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Balanced Life

In today’s digital world it seems like we have less time. Whether it’s our smartphones that connects us to our work 24/7 or social media that consumes our social lives or the non-stop hustle to reach entrepreneurial freedom. Really it may be a combination of it all.
It makes staying connected with friends and loved ones and finding time for oneself difficult…So how do you do it all???

 

Discussing the vision with photographer Royal Binion before Lumibloom photo shoot

I spend 9 months out of the year being an Elite Athlete/ Entrepreneur, and planning is how I juggle it all. I spend 3–4 hours on the track and weight room, 1–2 hours of body maintenance, and on top of that I am running LumiBloom creating new products, working on marketing, dealing with suppliers, manufactures and managing my team.

 As I am sure you can imagine this task is nothing short of taxing! I spend 4 months of the year so exhausted that it hurts to sleep, and it takes me twice as long to complete a task.

My body aches so much it will wake me up in the middle of the night, due to weights and the hardcore training and stress that I put my body through. Also travelling sometimes takes its toll, moving from one time zone to another, and being able to perform under different conditions.

It can be both mentally and physically draining — then add running a company to the mix!

Always thinking about that one thing you can do to move the needle, either a new idea, or marketing strategy, or what you need to do.

 When my schedule gets that hectic, I accept that there are only 24 hours in the day and that I am choosing to focus my time building a brand and chasing my dreams, so I get focused, create lists, and keep my eye on the GOAL!

Now during the rest of the time, I schedule things that are important, such as connecting with family and friends and resting my mind and body when I can. I keep a list of friends I want to connect with because time will fly by so quickly that if it’s not written down it may not happen. I stay engaged and present on what my friends and family have going on and attended when I can because it is important to me to support them. I’ve learned early that support can make a difference.

Lastly, I show my body some much needed TLC. I will take a trip to my zen place Kauai and sleep on my balcony listening to the waves crash. I indulge in some of my favorite things to eat, like Chocolate Soufflés, or Crème Burles. I even continue with massages to help recovery and get my body ready to begin training again!

In the middle of a session at Club Pilates

In order to stay sane, be productive and continue to succeed, you must balance your life. When you are good to your mind, body and spirit it will be good for you! It is a way to reset, recharge and be prepared to go!

So look at your day, month, and year, determine if you have a healthy balance. If you don’t, that is ok, it’s never too late to balance it out.

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Nicki Minaj vs. Cardi B

Most of the time when you think of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, you think Music, Women in Hip Hop, Beefs, and Trends… But, when I think of them, I think of “character” vs. authenticity, and the influence their brands have on society particularly young girls. And exactly what message they are sending?

Nicki Minaj stepped into the game as a “character” becoming a life size Barbie; the toy, coined on being perfect.  She altered her appearance, used a stage name, adopted pink as her color, created a voice that authenticates her character and created “Nicki Minaj”.  As someone who is building and managing a brand, I’m constantly studying other brands. I must say, Nicki and her team have done a phenomenal job creating and establishing her brand.  They committed to it and executed it to perfection. Every touch point communicated urban, hip hop Barbie.  They played to their target audience and millions of girls around the world bought in.   In a time when being perfect and celebrity was the name of the game Nicki Minaj nailed it.

Cardi B on the other hand came in as CARDI B.  Instead of playing a role or creating a character, she came in as herself.  Proving the power in being original and authentic.  Yes, she may amplify her personality by adding a little sauce on it for the cameras and audience, but let’s be honest, sometimes a little extra is needed to grab the audience’s attention.  She is also demonstrating that being perfect is not necessary to succeed and/or be a successful brand.  She shows the world her imperfect self and the world accepts her with open arms; loving and hanging on her every word, post, and idea…  Fans are drawn to her because the time of being the perfect and mysterious celebrity is over, it’s become about relatability and originality.  Fans want to feel connected and be able to relate to entertainers, public figures, athletes (basically all types of “celebrities”).  Cardi B is leading the charge in the new world order and inspiring others to do the same.  She is empowering us to feel comfortable in our own skin, crooked smile and all.

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Nike’s 30th Anniversary Branding Efforts #Justdoit!

