmen together has left these sisters on opposite sides of the castle door and on Elsa’s coronation day, they are finally opening that door to the people of their kingdom, as well as to the surrounding kingdoms. Well, if you’re guessing that no good can come from this…you are right. No good does come from it. Anna meets Prince Hans…the seemingly perfect other half of her sandwich. The kingdom is subjected to the Duke of Weselton and the truth finally comes about about Elsa’s powers and the kingdom is plunged into a Frozen tundra.

Which brings me to our shopping list this week. I based this week’s food selection on a Nordic diet and shopped in the Frozen food aisle as much as I could. Here’s what you’ll need this week…

-whole grains (barley, rye, oats)

-frozen berries (strawberries, rasperries, blueberries, blackberries)

-root vegetables (carrots and potatoes)

-cabbage

-frozen vegetables (peas and broccoli)

-fish (salmon, mackrel, herring)

-pork

-beans

-eggs

Lots of health benefits to a Nordic Diet. I really liked the food this week and the little nod to the frozen food section is just for continuity. You can feel free to eat the fresh versions of fruits and vegetables. Though I love to have frozen berries for dessert! Great substitute for other frozen desserts that might tempt you.

#PrincessBootCamp – Merida Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Brave fitness inspo nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness

  1. Wild Horses – Birdy, Sam Feldt
  2. Brave – Sara Bareilles
  3. Brave Honest Beautiful – Fifth Harmony, Meghan Trainor
  4. Brave – Moriah Peters
  5. Brave the Dark – Bird Passengers
  6. Touch the Sky – Julie Fowlis
  7. Into the Open Air – Julie Fowlis
  8. SiĂșil A RĂșn – Lisa Kelly
  9. Girl Named Freedom – Lisa Kelly
  10. The Lark in the Clear Air – Loreena McKennitt
  11. To the Sky – Owl City
  12. Skylines – Glades
  13. Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
  14. Catch the Wind – Donovan
  15. Babel – Mumford & Sons
  16. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
  17. After the Storm – Mumford & Sons
  18. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
  19. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
  20. 9 Crimes – Damien Rice
  21. Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen
  22. Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd
  23. Blue Skies – Noah and the Whale
  24. Sons and Daughters – Allman Brown, Liz Lawrence
  25. Daughters – John Mayer
  26. Daughters – Lissie
  27. His Daughter – Molly Kate Kestner
  28. Warrior Daughter – Wildwood Kin
  29. Beer Hands – Private Island
  30. The Monster – Eminem, Rihanna
  31. Touch the Sky – Hillsong United
  32. Noble Maiden Fair – Brave Soundtrack
  33. Learn Me Right – Karoline Sem Larm
  34. The Merry Sisters of Fate – LĂșnasa
  35. He Mo Leannan (Hey my Love) – Mary Jane Lamond
  36. Under Pressure – Queen, David Bowie
  37. The Apple Tree – Nina Nesbitt
  38. Lon-dubh (Blackbird) – Julie Fowlis
  39. Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a’ Chuan – Julie Fowlis
  40. Hug air a’ Bhonaid Mhoir – Julie Fowlis
  41. Tunes Set – Julie Fowlis
  42. Pride – Amy Macdonald
  43. The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys
  44. Way in the World – Nina Nesbitt
  45. Don’t Stop Believing – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  46. Scottish Fiddle Jig – The Scottish Bagpipes Highland Pipes

 

Brave

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We start our movie list with our fiery haired heroine, Merida from Disney’s Brave. As the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, there is a certain life that Merida can look forward to. The life of a royal princess and future Queen of the Scottish lords. This means she must marry and she must behave herself. She’s supposed to learn from her mother and not bring her weapons to the dinner table. But Merida wasn’t born the perfect little princess and she believes her destiny lies on a different path from the one she was born with. What I love about Brave is that it’s the story of a tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter, not about a Princess falling in love with a Prince. This movie breaks from Disney Princess movie tradition and sets a precedent for Disney Princesses to come. It’s ain’t all about the man and given her choice among the sons of the Scottish lords vying for her hand…can you blame her? Respect, Merida! Respect.

Braveheart

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Staying in the borders of Scotland, the next movie on our Merida Inspo list is Braveheart, a natural follow-up movie to Brave! I mean…if you’ve never seen Braveheart then you’ve been living in a cave or you are like…6 years old and if it’s the latter, this blog is a little old for ya, kid! If it’s the former, welcome back to the world…go watch Braveheart! “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take…our FREEDOM!” No matter how you feel about the decline of Mel Gibson, that moment is still pure movie magic!!