Nike’s 30th Anniversary Campaign has caused shock waves throughout the Twittersphere, headlines, and cash registers. Nike was met with both blow back and support for naming Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. People are reacting emotionally to what Colin did; but this campaign is not about that… Embracing more than any one single act, Nike is using this opportunity to stand with and support their iconic athletes who truly communicate what their brand is all about.

Nike is strength, power and endurance. And they’re willing to be a little provocative and risky in communicating their message. This time, their Marquee Athletes and what they stand for have perfectly aligned, and Nike is bold enough to market it. Kaepernick’s courage to “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” embodies their iconic message. He just did it… Another major Nike athlete, Serena Williams stepped onto the court in her empowering shero costume because it made her feel like a superhero, and then dedicated the outfit to new mothers, the real sheros. Nike showed their support and belief in Serena with the “you can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpower.” This couldn’t come at a better time as she is in finals of the US OPEN. Serena is just doing it! Though the actions of these athletes are different, one common thread is that they are rebellious, determined, courageous, memorable, and disruptive. Twenty years from now you will remember Kaepernick and Serena, and everyone will remember Nike’s purpose-driven campaign that marked 30 years for JUST DO IT!

 

 

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Gluten Free Make-UP

Being gluten free doesn’t stop at what you eat, it can include what is put on your skin as well; And that is the case for me, its not a trend, its an allergy!  My consumption or exposure to gluten comes at a high price, it can cause my throat to swell, itching, and even cause sever break out. In other words its a problem!  Until I became gluten intolerant I didn’t realize makeup, even some lotions, contain gluten (wheat).  Yes make-up!! Once I became aware that wheat can be found in make-up I went on a make-up hunt, as I am always down for a bomb beat.  

The gluten sensitive brand, that happens to be vegan, that I have fallen in love with is Hourglass.  It is easy to apply, has an incredible natural finish, doesn’t cause me to look oily after long time wear and doesn’t cause me to break out AKA my winner.  Although I found my go to brand quickly, I still did further research in case I work with a makeup artist who needed additional options.  

Too Faced Cosmetics’ entire line except for their Borderline Lip Pencil is gluten free.  Although I haven’t used their foundation, their eye shadows and Melted Gold Liquified Gold lip gloss, is to die for. Another gluten free line is Afterglow Cosmetics.  Their products are produced in a gluten-free facility and are gluten free certified. I’m also extremely interested in Sweat Cosmetics, it is a line specifically formulated for active women and also gluten free and vegan.  Lastly, Rihanna’s line Fenty beauty does not use gluten in their products.  Which is awesome, I haven’t tried it yet, however I’m eager to try the eye catching highlighter Trophy wife... need I say more!!

During my search I was happy to discover there are a number of gluten free make-up lines.  I must admit when I began my search I had NO IDEA what  I was going to find ;-)!

If you know other gluten lines DM me on IG @mackenziesjourney, or leave a comment below… I’m always interested in what else is out there!

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United State Of Women Summit

 

I had the opportunity to speak on my first panel at the United State of Women Summit. The panel was called the 2nd Act – From Athlete to Entrepreneur.  All the panelist were amazing, I was being inspired while inspiring others. One reoccurring theme amongst us all was to be successful it takes patience, resiliency, hard work, confidence and the willingness to take risks. In Addition to. the amazing women panels, Michelle Obama was the keynote. In other words, this event was major and I am honored that it was my first.

The theme of the United State of Women Summit was Barriers were meant to be broken.  Now if that isn’t a motivating and inspiring theme I don’t know what is if nothing else it’s intriguing 😉 .  It focuses on gender equality, women empowerment, and provides access, connections, and tools to equip women to power through their barriers. We were there to inspire, motivate, and encourage other women in their journeys as we talked about struggles, successes, triumphs, and ways we changed the game, broke through and overcame our own challenges whether through sport or business.

After my panel, I networked with some of the women-owned business vendors on the exhibit floor, 2 businesses I fell in love with are TomboyX and Sama Eyewear. I was able to meet the owners of both companies and not only do I love their products but truly believe and relate to their mission. TomboyX is a comfortable underwear made for women of all sizes by women. I must admit I love them and they are extremely comfortable. Can’t wait to try the Drirelease fabric 😉. As for Sama Eye Wear, all I can say is fabulous! They are incredibly innovative and unique designed glasses and sunglasses designed by Shelia Vance. She is responsible for introducing the world to luxury fashion eyewear and described as a person who has charity for a heart, technology for a brain and fashion for a soul. I was fortunate to meet and interact with her at the summit… Now I am also a proud owner of a pair of her awesome sunglasses.

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Pineapple Kale Smoothie

Try my refreshing and tasty Kale and Pineapple Smoothie. Below is the recipe… This is one of my favorite after practice drinks:

1.5 cup of Kale

1 cup of Frozen Pineapple

1 cup of Almond Milk

1 scoop of Mega Foods Daily Tumeric

Ginger to taste (helps with inflammation)

Honey to taste

want to make it with me? click here

 

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Performance Athletic Wear VS Athleisure

During a time when athleisure “active streetwear” and yoga pants are the new casual wear, people might wonder about the difference between athletic apparel brands that athletes wear like Nike, or Adidas versus athleisure or yoga brands like Alo Yoga, or GapFit, or Lululemon.

Although all the brands are very similar in structural appearance, the actual cut, fit, and flexibility differ dramatically. Performance athletic wear tends to be breathable, lightweight and flexible so you can perform intensely with limited restriction.

Though I LOVE Active Streetwear, the tight slim fit that gives great lines, can also limit the ability to be explosive and quick, and restrict muscle contraction or “firing”, as said in the sports world. As a hurdler, I am very aware of my range of motion as I need to clear a 33-inch hurdle. Wearing tights that are flexible and allow me to easily rotate my hips is a must! Athletic performance brands tend to use fabrics that are stretchy, that will allow you to achieve optimal athletic performance.

However, from a casual wear perspective Active Streetwear is great, fashionable, comfortable, and my weekend go-to’s. Sometimes I dress it up with the right accessories and will be good-to-go for a meeting or a night out with the girls– in my Alo Yoga tights! They are definitely some of my favorite tights and will always be apart of my wardrobe.

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It’s A Process

This is my journey right…. I guess, it’s only right I share more than just advice, opinions and information. But my experiences and inner thoughts.  Ok here we go…

Process… Practice… Patience

For the past few months that has been my motto, Process, Practice, Patience…. This year I have fully emerged into a 100m hurdler routine (aka short hurdler).  I have been running like a short hurdler, lifting weights like a short hurdler, drilling like a short hurdler and thinking like a short hurdler. Little did I know how much different it would be from a 400m hurdler.

This fall training season, which was October – December, was a new experience. Instead of running to build cardio, endurance and strength, I was running to build strength and stamina, and quickly moved to speed and technique. By the end of December, I was running over speed Hurdles working on running mechanics. The running technique needed for the 100m Hurdles is different than the 400m Hurdles, and it took practice to get it down. By the way, I’m still working on it. It is a process.

 

 

Next thing I knew, the new year was here, meaning indoor track season is here… In January, I began hurdling 1,2,3 — that’s the new rhythm I need to focus on for the 100m hurdles, and for the indoor season 60m hurdles.

1,2,3…1,2,3… 1,2,3…

But, before I get to that, I must get over the first hurdle. It’s 8-steps from the blocks to the first hurdle. Ok 8 steps that should be easy enough. Right!!!

 

Well it’s not really the 8 steps that I struggled with, it’s the 9th step that I lead with over the 33″ hurdle that I must get over and on the other side of as fast as I can, to get into my 1,2,3 rhythm all while keeping the speed and momentum that I generated in my first 8-steps.   The first 8-steps came easily, then I get to the hurdle, over the top and fly and pose for all the photographers out there to get a good shot… then get back down to the track and start running 1,2,3… 1,2,3.

 

 

OK, OK, not literally. But that’s what any little pause looks like in a game — that .01 matters.  #itsaprocess.

 

The last 6 weeks I have really been working on my hurdle technique, getting over the hurdler faster, my flat speed, and getting comfortable with my new race.  All I can say is, it’s been a process. However, it has paid off. I’ve run 4 track meets this indoor season, improving every time I’ve stepped on the track. I’ve been patient, going through the process and practicing….  And most importantly attacking EVERY PRACTICE, RACE, AND HURDLE FEARLESSLY!  And now, I’m getting ready for USA National Championships this weekend.

 

Yes, this weekend Feb 16-18, I will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, competing at USA National Championships. So, wish me luck, and follow me on Instagram @mackenziesjourney for updates.

 

Ready…Set…I’m GONE!!