Highlander

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Ok, the premise of Highlander and ensuing spin offs and sequels is intense. There are Immortals…they fight to the death and of course “there can only be one.” Connor MacLeod, our main character, is one such Immortal as is his and his mentor (hey Sean Connery.) This movie did very poorly when it came out in 1986, but has gained a cult following. And obviously became popular enough to garner Highlander II: The Quickening, Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Highlander: Endgame, Highlander: The Source, and not only a TV series, but an animated TV series as well! Dive in, but beware the Highlander current will sweep you away (or maybe not. I’ve personally never felt the need to watch any of the sequels.)

Hunger Games

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Bad ass chicks who shoot bow and arrows stick together! Katniss and Merida have plenty in common. Mommy issues? Check. Mad archery skills? Check. A destiny that calls them where they don’t want to go? Double check! This movie has plenty of those Brave vibes and you have to be brave to make it through the Hunger Games…see what I did there!

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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Ok, it’s not Scotland, but there’s archery and sweeping country side and that’s about where the comparison between Brave and LOTR ends, but the Lord of the Rings trilogy basically belongs on every list…so, here it is!

Brigadoon

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Brigadoon has absolutely nothing in common with the above list of more action oriented movie, other than the Scottish thing…to tie it back to Brave. But it’s a classic Hollywood musical starring Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse and Van Johnson and is an absolute treasure, hence it’s addition to this list! Brigadoon is a disappearing town in the Highlands of Scotland that appears once every 100 years. One that Gene Kelly and Van Johnson happen upon when they are on holiday shooting grouse or whatever it is you shoot in Scotland. And guess which day they happen upon the usually wild and empty space where Brigadoon usually isn’t…yep, that 100th day. Gene meets Cyd and falls in love, obviously. But Gene and Van have lots of questions about this disappearing paradise, especially after a native tries to leave and gets shot in the process. Mystery abounds, love is in the air and there’s lots of singing!!

The Decoy Bride

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This one is a bit of a fringe choice and unless you are a big fan of the 10th Doctor and have actively searched out all you can find of David Tennant, you might not know anything about it. But this rom-com has 2 things going for it that are directly relevant to Brave. #1: It takes place on the island of Hegg, which “lies half-drowned and wind-battered, the furthermost drop of the outermost spray of the curling wave of the Outer Hebrides.” And #2: The Decoy Bride stars Kelly Macdonald, none other than the voice of Merida herself. It’s a simply adorable romantic comedy and on sick days, it is my go to feel better movie these days! Give it a watch, why don’t ya?!

#PrincessBootCamp – Merida Fitness Plan

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Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness

Merida is easily one of the fittest princesses Disney has in cannon. She rides a horse and shoots a bow and is just generally on the move throughout the entirety of her movie, ‘Brave.’ That’s why the life of a royal doesn’t appeal to her. She has no interest in quietly sitting and weaving a tapestry. Not when there are archery competitions to enter and wide open spaces to ride through. No, for Merida, life is about moving and seeing and doing!

So this week…just keep moving. Keep Merida in your mind’s eye and pick up a new activity when you have some down time. It doesn’t have to be a horseback ride through the Scottish Highlands. Most of us don’t have easy access to horses all the time, at least I don’t. But use what you have around you to support your fitness. Yoga doesn’t require any equipment at all, neither does running.

But if you do want to try those activities that Merida might have partaken in, here’s a look at what you can do:

Archery

Disney Princess boot Camp Merida week archery fitness blog post

It’s not as simple as point and shoot. Archery is a skill. One that, to be honest, I am not good at quite yet. The couple of times I’ve done archery, including for Merida Week and for Hawkeye week when I was an #AvengerinTraining, hasn’t quite been enough to provide proficiency, but it’s an activity I really love doing. Lining up the target, pulling back the bow and letting the arrow fly (far, far, far away from not only the bullseye, but the target itself) is a great feeling. If you’ve never tried archery, you should!

Horseback Riding

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Horseback riding is an activity that has a lot of different levels. You can go for a jaunty trail ride, which isn’t very challenging and doesn’t really take skill. Or you can learn how to horseback ride, which takes a lot more skill and does challenge you. Any level of horseback riding is a great activity for Merida week, but it’s the actual skill that I wanted to focus on. Though this is something that you cannot obtain after one session. It really requires a lot more dedication and practice. But an intro class to horseback riding is so much fun! And if you have a place near you that is decently priced, do it!

Scottish Dancing

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Ok, this one isn’t really something we see Merida do in Brave, but as I was flipping through the Sunday paper this week, my eye caught a posting for local Scottish Dancing and hello…I had to try it. This is definitely something that could be hard to come by based on where you are located. But always try your local paper or anywhere that might post local events. You never know what treasures await you!